Park Here: 4693 Ponderosa Dr, Peachland
Public Transport: Bus 70 from Queensway Exchange (Kelowna) takes you to Peachland
Hike Distance: 3.6 km round trip
Elevation Gain/Loss: 245 m
Hike Duration: 1.5 hours
What makes it moderate? Steep sections and quick elevation gain
Trail Website: peachland.ca
Looking to take in some of the best views in the Okanagan Valley? Look no further than Pincushion Mountain Trail. Straight up the mountain you go! This hike could be perfectly described as a quick change in elevation on a moderately challenging trail, leading to mind-blowing views overlooking Peachland and Okanagan Lake. But the mountain is much more than that. It's iconic for its breathtaking scenery and photogenic qualities. It's legendary for its unique name and place in history. It's patriotic for its firmly planted Canadian flag. But most of all, Pincushion Mountain is a great representation of the true beauty that the Okanagan Valley has to offer.
At this point you're probably wondering, “why the name, Pincushion?” The story goes that a wildfire in the early 19th century completely scorched the top of the mountain. This left nothing but burnt trees that from below resembled pins in a cushion, hence the name, Pincushion.
Finding the Trailhead
Getting to the entrance of the trail is easy, but will require transportation, unless you already live nearby in Peachland; in that case, congratulations, you've already made it to heaven!
Just a short drive up the hill on Ponderosa Drive from Highway 97 takes you to the trailhead parking lot. The lot can fill up quite quickly, so try to get there early, if possible.
The Hike Itself
The trail is well-marked with plenty of signage and arrows to point you in the right direction.
Starting out at the trailhead, we had to ascend a steep wooden staircase that quickly turned into a dirt trail.
Around ten minutes into our hike, there was a slightly confusing section where the trail meets up with a dirt road. We took a right and headed through a large boulder field until we found the signage indicating the trail.
About an hour into our hike (and a good amount of calories burned), we reached the summit of Pincushion Mountain. Up top, we found plenty of great spots to take photos and enjoy the scenery in privacy. You can't miss the lookout with the Canadian flag and the picnic table where you can relax and take in the panoramic views overlooking gorgeous Okanagan Lake.
Before You Go:
- Pincushion Mountain borders a vast wilderness area; there is wildlife in the area. Be cautious of black bears and rattlesnakes. Carry bear spray.
- You may want to consider bringing a pair of hiking poles as the trail has some steeper sections that could get slippery.