Whether it’s summer or winter, hiking the Okanagan offers spectacular views and even better exercise. Some of these best hikes are located in the surrounding mountains of West Kelowna, offering a variety of skill levels so everyone can find a trail to match their ability. Here are five of the best hikes you should absolutely give a shot.
Rose Valley came to be after glacial ice melted from Okanagan Lake and formed a channel in the land creating interesting rock formations resulting in a valley with stunning views. It’s also fairly easy to access with close proximity to the Tallus Ridge community. Three main trails compose this network of hikes: City on the Edge of Forever, Summit Loop, and Perimeter Loop. The Summit Loop is the easiest out of the three, but is still considered to be a moderate level of difficulty. The other two offer much more of a challenge, but with no less breathtaking views. The City on the Edge of Forever debatably has the best reward of the three, offering the ability to see out over all of both West Kelowna and Kelowna with a view that seems to go on, well, forever.
Mount Boucherie formed as a result of a volcano that used to be over 6500 feet tall, but after erupting now sits at a still impressive 2600 feet. This network of trails offer some of the most challenging hikes on this list, but for those looking for something less difficult the Eain Lamont Loop is only a moderate challenge. For people who want a true challenge, check out the Highway Side Ascent which is the most heart-pumping hike on the trail network. However, you will be rewarded with some truly outstanding views. If you’re looking to shoot some awesome photos, make sure to climb the trails around dawn or dusk, just be careful since it may be more challenging to see where you’re going with less sunlight.
Although this trail network is somewhat crisscrossed, that’s primarily due to the old log flume network that used to be in place there. In fact, there are still some remnants of the flume in certain spots which can make for some great photos. The hike itself is only moderate in difficulty and can be accomplished as a round trip in about two hours, making for a great workout thanks to three sets of stairs and relatively steep inclines.
No matter which trail you pick on Carrot Mountain (although you might also hear it referred to Davidson Creek) you will find yourself panting from the challenge. The two main trails are the East Loop and Lost Loop and both have spectacular waterfalls to check out. Neither will take longer than about three hours to complete as a round trip.
Finally, Bear Creek is an easy hike but has some remarkable sights along the way. There are several notable waterfalls in the area as you hike along the trail. It’s also the fastest hike on our list as the loop can be accomplished in under an hour. This makes it a great choice for a family hike. You’ll also often hear (and maybe even see) tree frogs and crickets, but be careful, the area is also known for wildlife like rattlesnakes, coyotes, and bears (oh my!).
What are your favourite hiking spots in West Kelowna?