Rose Valley is the closest and most accessible set of trails from West Kelowna. Think of it as the east side’s Knox Mountain. There are numerous trails enjoyed by cyclists and downhill mountain bikers as well as lots of trails for hikers. Hikers should first head toward the summit in Rose Valley Regional Park. This can be accessed from either of the main entrances on Westlake Road. Just park and head upwards – the Bitterroot trail is the loop around the summit area.
Another great trail (but much longer on foot) is the Lake Loop trail around Rose Valley Lake. The highlights of the trail are climbing up in elevation on the north side of the lake and then exploring the peninsula at the south side. This it a moderate trail for cross country cyclists and is a popular route for walkers and bikers.
Park at the end of Rosewood Drive (see below) and walk or cycle down the road towards the dam. Just after a bend in the road to the right, the trail begins to incline towards the dam. Take one of the small paths here heading up to the left before reaching the dam (or take a pleasant detour to the dam first). From here the downhill biking community has named the trails – start looking for the Lake Loop trail and follow that the rest of the way.
For a half day hike around the lake, continue on the lake loop trail to the peninsula area where there are great views of Hayman Mountain looming above and even some beaches for swimming. From there continue up the slope and head back to the start, via either RSVP or Bear Bones trail, hiking over the rose valley summit. Alternatively, there are 2 exit points along here both described below – the north end of Rose Valley Lake (Rose Valley Rd access) or near the peninsula (W Kelowna Rd access).
Directions To Trailhead:
There are a few places to access rose valley. For the main entrance(s), just take Westlake Road (NOT Westside Road) off of Hwy 97 and follow the clearly positioned signs. There are two parking lots along here before you hit Rose Valley Elementary, separated by a few hundred meters. Both have access to the summit but the second one, closer to the school, makes for a shorter climb to the top.
The best entrance for cycling or the Lake Loop is at the end of Rosewood Drive, just off Westlake Road near the main entrance. The unpaved McDougall Service Road continues past a gate to Rose Valley dam. For a back entrance, continue on Westlake Road past the main entrance and turn left on W Kelowna Road. At the end of the road there is a trail that leads around the north side of the Rose Valley hills and down to the peninsula that juts out into the lake.
A final entrance (or exit) can be accessed by taking Westside Road just after the bridge and then turning left on Bear Creek Road. Zig-zag up keeping right so as NOT to turn on to Parkinson Rd. At the next 4-way intersection, turn left onto Rose Valley Road. Park at the end of this road and the trail to the left leads to the north end of Rose Valley Lake.
Distance from downtown Kelowna to Trailhead: 20 minutes
Walking time: 1-1.5 hours (for summit), 3-5 hours for Lake Loop depending on route (half that if biking)
Trail Length: 2km round trip (summit), 10.5km (Lake Loop from access at Rosewood Dr. to W Kelowna Road access)
Elevation gain: 80m
GPS: Not necessary for summit but helpful for other trails including Lake Loop
Easy to Keep on Trail: easy for summit trail but the rest on the north side of the lake have less markings.