Three Kelowna Summits Worth A Hike

There's nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment you get when you're standing on top of a mountain, the whole world laid out in front of you.


Unfortunately, Kelowna doesn't have that many prominent peaks, so finding a place where you can feel that feeling can prove to be a challenge. Thankfully, here are three peaks worth the reward near town.


Of note, all three of these hikes are going to be at least moderate in difficulty, and conditions on them can change rapidly. Be aware that while I'll mention the trailhead locations, you're probably going to want a car that's at least AWD and that you don't mind taking a bit of paint off of.


Little White Mountain


Length: 5 Hours, ~9.5km

Elevation Gain: ~600m

Difficulty: Moderate

Season: June-October




The Hike:


Within the Kelowna area, this is probably the most prominent peak you can hike. The summit is at 2,171m, or 7,123 feet and presents uninterrupted views of Kelowna, Big White and the whole Okanagan valley. There are two different routes to the summit, but I'll only be talking about one I would recommend, that being using the highland trail. The hike itself starts out steep, as you gain most of the 500m elevation in the first 2-3km. Eventually you reach the top of the plateau on the mountain and follow that until you reach the summit. The summit features 360 views of the valley below. As well, there is a little mountain top lake just down from the peak.


Getting There:

Getting to the parking lot is a challenge. Be prepared with a vehicle that has high clearance, and one that you don't mind getting a few bush scrapes on. Another option would to be to park before the main lot, and use ATV's to push the final few km's. We used a Ford Ranger to get in.


Here's a link to the trailhead location as well as correct directions on Maps.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/49.8513435,-119.4768858/49.700977,-119.289069/@49.6904804,-119.2131753,33468m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m10!4m9!1m6!3m4!1m2!1d-119.126195!2d49.757333!3s0x537d9a56218ee41f:0x40e37f907b13ee85!4e1!1m0!3e0



Notes:



- The lake at top is cold but super swimmable. If you're hiking on a nice day, be sure to bring a swimsuit.

- There's a picnic table near the lake too. Bring a lunch!

- Make sure to bring bear spray, this is a know bear area.

- You didn't hear it from me, but people have been know to mountain bike down all the way to Kelowna in the summer.


Terrace Mountain


Length: 3 Hours, ~10km

Elevation Gain: ~515m

Difficulty: Moderate

Season: June-October



The Hike:


There's not too much to be said about this hike. It's pretty much just a slog up the side of a mountain on an old forest service road. What it lacks in scenery on the hike up though it makes up for with its 360 degree views from the peak. Terrace mountain is one of the most prominent mountains in the area, so the view stretches on for miles.


Getting There:


The trailhead is off of some old forestry roads. You should have no issues getting there in an SUV or anything with high clearance. Directions to where to park are here:

https://goo.gl/maps/txVSrvanZ3eL8uz37


Notes:


- Since this is only a short hike, I would suggest also taking the time to do Christie Falls while you're in the area. It's a stunning waterfall with great views, and it's only about an hour round trip.

- The hike doesn't feature a lot of shade due to a forest fire a few years ago. Make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen.



Black Knight Mountain


Length: 4 Hours, ~12km

Elevation Gain: ~600m

Difficulty: Moderate

Season: April-November


The Hike:

Another road based climb, noticing a trend in the area? You being by following a private gravel road up to public land. Eventually the road switchbacks it's way up the mountain to the summit. At the summit you're greeted with amazing views of Kelowna and the valley below.


Getting There:


This one is easy to get to. Park off Highway 33 at Pyman Rd, and the make your way up the mountain. Directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/62tTm8CufwZgLcyt7


Notes:

- There are lots of game and side trails on the mountain. Be careful as some of them don't lead anywhere. There aren't really any shortcuts as far as I could tell.

- The road may have private property signs on it. Don't worry, the owner allows the public access as long as you stay on the road.







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