Christie Falls is an absolute gem, hidden in the hills near Kelowna. It’s nestled on the backside of Terrace Mountain, overlooking a portion of the Fintry Protected Area. The whole area is at a higher elevation (1200m ish) which makes it a definite summer activity. From the parking area, it is about an hour to get down to the falls. The hike starts out as a gentle stroll through a lush forest, brilliantly green from new growth pushing up around the recently burned forest.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to find the top of the falls. The thrill of danger hits as you approach the cliff face – it is possible to perch at the top of the falls and gaze right down as it tumbles into the ravine. Going back to the main path, it is possible to descend to the base of the falls. The adventure is mostly family-friendly but expect some manoeuvring by ropes in this downhill section. In the gorge below the falls there is a giant rope swing and ample opportunity to get wet and explore behind the falls. There are various caves and side trails holding secrets for those who take the time to thoroughly explore.
Directions To Trailhead:
Take Westside Rd in East Kelowna right after the bridge. 4.5 km later turn left onto Bear Lake Main Road and 11.5 km after, that take a right onto Esperson Forest Service Road (not far past BurnCo). Both of these roads are not clearly signed. As the journey progresses, the road gets worse but it is still possible in a small car. When you see Big Horn Lake on the left (the first lake you see), start looking right for Terrace Mountain Road (should be a sign saying ‘Christie’ here). There are logger markers along the road and after logger marker 27 there will be a left turn and a Christie Falls sign. The parking area is another 2km or so from here.
Time from downtown Kelowna to Trailhead: 45 minutes (around 40 km)
Walking time: 2-3 hours
Trail Length: 4km round trip
Elevation gain: 80m
GPS: Not necessary
Easy to Keep on Trail: yes