Estekwalan was a bit of a gamble. We had no idea what to expect.
The road up the mountain is definitely sketchy, so get ready for that. There is a clear trailhead and no time is wasted before heading straight up. After this uphill section (500m+ up) there is a sharp precipice to the west and an incredible view off the cliff. From there it is a wonderful walk around a bowl-like ridge, skirting the summit unfortunately. The landscape is very interesting and there are unique features like huge cracks and colourful rock formations.
The trail is quite poor at the end, nose-diving way too steep down the mountain to meet the forestry road at the bottom near the parking area.
Directions to Trailhead:
From Vernon, head north and take the exit for Kamloops. Just after the town of Falkland, turn right onto Dump road. Keep left before the landfill onto Rob Roy FSR and navigate up the switchbacks (4×4 recommended). The road will plateau after 7km and there is a clear area to park.
The entire hiking loop is around 9km and there is a short section of road to walk on at the end to complete the loop.
Vernon to Trailhead: 1 hour (45km highway, 8km forestry road)
Return time: 4 hours
Trail Length: 9km
Elevation gain: 550m
GPS: Not essential but useful
Easy to stay on trail: yes