Are long summer days and warmer weather beckoning you to go faster and farther? Visit Silver Star this summer to enjoy mountain biking, hiking, lakes, and great food. This charming mid-mountain village is a gateway to exploring the Monashee Mountain range and the lush Okanagan Valley below. Hit your personal best with these activity ideas in the Silver Star and Vernon area.
Silver Star Village
Stay in the mountains and wake up with the birds and the rising sun. Slopeside accommodation gets you closer to the action with ride-in, ride-out access to the bike park and an easy walk to hiking trails, eateries, and restaurants.
Two-Wheeled Fun: Mountain Biking
Silver Star might be home to Canada’s second largest bike park, but you don’t have to be an expert to give it a try. There are 139km (86 miles) of trails weaving through the colourful wildflowers and alpine foliage, serving mountain bikers with a varied mix of downhill, enduro, and cross-country disciplines. Never-evers can take a bike lesson with a pro, while riders with more experience can test their endurance and grit on the Beowulf trail, a 35-km (22-mile) XC EPIC loop named after a dragon-slaying Scandinavian warrior.
Hit the Trails: Hiking and Trail Running
Get up into the cool air and discover panoramic vistas of vineyard dotted valleys and distant mountain peaks. SilverStar Mountain Resort is home to 16 km (10 miles) of hiking trails, which showcase viewpoints, wildlife, and vibrant summer flora. Curate your own fitness adventure, whether it be a gentle meander along the Attridge Scenic Loop, a steep climb to the top of the Des Scheumann Summit Express Gondola, or a longer trail run that takes you to Paradise and beyond (spoiler alert: the views on this trail live up to its name).
Test Your Skills at Sporting Events
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to challenge your skills and add purpose to your holiday. Good thing there are a variety of running and biking events lined up at Silver Star for the summer ahead to keep you on your toes (or pedals).
The season kicks off on June 25 with the UTMB World Series Qualifier, Slay the Dragon, hosted by Bush Babes & Bros Trail Running. The opening weekend celebration also features a market, cultural programming, and a concert by Okanagan band, daysormay. The sold-out Women’s Bombshell Enduro on June 23, put on by the North Okanagan Cycling Society (NOCS), will be a great event to watch folks living their best bike life on the trails. Meanwhile, the highly-anticipated Crankworx Summer Series: SilverStar July 28-31 will be a weekend filled with biking, music, art, culture and great food, as riders compete for $30,000 in cash and prizing. You can go pedal-to-pedal with some of biking’s biggest names. Registration is now open.
Rest and Recovery
After all that activity, you may need to soothe your aching muscles. Since Silver Star is also a winter resort, many accommodations have hot tubs so you can go for a recovery soak with gorgeous views of the mountains. You can also book an RMT massage at Elevate Day Spa, located in the village. The spa focuses on Ayurveda principles of creating harmony between the five elements found in nature and the body.
Après and Dining Options
No mountain activity is entirely complete without an après—since you’ve worked up a calorie deficit and all. Swap adventure stories and meet friendly locals at one of the casual bars and eateries at Silver Star Village, where you can sample BC craft beer, Okanagan wine, and menus with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients (as well as plant-based options).
Head to the Red Antler, for happy hour specials and hearty pub fare. The Bulldog Grand Cafe has the largest covered patio in town, with an eclectic (and delicious) menu that includes “Dutch” Poutine, pub grub, and an extensive martini and cocktail list. Meanwhile, modern Black Pine Social has a fun and casual atmosphere to enjoy tasting plates, charcuterie, and West Coast fare, as well as an impressive menu of artisan cocktails, local wine, beer, and spirits.
Vernon and Surrounding Area
Silver Star is also a great launchpad to exploring the greater North Okanagan’s trails, lakes, and activities —all within a one-hour radius. What’s more, you can break up your playtime with stops at wineries, cideries, and farm stalls along the way.
Explore More Bike Trails
Extend your riding time in the interconnected web of mountain biking trails that spreads through the North Okanagan region. Pro tip: Hire a guide through Dialed Rides for insider knowledge and tips on where to go based on your riding style. Thanks to its passionate trail builders and volunteers, NOCS stewards a number of trail networks in the Vernon area, including the mini trail oasis of Becker Bike Park and the Kalamalka Provincial Park, as well as the Silver Star Sovereign Network. They also host regular socials and nurture a welcoming and inclusive mountain biking community. Be sure to donate to Trail Karma through Trail Forks to give back to this hard-working community and help fund future projects.
For a more mellow ride, rent electric bikes to journey along the Kalamalka Lake leg of the historic Okanagan Rail Trail, which features interpretive signage and viewpoints along the way as you look out at the “The Lake of a Thousand Colours.”
Plunge and Paddle
Speaking of lakes, there is an abundance of them between Vernon and Lake Country. Cool off from a hot day with a cold(ish) plunge in the lake—it’s great for resetting the nervous system to help with recovery after a big workout.
Meanwhile, Vernon-based Kalavida Surf Shop is the heartbeat of the local paddling community. Rent a stand-up paddleboard and take a SUP lesson to learn safety and paddling tips from the experts. They can also share local knowledge about secret paddling spots and how to get there.
Tee Off in the Valley
There’s a reason why professional athletes golf in the off season: it helps improve eye-hand coordination and is a great way to get outside on recovery days. Vernon is home to six golf courses, including two spectacular courses on the lush, granite-fringed greens of Predator Ridge Resort.
Whether you’re grinding it out on the cross-country track or meeting marmots on the trail at a wandering pace, Silver Star offers just the right balance of variety, challenge, and most importantly: fun!
Photo Credits: Greg Huszar/Tourism Vernon, Robb Thompson, Dave Heath, SilverStar Mountain Resort, Elevate Spa, Tourism Vernon, Destination BC/Andrew Strain, Predator Ridge Golf Course