With its ease of access and variety of trails, Rose Valley is a premier choice for hiking in West Kelowna. There are three main areas to the regional park – around the lake, east of the lake, and west of the lake. The most popular is east of the lake. First time hikers can 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.
Aside from the Lake Loop Trail which does what it says, there is a peninsula that juts out into the reservoir. This can be accessed from the W Kelowna Rd entrance. There are some beaches around the peninsula that make a great summer destination.
The last area (west of the lake) is the most rugged and most visited by the downhill biking community. There are some interesting rock formations to seek out along the trails – the Jabber Rocky and the Edge of Forever Arch.
To access the western portion of the park for trail access or just to walk to the Rose Valley dam, park at the end of Rosewood Drive (see below) and walk or cycle down the gravel road. 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 and there are excellent signs posted.
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.