From waterfalls and rugged canyons to panoramic lake views, these ten trails to hike with kids in the Okanagan dish up some of nature’s best and are short enough to bring the whole family along for the ride.
A life of adventure, hiking and exploring doesn’t have to end when kids enter the picture. Kids have a way of finding new thrills and obscure wonders that adults have simply forgotten how to see. Hiking with kids in the Okanagan is a great way discover beautiful scenery, get exercise and make family memories together.
We’ve pulled together our favourite trails to hike with kids in the Okanagan, including maps and GPS coordinates to get you off on your family hiking adventure.
10 excellent trails to hike with kids in the Okanagan
1. Crawford Falls, Kelowna
Clocking in at two kilometres round-trip, the hike down to Crawford Canyon Falls is a perfect family affair. It is a steep descent into the valley, but newly-built stairways and railings make it safe and manageable for kids. Plus, you can’t beat a waterfall reward at the end.
2. Kuiper’s Peak
Kuiper’s Peak Mountain Park is a rocky outcrop in South Kelowna and a perfect outdoor play park. The whole area is void of trees because of the 2003 fire, but that makes for exceptional views of Lake Okanagan and the Okanagan Valley. There are plenty of opportunities to scramble and climb up jagged hills.
3. Paul’s Tomb
This easily accessible trail is good for hiking or biking. With isolated beaches and caves along the way, it’s the perfect hike for little adventurers. Take the trail from Knox Mountain, or use the lesser-known Lochview Trail.
4. Predator Ridge – Okanagan Lake Lookout Loop
This short trail located just off Highway 97 southwest of Vernon is perfect for the whole family. It offers sweeping views of the mountains to the west and Okanagan Lake.
5. Cedar Mountain
Cedar Mountain sits above the Mission area in Kelowna. A hike up the well-worn path offers a scramble up the final ascent and stunning panoramic views of Okanagan Lake.
6. Bear Creek Canyon Rim Trail
Located in West Kelowna, this popular walking trail loops around a gorge with a waterfall.
7. Cougar Canyon
Cougar Canyon in Vernon is all jagged rock, plunging canyon and beautiful views of Kalamalka Lake. The hiking trail is short, but the drop off to the canyon below at the top is steep – do keep kids within arms reach!
8. Scenic Canyon Regional Park
Marvel at some of Kelowna’s most fascinating geological wonders – Rock Ovens and Layer Cake Mountain. In recent years, the regional park has expanded new hiking trails with exciting names like Pinnacle and Black Bear. It’s a great walk for the whole family.
9. Mill Creek
Mill Creek Regional Park may be close to the airport and only 500 square metres in size, but don’t let that deter you. It packs a lot in a small space, including a raging waterfall. The trail is perfect for the whole family, including small kids and is open and walkable from March through November.
10. Mt. Kobau
If you’re interested in seeing the Okanagan Valley and the Similkameen region from 1500 metres, Mt. Kobau is your best choice with kids in tow. Drive to the summit on a well-graded forestry road and wander around the top where you can see the Okanagan Valley and the Similkameen region.
These are our top picks for family hiking in the Okanagan. Which are your go-to family walks and hikes?