Spring is nearly upon us, which means it’s about time put on your hiking boots and head outdoors to enjoy what West Kelowna has to offer.
The Okanagan is teeming with hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty, so if you’re brand new to the hiking scene or a seasoned veteran looking for a new challenge, there’s something for everyone. Here are seven great trails in the West Kelowna area for you to enjoy.
1. Bear Creek Falls
Starting with the shortest hike, this trail in Bear Creek Provincial Park follows the rim of the canyon and is only about 2.6 kilometres in a loop. It’s difficulty is considered moderate, but the vegetation and waterfalls make it a scenic walk. Be sure to stop beneath the bridge for an impromptu picnic!
2. Glen Canyon Greenway
This trail is a bit longer at 3.9 kilometres, and offers easy to moderate difficulty. Those tackling the stairs at the south end of the trail, may argue those levels. The trail runs along Powers Creek, which makes it an enjoyable and scenic jaunt.
3. Carrot Mountain
Located in the Shannon Lake area and a stone’s throw from Tallus Ridge, this hike is a more challenging 4.72 kilometres. With a 57% incline, this trail has a pretty intense ascent and descent, but the views from the summit make it well worth the effort. This hike is best done in late spring once the runoff has gone down, since the excess water from the falls makes the trail more difficult.
4. Mt. Boucherie
There are several trails to choose from on Mt. Boucherie, from moderate walks to far more difficult excursions. If you want a decent hike, try the Eain Lamont loop, a 5.57 kilometre trail up the mountain that will offer a full panoramic view of the Okanagan valley at its summit.
5. City on the Edge of Forever
We’re getting into considerably more difficult hikes now, but the reward for ascending this 8.5 kilometre trek past the Rose Valley reservoir is worth it. A stone archway and spectacular views will help keep you going up the steep inclines to the best view of all, the final viewpoint at the top.
6. Blue Grouse Mountain
For the more experienced hiker that wants to see the entire Okanagan Valley from above, this 12.7 kilometre loop trail up Blue Grouse Mountain is for you. The trail is considered a hard hike, so newbie hikers might want to get some more trail time under their belts before attempting it. If you do make it to the top, you’ll be able to see as far north as Vernon and as far south as Penticton.
7. Hayman Lake Loop
The longest hike on our list at 14.7 kilometres starts out with a pretty gruelling ascent that does flatten out as you go along, taking you to Hayman Lake before turning around the way you came. This difficult hike offers some pretty stellar views of West Kelowna, downtown Kelowna, and the Okanagan Lake.