Looking for your next BC-based winter adventure?

      

The Okanagan Valley sits in the southern interior of British Columbia and stretches for about 200 kilometres from the Washington border up toward Vernon, BC. Known for its sunshine, orchards and vineyards, tourists flock to Okanagan Valley to relax on sandy shores and dip in refreshing lakes. Come winter, however, life in the Okanagan Valley slows down and cooler temperatures transform the valley into a winter wonderland beckoning adventurers to explore and play outside.

As an Okanagan Valley local, I am going to share my top 10 must-do winter hikes in the Okanagan Valley that are family-friendly and loved by locals. The list will start at the north end of the Okanagan Valley and finish in the south.

       

Rattlesnake Point Trail

Vernon, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 2.7 km out-and-back
Time: 45 minutes
Elevation Gain: 70 m

Why it's awesome: An easy-going trail that offers one amazing view after another.

Rattlesnake Point Trail, located in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, is a well-trodden trail that starts from the upper parking lot and gently weaves through Ponderosa Forests before overlooking the emerald waters of Kalamalka Lake. This trail is named after the many rattlesnakes that like to sunbathe on this trail, which is thankfully not a concern in the winter.

How do I get to the trailhead? Park in the upper parking lot at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park and look for the kiosk trail map and signs for Rattlesnake Point.

Distance from Vernon: 9.5 km

Read more: BC Parks: Kalamalka Lake

 

BX Creek Trail

Vernon, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 6 km out-and-back
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 166 m

Why it's awesome: Waterfall chasers will delight in this hidden North Okanagan gem.

BX Creek Trail follows BX Creek as it flows through a forest of towering western red cedars along the valley floor. This unique trail has steep stairs, multiple bridges, waterfalls and moderately technical terrain in places. Near the beginning of the trail, take the right fork to see the main waterfall and then return to complete the out-and-back trek.

How do I get to the trailhead? The parking lot is located at 7025 Tillicum Road.

Distance from Vernon: 9 km from the city centre.

Read more: RDNO: BX Creek Trail

 

Myra-Bellevue: A Deer’s Tale

Kelowna, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 1.7 km loop
Time: 35 minutes
Elevation Gain: 50 m

Why it's awesome: An easy kid-friendly interactive trail that meanders through the open Ponderosa forest.

Myra-Bellevue Park is known for its expansive network of trails that are frequented by hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders—this park has something for everyone. For an easy introduction to this area, A Deer’s Tale, a short interpretive loop marked by sixteen information stations, is a great kid-friendly or beginner-adventurer trail to get you started.

How do I get to the trailhead? Park at the trailhead located at the end of Stewards Road East in Kelowna and look for the interpretive trail sign just past the kiosk.

Distance from Kelowna: 11 km

Read more: Myra Bellevue Park

 

KLO Creek

Kelowna, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 10 km to Angel Springs, out-and-back
Time: 3 hours and 25 mins
Elevation Gain: 460 m

Why it's awesome: A serene trail that follows a creek through mature trees flanked by towering rock faces.

KLO Creek Trail follows a flowing creek through a forest of western red cedars, Douglas fir, western larch and lodgepole pine while flanked by towering rock faces on both sides. This trail has been gaining popularity among hikers, dog walkers and rock climbers, but it’s still considered to be a hidden gem by locals. The trail stretches for just over five kilometres to Angel Springs and then connects to the Myra-Bellevue trail network. I typically meander along the creek for a couple of kilometres and turn back.

How do I get to the trailhead? Trailhead is located along McCulloch Road, 700 metres past Field Road on the right-hand side.

Distance from Kelowna: 14.5 km

Read more: KLO Creek Regional Park

 

Boucherie Rush Trail

West Kelowna, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 6 km
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 300 m

Why it's awesome: A steep climb to the top of an extinct volcano provides an expansive view of the Okanagan Valley.

If you are looking for a grind and magnificent views of the Okanagan Valley, then the Boucherie Rush Trail is worth the effort. The well-maintained switchback trail offers a steady climb up the western slope of Boucherie mountain, an extinct volcano and the focal point of West Kelowna to overlook Kelowna, West Kelowna, Okanagan Lake and beyond.

How do I get to the trailhead? Look for the small parking lot located along East Boundary Road.  

Distance from West Kelowna: 10 km from the city centre.

Read more: Visit Westside: Boucherie Rush Trail

 

Kalamoir Regional Park Loop

West Kelowna, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 3.5 km
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 97 m

Why it's awesome: A short easy hike along Okanagan Lake gives spectacular views of the valley.

Kalamoir Park is a favourite among locals even in the winter months. This 30.7-hectare park lies along the shores of Okanagan Lake and offers several short trails to explore.

How do I get to the trailhead? In the winter, the vehicle gate is closed to reduce maintenance on the narrow road. To get to the trailhead, park along Collens Hill Road and walk past the gate to the parking lot below.

Distance from Kelowna: 9 km from the city centre.

Read more: RDCO: Kalamoir Regional Park

 

Glen Canyon Greenway Trail

Kelowna, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 4 km
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: Approx. 90 m

Why it's awesome: A picturesque hike along a canyon creek to a bridge overlooking a waterfall.

Glen Canyon Greenway Trail follows the pristine Powers Creek as it tumbles down towards Okanagan Lake. The trail has several flights of stairs, a few bridges, a lovely lookout and a bridge overlooking a 24-metre waterfall. If it’s cold enough, the creek and waterfall freeze into a unique ice formation.

How do I get to the trailhead? The trailhead parking lot is located at 4258 Gellatly Road South, West Kelowna, BC.

Distance from Kelowna: 16 km from the city centre

Read more: City of West Kelowna: Glen Canyon Regional Park

 

Gladstone Trail

Peachland, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 4.5 km
Time: Approx. 1.5 hour
Elevation Gain: 265 m

Why it's awesome: A moderately challenging trail that gets you great views of Okanagan Lake.

Tucked away in the hills above Peachland, Gladstone Trail climbs through a Ponderosa pine forest to sweeping views of Peachland and Okanagan Lake. There are markers but if you tend to get turned around easily, I suggest using a map like the one on AllTrails for this area.

How do I get to the trailhead? The trailhead is located at Victoria Street and Harrington Crescent, about 2.7 kilometres at the turn-off from Highway 97 and Princeton Avenue in Peachland, BC.

Distance from Peachland: 2.7 km

Read more: RDCO: Kalamoir Regional Park

 

Giant’s Head: The Grind

Summerland, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 3.8 km out-and-back
Time: 60 minutes
Elevation Gain: 275 m

Why it's awesome: A short heart-pumping grind to breathtaking panoramic views of the Okanagan Valley.

Giant’s Head is an extinct volcano situated in the heart of Summerland. There are several trails to the top, but The Grind offers the quickest and steepest ascent to the top where you can enjoy panoramic views of Summerland, Okanagan Lake and Penticton.

How do I get to the trailhead? The parking lot is located at 9296 Milne Road, Summerland, BC.

Distance from Summerland: 2 km from the city centre

Read more: Visit Summerland: Giant’s Head Mountain Park

 

Naramata Creek Falls

Penticton, BC

Josée Bergeron

Distance: 1.8 km
Time: 30 minutes
Elevation Gain: 70 m

Why it's awesome: A magical micro-adventure along a creek to a cascading waterfall.

Naramata Creek Falls is a hidden gem located just before the small town of Naramata, BC. The trail is short but leads to a cascading waterfall. This trail is one of my kids’ favourites in the Okanagan Valley, however, only the first part of the trail is maintained and there are some forks along the way.

How do I get to the trailhead? The turnoff to the trailhead is easy to miss. Look for a green “Creek Park” sign located along Naramata Road. If you’ve veered left onto Robinson Road, you’ve missed it.

Distance from Naramata: 3 km

Read more: RDCO: Kalamoir Regional Park

      

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