Kelowna Hiking Information
Head south from downtown on Lakeshore Road and stay straight at the fork on to Chute Lake Road. Once on the gravel road, go about 7 km and watch for an old dirt road on the right. Take this road to an old sawmill site and park. About 1/2 km after you cross the creek past the old cabin, cliffs will come into view on your left. You can hike down to the bottom of the cliffs (about 300 feet high). The trail leads up to the cliff top at the north end. Depending on where you left your car, it's about a 6.5 km walk. The view from the cliff top is beautiful at about 2,500 feet.
Wild Horse Canyon
Take Lakeshore Road to its end, about 16 km south and west of Kelowna. Park on the right. The trail goes off on the left. Walk about 3 km and cross a creek, then continue on an uphill road another 5 km to the canyon. You can walk through the canyon to Okanagan Lake and back (total about 22 km) or climb the gully (this is the west wall) in the main canyon and return via ridges and the rim north of the canyon. The trail gradually descends and heads back to the trail by the creek. An alternative is to leave the canyon in the middle and angle uphill southeast to the two little lakes! When you get there, drop down past the lakes to Good Creek Canyon and follow the creek for about 3 km. Head north through the old Kettle Valley Railway station and head downhill on the slopes facing the lake. You'll regain the trail at the bottom.
Follow McCulloch Road East from Kelowna and turn left on Field Road just past Gallagher's Canyon Golf Course. It's about 1 km to the parking lot. You can walk any distance from 3 to 15 km. Okanagan Mountain - Take Lakeshore Road south from Kelowna past where the pavement ends and park in the lot on the right. Look for a chained gate on the left and take that road to the summit. The view is excellent and the elevation is 5,158 feet.
Drive Lakeshore Road south, past the end of the pavement. Look for dirt roads going off to the left. These are all suitable for walking. Vegetation is thick near Lakeshore Road but thins out after several hundred feet of elevation. This is an excellent area for almost unlimited off-trail hiking. To get back, simply head downhill to Lakeshore Road, but be aware of private property.
Black Knight Mountain
Follow Highway 97 north through Kelowna and turn right at Hwy. 33. About 8 km east of Rutland, turn left on Pyman Road and keep to the right. You can either drive or walk the road (about 6.5 km) to the Forest Lookout Tower at the top (elevation 4,205 feet). You'll get an excellent view of Kelowna and the surrounding area from the top of this mountain.
Big White Mountain
Take Hwy. 33 out of Kelowna to the Big White turnoff. Drive to the parking lot at Big White Ski Resort and park there. You can walk up the Alpine area of the mountain but be sure to keep the lift towers in view both coming and going. The best time of the year for this hike is August to see the Alpine flowers. The maximum elevation is 7,600 feet.
Kettle Valley Railway
This is an easy hike with a gorgeous view of Myra Canyon and the Valley. There are several accesses.
1) For Myra: Follow K.L.O. Road to McCulloch Road, which you follow past the pavement. About 2 km after the pavement ends, you'll come to a clearing where power lines cross above the road and on the right is the Myra Forest Service Road. Follow this road for 8 km and look for the parking area. The trestles are about a 15 minute walk.
2) For June Springs: Follow K.L.O. Road to McCulloch Road and go right onto June Springs. This road is windy and takes some unpredictable turns. Be alert! June Springs Road turns into Little White Forest Service Road. The KVR cuts across this road and looks like another dirt road at this point. There is a small parking area on the left and that is the direction to Myra Canyon and the trestles. The first trestle is about 2 km from this point. For Chute Lake: Follow Lakeshore Road south from Kelowna and go straight onto Chute Lake Road. Turn left onto Hedeman Road and right onto Gilliard Forest Service Road. The KVR crosses but looks like another dirt road. Park in this area and walk about 5 km to your left to reach the first trestle.
Rose Valley Reservoir
Follow Hwy. 97S west from Kelowna and turn right onto Bartley Road, just past Byland's Nursery. Stay on Bartley until you cross a cattle guard and then park. Start walking on the main trail and stay on it until you reach a sign that shows the route to Rose Valley Reservoir. About 2 km along this road you will reach the southern end of the reservoir. Walk on your left (west) side of the reservoir to the north end (about 3 km). You can cross the creek at that end and hike back to your car. Be aware that the last bit is a steep downhill section.
Blue Grouse Mountain
Take Hwy. 97 south of Kelowna and the first right after the bridge onto Westside Road to the junction with Bear Creek Main by Trader's Cove. Turn left on Bear Creek Main and follow it for about 3 km. Look for a sign that says "Grouse Mountain No. 1" on the right. Park near the sign and hike 6.5 km to the top. The elevation is 4,194 feet and the view is excellent.
Follow Hwy. 97 south from Kelowna and turn right on to an old road about 1.5 km past Gorman's sawmill. Walk up the road to a power line clearance and turn left. Head south for about 1 km on the clearance and watch for a hill on the right. Hike up the hill, down the other side and up the next ridge. The maximum elevation is 2,800 feet and the view is good.
From Kelowna go south on Hwy. 97 and turn left on Daimler Road. Go right onto East Boundary Road and park. Trails leave from the road.
Head south from Kelowna on Hwy. 97 and turn right onto Bartley Road. Follow Bartley Road and watch for an old road going off to the right about 6.5 km. Hike to the top of the ridge due east. The east view is excellent and the maximum elevation is 2,800 feet.
Bear Creek Road
Turn right off Hwy. 97 south to Westside Road and turn left onto Bear Creek Road (NOT Bear Creek Main) and continue well past the end of the pavement. After the road turns west into the valley proper of Bear Creek, watch for a cattle guard. Park here and hike up the steep hill to the left. There is no trail. An alternative is to drive further down the road, about 3 km past a steep gorge area and look for an old logging road going off to the left. Park your car and hike the road to its end. Climb to the top of the hill, which will take you to the top of the plateau, north of Hayman Lake. The maximum elevation is 4,000 feet. This trail is recommended for experienced hikers.
Kettle Valley Railway.
A must for the serious hiker as you walk across railway trestles for a view of the Okanagan's beauty. Information at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.
Knox Mountain Nature Park.
A must for hikers, sightseers and picnickers visiting Kelowna. North end of Ellis Street.
BEFORE YOU GO
If an outing into the great Okanagan wilderness is on the agenda for your next vacation, a little advance planning is in order to ensure you enjoy a safe, worry-free and fun time.
Never venture out without first making sure you possess the right gear. Number one on your list should be a good topographical map of the area you're planning to explore. Although many of the trails are marked, it's easy to get lost or venture into uncharted terrain.
Next you want to have the appropriate clothing and footwear so you're comfortable during your outing.
Last but certainly not least please observe some rules and common courtesies for your own safety and to keep British Columbia beautiful. Exercise extreme caution at all times, and remember that the higher up you go, the thicker the vegetation, which makes the terrain much more rugged. And the weather can often be very different in higher elevations so be prepared if you dare to venture in those parts.
Remain on well marked trails so you don't get lost or destroy untouched terrain and always give logging trucks the right of way. Bring food, water and emergency supplies, but remember to take everything with you when you leave.
Have a great time in the beautiful Okanagan Valley !
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