Travel Photo Credit: Western Living

5 Amazing Okanagan Hikes

We asked hiking expert Josh Hoggan for the best trails in the Okanagan.

You literally can’t eat and drink all day—so to temper the nourishing bounty of the region, it’s time to take advantage of the Okanagan’s other main draw: it’s made for Instagram scenery. We tapped Josh Hoggan—a Langley native who grew up an introverted computer programmer in the Lower Mainland but became the Okanagan’s resident hiking authority when he moved to Kelowna. His website, hikingaddiction.ca, is the go-to source for anyone who spends their early Saturday mornings packing energy bars and plotting what forest to disappear into.

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Mountain Man: If there’s a crag, waterfall, cave or viewpoint in the Okanagan, Josh Hoggan knows how to hike to it.

1. Test Run Carrot Mountain Bluffs

Distance from Kelowna 10 minutes from downtown

Time 1.5–3 hours round trip

The Skinny I personally use this hike for training and to test other members of the group for a yearly benchmark. It’s a hike that has everything—a waterfall, a stunning vista, a gruelling uphill ascent and a giant boulder overhang for a view of West Kelowna.

2. Lava Life Mount Boucherie: Eain Lamont Loop

Distance from Kelowna 5–10 minutes from downtown

Time 1.5 hours round trip

The Skinny This extinct strata volcano offers a stunning panorama of most of Kelowna from two different summits. You can head straight up for a steep ascent, but there are easier options as well. There’s even a wishing tree at the top!

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The beautiful views from the Pincushion lookout.

3. Just Peachy Pincushion

Distance from Kelowna 30 minutes from downtown, near Peachland

Time 1 hour round trip

The Skinny A steady ascent that’s slightly challenging, but you’re rewarded with stunning views over Peachland and Okanagan Lake. And there’s a geocache at the top (a small locked container you locate with GPS).

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Nothing but rugged beauty at Twin Lakes.

4. Rocky Road Monashees: Twin Lakes

Distance from Vernon 100 minutes east

Time 4 hours

The Skinny This is a stunning alpine meadow that’s far rockier than most local hikes. There are, in fact, two beautiful lakes, and if you’re keen on overnighting, this is a great place to pitch a tent.

5. Big Time Okanagan Mountain Park

Distance from Kelowna 15 minutes from downtown

Time 11–15 hours (over 38 kilometres)

The Skinny Maybe the ultimate Okanagan hike? It’s a serious workout, but you’ll walk through the epicentre of the 2003 fires. Amazing wildlife diversity (from snakes to lynx) and First Nations archaeological sites. Smaller day hikes can be done to Divide Lake or up Wild Horse Canyon to Commando Bay.

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A hidden cave behind Christie Falls.

Bonus Christie Falls

Distance from Kelowna 45 minutes from downtown

Time 1 hour round trip

The Skinny A waterfall hike this close to town? The access point is a forest road but the hike is mild, and if you’re in the mood to overnight, you can do so behind the falls.

For more information visit Hogan’s website hikingaddiction.ca

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