The Point of No Return

The Point of No Return

Safety is one of the key drivers of the ATV Club. We all share a love of the backcountry and want to ensure everyone makes it home safely after every ride.

This past weekend a Saturday evening ride started out perfectly with the small group enjoying the clear skies and warm evening temperatures. As the ride ventured up Bardolph Road it turned onto an old logging road that was new to the group. It was a postcard trail, the old roadbed was smooth and in great condition and followed a creek draw at a moderate incline through the cedar forest.

Enjoyment quickly turned to apprehension however because shortly after crossing the creek the trail narrowed and became steep and rutted. This section of trail was still passable though which encouraged riders to continue up the steep slope. The point of no return appeared after riders committed to continue upslope where a large exposed tree root created a 12″ vertical ledge on the already steep trail.

The side x sides and 2 up quads cautiously navigated the vertical ledge but the front end on single seater quad wouldn’t stay down without help from other riders in the group. This group was fortunate because the other riders were experienced, spotted the hazard and held the single seater quad to prevent it from flipping backward down the hill.

Inexperienced riders or someone riding by themselves would have been forced to make a split-second decision to try climbing the ledge or get stopped on the steep incline then somehow back down.

Identifying & Reporting Hazards
In the example above the ATV Club is going to place a sign warning riders of the steep hillclimb ahead so they have the opportunity to turn around in a safe area rather than being stuck in a dangerous situation on the steep hillside.

We want your assistance identifying potentially dangerous trails and hazards so they can be assessed and mitigated through signage, trail work and education.

Please share what you see while out riding by taking photos and providing a description of the location or send a GPS waypoint (if possible) to the Vernon ATV Club by email [email protected]via our website or Facebook.

Thinking About ATV Tracks?

Thinking About ATV Tracks?

A handful of Vernon ATV Club members have tracks on their quad or side x side, if you’re on the ATV Trail Riders Group you’ve seen photos and stories throughout the winter.

Inevitably the tracked rider ends up doing tow truck duty at various times when wheeled machines find the limits of how far they can go in the fluffy stuff.

Rescuing wheeled ATVers in the winter is only part of the gig, what are some of the pros and cons of ATV tracks?


  • Turns your quad, side x side or dirtbike into a 4 season toy. 
  • You only need to maintain/store/accessorize/insure 1 vehicle.
  • Tracks are less expensive and more reliable than many (most?) similarly priced sleds.
  • Allows access terrain unreachable or prohibited to wheeled machines (Vernon Snowmobile Association trails in Silver Star Provincial Park for example).
  • Gets you out on the mountains to be above the low valley cloud so common through Okanagan winters.


  • New tracks range in price from $3500-8500 so they’re definitely not cheap but you can often find deals on lightly used track kits in the classifieds.
  • Not terribly fast and not for steep slopes, you’ll never beat a sled here.
  • If you get a track machine stuck you’ve discovered what a 2000lb anchor looks like. 
  • Rough riding on hardpacked surfaces.
  • Tracks gear your machine down and pushing through snow creates a lot of resistance so you’ll use 25-50% more fuel to go the same distance.

Get in touch with the club by email if you have questions about tracks and watch upcoming emails for more stories about tracks before they’re safely stored away for the summer.

Welcome New Members!

Welcoming all quad and side x side riders in the North Okanagan Shuswap.

With thoughts turning to the trails we see a surge in new and renewing memberships at this time of the year. It’s time to park the sled, skis or snowboard and what better way to avoid yardwork than heading out riding with your ATV buddies.

If you’re new to ATVing or the area you’ve found the right club. Our members love riding, sharing their favourite trails, and protecting the backcountry we all enjoy so much. As soon as this COVID thing is figured out we’ll be back to hosting regular club rides too.

You can keep up with the club through these weekly emails, look back through past articles on our website at, or our Facebook Page.

We also encourage you to join the Vernon ATV Trail Riders Facebook Group where you’ll find people interested in riding, get answers to questions and see photos and ride stories.

If you have any questions get in touch with the club by email [email protected].

Welcome to the club, we’ll see you on the trails soon!

Hit the Trails for the Long Weekend

Warm weather continues to push the snow back on the trails enough to start getting back on 4 wheels.

A recent trip to Postill Lake rewarded with some open technical trails lower on the mountain and well traveled snow trails at higher elevations. The snow softened quickly in the afternoon so if you’re out riding this weekend remember to ride with some buddies while maintaining your safe COVID distance.

Think Safety
Our riders have an excellent safety record so keep up the great work and safe riding. Remember at this time of year morning conditions are usually icy and afternoon conditions leave machines high centred miles deep in the back country.