Do you get a thrill from hanging off the side of cliffs? Crossing trestles which are higher than a 17-storey building? This post could have been included in the previous Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway, but the Myra Canyon is so spectacular, I thought it warranted a feature post all on its own.
This stretch of the KVR is only 9K, but it packs a lot of breathtaking scenery into a short ride. It would have been even more exhilarating had they not put handrails where you bike across the towering trestles.
You’ll go through two tunnels and cross 18 trestles. I have great admiration for the engineers and workers who built this RR with 1916 technology. You’ll see hand-fitted loose rock retaining walls at the ends of most trestles.
In the book Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway, the author talks about the early days of Dynamite…”was just starting to be used when the KVR was being built. Its use presented a major problem in that the dynamite readily froze under winter conditions. Due to the carelessness and lack of experience many fatalaties resulted from workers attempting to quickly heat dynamite in frying pans.”
You can access the Myra Canyon from either end, but both involve driving on washboard gravel roads reminiscent of the Spray Lakes road south of Canmore. It’s worth the inconvenience and teeth-rattling trip to see and ride this stretch of historic railbed, and the roads are only a short distance. Either approach is about a half-hour drive from Kelowna.