Little White Summit

Little White – the remote and undeveloped younger sibling of that other mountain.  This is one of the taller mountains in the Okanagan cracking the 2000m mark.  The summit area is a huge exposed slab of rock which makes for incredible 360 views.  Access to any of the trailheads requires some degree of off-roading so this is not your casual family day-hike.  This also implies that some planning is required and also choosing the appropriate season (July-October).

View from Little White summit
View west from Little White summit

Directions To Trailhead:

There are at least 5 different access routes for Little White – Hwy 33 / Okanagan Falls Rd, Little White forestry service road, Upper Crawford Trail, Highland Rim trail from Chute Lake, and Highland Rim trail from Hwy 33. The most straight forward trail to summit Little White on a day trip is Upper Crawford. From McCulloch Rd in south Kelowna turn onto the unpaved June Springs Forestry Service Rd and follow it all the way until it meets with the KVR (kettle valley railway) trail.

Little White as seen from KVR trail
Little White as seen from KVR trail before Bellevue Trestle

It gets a bit sketchy here but it is 100% possible with a regular car. Turn right onto the KVR – watch for cyclists 😉 Drive approximately 7km along the trail until you reach the Bellevue Trestle (as far as is possible to drive). Along this route you have to navigate through some tight spaces with rock walls on either side and some precarious narrow sections with no barriers on the cliff edge. As you approach Bellevue Trestle on the right, go straight and curve left up to where there is parking and the trailhead for the Upper Crawford Trail.

KVR from Ruth Station towards Bellevue Trestle
KVR from Ruth Station towards Bellevue Trestle (ie. drive this way)

The trail climbs steeply at first and after about 1km there is an abandoned Youth Corps camp. From here the trail is more gradual (mountain bikers use it) and at 5.5 km from the trailhead the path joins with the Little White Forestry Service Rd. Follow this or as the summit is clearly visible from here, make a beeline through the sparse vegetation.

Click on map for a higher res version
Standing on Little White summit
Standing on Little White summit

Distance from Kelowna to Upper Crawford Trailhead: 45 minutes
Walking time: 6-8 hours round trip
Trail Length: 16km round trip
Elevation gain: 930m
GPS: Not necessary but always a good idea for these remote hikes.
Easy to Keep on Trail: Yes, trail is well worn.

GPS Download: GPX | KML

View of Little White from Hayman Mountain
View of Little White behind Kelowna from Hayman Mountain

Technically this mountain does fall into our series hiking mountains with loud eyesore communications towers on top but we do it anyway but it is rather tactful so as to not take away from the hiking experience.

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1 Comment

  1. Just did this hike Aug 2018. The access road KVR you pretty much need a Jeep. The ruts are to deep for most cars and the washout combined with large rocks meant my truck could not navigate it. If you bring a bike how ever it’s super easy to ride and all flat hard pack. I saw touring bikes riding it.

    The trail is maintained but also over grown and when rainy well a good part of the path is a creek so I suggest going when it’s dry. It’s awesome mix of tress, bush, marshy, and more trees. It’s a climb the entire way up with very few flat or down hill.

    The hiking map shown I don’t think is 100% accurate near the end. You have to go past the junction to the summit of little white. An extra 1.5kms but you can see the towers sticking up anyways from the junction.

    I recorded 29.5kms with 1400m elevation change. The stopping before the end of the KVR added 6kms each way to my total distance.

    Best hike so far in the area. GPS, lots of water, and bear spray are good to have.

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