Guidebook

Hike the Okanagan - Canada's Sunniest Valley

If you've ever wondered why the Okanagan Valley gets so much hype...Here are 3 good reasons!

Charlie Boscoe

Description

Sitting in the rain shadow of the nearby Cascade Mountains, the Okanagan Valley is the driest place in Canada and has a wonderful climate. Sunny, dry days are the norm here, with rain rare and prolonged wet weather even less common. In the unlikely event that it's raining when you visit, it shouldn't last more than a few hours!

The Okanagan valley is home to Kelowna - the 3rd largest city in British Columbia - and several other sizeable towns, but it's amazing how quickly you can escape into nature from any Okanagan settlement. You need only drive 15 minutes into the hills from any point in the Okanagan and you'll be in some pretty wild terrain! Bears, cougars and rattlesnakes all make their homes in the valley, and there is very little infrastructure outside the main valley floor.

The 3 hikes described here are all remarkably easy to access, and all feel disproportionately wild given their proximity to the urban world. To the north is probably the wildest of the hikes - the wonderful loop around Kalamalka Provincial Park. Coming south you'll find the Okanagan's most famous hike; the trip up Knox Mountain and down to Paul's Tomb. If you're going to do only one hike in the region, make it that one - the view from the summit of Knox is unique and utterly spectacular. The final trip listed here is the short but stiff trip to West Kelowna's Mount Boucherie, a peak surrounded by civilisation on all sides which still manages to feel remote and detached.

This selection is designed merely to whet your appetite for exploring the Okanagan and British Columbia. Given that BC is 1.5 times the size of France, you won't be short of options!

Mount Boucherie
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Mount Boucherie

1 - 2 hrs
4.8 km
305 m
305 m
A classic Okanagan peak offering a wonderful combination of nature and city
Moderate
Private
Knox Mountain and Paul's Tomb
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Knox Mountain and Paul's Tomb

2 - 3 hrs
8.1 km
394 m
394 m
Fabulous views on THE classic Kelowna hike.
Moderate
Private
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP's Editorial team.

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Loop

3 - 4 hrs
13.3 km
483 m
483 m
A fabulous journey through one of the Okanagan's finest parks.
Moderate
Private