Another adventure in our series hiking mountains with loud eyesore communications towers on top but we do it anyway.
Okanagan Mountain is a feast of adventure including hiking trails, camping, and exploring. If you are like me then the rule of thumb is it’s not conquered unless you get to the summit. Don’t be fooled though – the Okanagan Mountain summit hike is full of deception. The trail up is a boring service road, there is barely a view from the top, and at the summit exists the loudest communication tower complex in the Okanagan. Take this recommendation – Any other trail in this provincial park is more scenic and worthwhile.
The following is for all who don’t heed the warnings and want the summit anyway.
Directions To Trailhead:
For the main trailhead, follow Lakeshore Rd along Okanagan Lake nearly as far south as it goes. For the most direct route to the summit, take the CN trail which merges with divide lake trail. It is also possible to park and start at the end of Rimrock Rd which is the start of divide lake trail. The trail winds up the mountain to divide lake and campground which is a stone’s throw from the summit.
Another options is to access the park from the south (Naramata). A loop including the Mountain Goat trail, Fredrick Creek trail, and part of Wildhorse Canyon trail makes for a better trail experience (as opposed to divide lake trail mentioned above which feels like walking on a comms tower service road- wait it is!).
Distance from downtown Kelowna to Official Trailhead: 18km
Walking time (to summit): 6-8 hours round trip
Trail Length: 25km round trip
Elevation gain: 1175m
GPS: Not necessary
Easy to Keep on Trail: yes
In 1950 a plane on route to Penticton from Vancouver crashed on Okanagan Mountain. The story of the crash, survival, and rescue is one of the Okanagan’s best moments in history. Read more HERE. It is possible to explore the crash site and there are numerous parts of the plane to inspect. The wreckage lies not far off the trail to the summit of OK Mountain but some serious bushwhacking is required. This adventure is best paired with an overnight campout on the mountain.