Kelowna boasts a number of amazing trails in the area. We are absolutely spoiled when it comes to choices for where to visit each weekend. While I tend to enjoy hikes farther afield than Kelowna, there is no denying that there are some special places here. These are my favorite three to visit right now.
Crawford Falls (Also known as Canyon Falls) is my most frequented trail in Kelowna. My favorite hikes are ones that have something special at the end, like a reward for actually getting out there and hiking. Waterfalls, in my opinion, are the best reward. The actual hike down to the falls is quite short but steep in some areas. In the last couple of years, the city has made improvements to the trail, with staircases in two areas. When I first started frequenting this trail, the endpoint to get down to the falls featured a sketchy ladder that was chained in place. The falls itself isn't huge but so beautiful for being found so close to the city. During spring run-off is the best time to visit, as the water will be flowing more. Though the falls turn to a trickle in the summer months, it is still a refreshing hike, to enter the canyon and get away from the heat. Visiting during the winter is a different experience altogether as the waterfall freezes and creates a very cool formation.
Crawford Falls is one of my favorite places to practice photography. Every time I visit I capture something new or work to improve my long exposure photography. I still haven't captured the exact image I want here yet, so I'll keep visiting till I do!
Angel Springs (from the June Springs access) is a 4km trail that takes you through a beautiful forest with a diverse range of fauna. This is a fun trail to explore in different seasons because the scenery (and water levels) becomes drastically different as the year goes on. We traversed part of this trail in May when it was harder going because there was so much water puddled on the trail, or flowing down it. We had to find ways to skirt around it, but it made the hike more challenging and fun. I regret not making it to the spring as the water flowing at that time would have been beautiful. The Springs at the 'end' (You can technically go farther, but the trail isn't well marked beyond that point) of the trail is really what this trail is all about for me. It is a very zen place, that is close to the city but also feels far away. I could spend a lot of time there exploring or relaxing and taking in the surrounding forest.
Spion Kop is a new hiking area for me, I went for the first time only a few weeks ago, but I can definitively say it will become a favorite. Spion Kop offers a network of trails in Lake Country, all with varying difficulty. We opted for a route that was medium in difficulty but would lead us to the summit for the amazing view. The panorama view here is special because you are able to see three of Okanagan's lakes all while facing the same direction. Okanagan Lake, Ellison Lake, and Woods Lake. The spring was an especially perfect time to hike here because of all the balsamroot blooming along the trail, making the ascent that much better.
Despite only having hiked here once so far, I know it will become a favorite because I already want to go back to photograph more. The day we went, the sky was grey with clouds, and as soon as we made it back to the car it began to rain. Despite the weather though, we enjoyed the hike and view immensely. I would love to go back to photograph from the summit during sunrise and sunset. It is the optimal place for both which is amazing. I can't wait to get back out there this summer.
These are just a couple of trails I like to explore in the area. I have a long list of others I want to hike this summer, so hopefully, I will be able to add to this list!