For panoramic views of the South Okanagan-Similkameen region, try strolling around Mt. Kobau’s summit.
Strolling Around Mount Kobau’s Summit
Mt. Kobau near Osoyoos, British Columbia, is best known for its annual ‘Star Party‘ – a group of astronomy enthusiasts who camp overnight every summer to take in the galaxy.
In the 1960s there was a plan to build a large telescopic observatory on Mt. Kobau’s summit because of its ideal climatic conditions. The idea did not come to fruition and the only remnant of the project is the nice road to up mountain.
While Mt. Kobau itself is not known for hiking, the two walks at the summit offer panoramic views of the entire South Okanagan. A well-maintained service road provides access to Mt. Kobau’s summit, which leaves little incentive to hike up the mountain. The best views are around the lookout area near the parking lot. A forest fire in 2015 burned down much of the forest, leaving clear views of the surrounding area.
One trail from the parking lot is the short 3.5km Chopaka loop that follows around the top of Mt. Kobau. The only other trail is the Summit trail, a 15-minute hike to Mt. Kobau’s summit. Both trails are relatively flat and pleasant, suitable for the whole family. There are stunning views from the summit lookout over the entire South Okanagan.
Mt. Kobau Summit Lookout
Directions To Trailhead:
Take Highway 3 West out of Osoyoos and follow for 10km. You’ll notice Mt. Kobau looming before you, one of the highest peaks in the area. Watch for a right turn off the highway onto a forestry road. Mt. Kobau is accessed by this active forestry road and it is in excellent condition. The service road winds up the mountain for 19km before terminating at a parking area which is also the trailheads for both hikes.
Distance from Osoyoos to Trailhead: 45 minutes
Walking time: 1.5-2 hours return
Trail Length: 2km (Summit Round Trip), 3.5km (Chopaka Loop)
Elevation gain: 35m
GPS: not required
Clear trail: yes