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Your Local Guide to Hiking in Kelowna

Posted on August 1st, 2021 in The Shore Recommends

Known for its warm summers and mild winters, Kelowna is an ideal destination year-round. With these favourable conditions, you’ll be able to get outdoors and enjoy your favourite activities whenever you please. 

For many, vacation means spending your days at the beach, drinking and eating good food while soaking in the quality time with friends and family. But, for Kelowna locals, one of the best ways to get out and enjoy this beautiful area is to go hiking. 

While staying at The Shore, you don’t have to choose – you’ll always be close to these activities and more. Its proximity to hiking trails, beautiful wineries, sandy beaches, superb dining, and so much more means you can do everything you love in a single day. The best part? No matter where you go, you’ll never be far from your home-away-from-home at The Shore.

To help you get started on your next outdoor adventure, here are our top recommendations for hiking in Kelowna. 

Hiking in Kelowna

Knox Mountain 

🚶‍♂️ Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
🏞️ Scenery: Lake Views, Forested Trails
📸 Highlights: Paul’s Tomb, Apex Trail

Steps going down in the forest, while Kelowna hiking at Knox Mountain on the Lochview Trail
Hiking steps along the Lochview Trail at Knox Mountain

Located in the heart of Kelowna, Knox Mountain is a local favourite for outdoor activities. This staple of downtown Kelowna is a paradise for hiking, biking, running, tennis, and even disc golf. It has 15 well-marked and easy to access trails, multiple shade-providing pavilions, and stunning views of Kelowna and the surrounding areas. This makes it a prime area to hike in!

Of the 15 trails, Apex Trail and Paul’s Tomb Trail are the most popular. The Apex Trail stretches about 2 KM and is moderately difficult with a few steep sections along the way. At the top, you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views and a shade-providing pavilion to enjoy them from. 

Paul’s Tomb Trail, on the other hand, is a more family-friendly hike. Starting from the Apex trailhead, it travels a similar distance, but goes around the steep side of the mountain. It’s a nice and easy stroll by the lake that will take you down to a secluded beach area. Near the beach, you’ll pass the tomb of one of Kelowna’s pioneering families: The Pauls. A fun bit of history to accompany your hike!

Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park 

🚶‍♀️ Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
🏞️ Scenery: Historic Trestles, Mountain Vistas
📸 Highlights: Kettle Valley Rail Trail, 18 Trestles

Just a 10-minute drive from The Shore, Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park is another popular area for hiking in Kelowna. This expansive provincial park covers 52 hectares of protected land and includes some unique historical features, such as the Kettle Valley Railway and recovering burn zones from the 2003 wildfires. Located opposite Knox Mountain in the valley, the trails offer spectacular views of Lower Mission and downtown Kelowna from a different perspective. 

Although it’s most popular among mountain bikers, the Myra-Bellevue trail network has 16 trail options for hikers. Of the 16 trails, the Small Loop and Teddy Bear Loop are the most popular options and are also family-friendly hikes. 

The Myra-Bellevue Small Loop is a 6 km trail through a wide forested area and is rated as an easy-to-moderate challenge. Although lookout points are limited on this trail, the ecological diversity in the area will give you a lot to enjoy during your hike.

The Teddy Bear Loop is similar in length to the Myra-Bellevue Small Loop, but slightly more challenging. Meandering through the burn zone of the 2003 wildfires, this loop will take you on an interesting tour. There’s a moderate climb to start that levels out at the Teddy Bear Junction where you can enjoy views of Kelowna from the Rose Lookout. The remainder of the loop is relatively flat and shaded until a steep (but short) path down begins. 

When hiking in this area, be sure to know your route and pack a map. With this many trails and crossing paths, it can be easy to get turned around.

Crawford Falls

🚶‍♂️ Difficulty: Moderate
🏞️ Scenery: Waterfalls, Creek Crossings
📸 Highlights: Crawford Falls, Canyon Views

Crawford Falls is a hidden gem just a short drive from The Shore Kelowna. This moderate hike takes you through a beautiful forested area and rewards you with the sight of a stunning waterfall cascading into a deep canyon. It’s a perfect choice for a day trip, and the trail is suitable for hikers of varying skill levels.

Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park

🚶‍♀️ Difficulty: Challenging
🏞️ Scenery: Rugged Terrain, Lake Okanagan Views
📸 Highlights: Commando Bay, Divide Lake

For adventurous seekers, Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park is a must-visit. This park is home to some of the most challenging and rewarding hikes in the area. The trail to Commando Bay offers spectacular views of Lake Okanagan, while the hike to Divide Lake takes you through rugged terrain to a serene alpine lake. Be sure to come well-prepared, as these trails are not for the faint of heart.

Hiking Near Kelowna

Mount Boucherie

🚶‍♀️ Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
🏞️ Scenery: Volcanic Mountain, Sweeping Valley Views
📸 Highlights: Summit Views, Unique Geological Formations

Located in West Kelowna is Mount Boucherie, a 50 million-year-old extinct volcano. It’s a moderate 5.5 km climb to the top with many switchbacks and a few loose sections of trail. Hiking here is like stepping into a geological wonderland, with unique rock formations and remnants of volcanic activity. While it’s a challenging hike, the rewards at the top are absolutely worth it, making it a great choice for adventurers staying at The Shore Kelowna.

Wooden stairs while hiking the Canyon Rim Trail at Bear Creek Provincial Park in West Kelowna, BC.
Stairs while hiking the Canyon Rim Trail at Bear Creek.

Bear Creek Provincial Park

🚶‍♂️ Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
🏞️ Scenery: Creek Views, Forested Trails
📸 Highlights: Bear Creek Falls, Picnic Areas

NOTE: Bear Creek park is currently under an evacuation order and is closed to the public due to wildfire activity. Get up-to-date information from BC Parks and other official sources, such as the BC Wildfire Service. *September 2023
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Also located in West Kelowna, Bear Creek is another popular area for hiking. The park features a variety of trails (the longest of which is the 2.5 KM Canyon Rim Trail) that meander through lush forests and provide glimpses of the picturesque Bear Creek Falls. It’s an ideal place for a family-friendly hike, and there are also picnic areas where you can enjoy a post-hike meal amidst the natural beauty of the park. Bear Creek Provincial Park is a fantastic option for those looking for a peaceful outdoor escape without straying too far from the city.

Get Out and Stay In

No matter which hiking trail you choose to explore in Kelowna, you’re sure to be amazed by the natural beauty that surrounds you. And when you return to The Shore Kelowna after a day of adventure, you can unwind and relax in the comfort of our modern apartment-hotel. Our fully-equipped lakeside suites offer hotel-like amenities, with easy to access fitness studios, groceries and shopping. Cool down after a great hike with a dip in the lake and dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. 

We look forward to being your home base as you discover the wonders of Kelowna’s hiking trails. Remember to stay safe on the trails by following Leave No Trace principles, packing plenty of water and snacks, and respecting the environment. Enjoy your outdoor adventure in Kelowna!

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