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I found several websites with different explanations on how to get to Christie Falls driving 4x4 vs two wheel drive, and we also got lost several times trying to get there! So that being said, I made my directions as detailed as I could for you! My directions are available for 4x4 and two wheel drive vehicles. Trust me, these falls are worth every wrong turn we made. I got lost so you don't have to!
We started our odometer at Pandosy/Water Street in downtown Kelowna at 0 kms. Once you cross the bridge on the westside, take the Westside Road exit heading north just past Bear Creek Provincial Park. Turn left at Bear Lake Main Road. You are currently around 12 kms at this point.
You will pass BurnCo Rock Products at 21.5 kms on your right and a cattle guard shortly after. At 23.5 kms turn right on Esperson Forest Service Road and continue on, passing the Big Horn Dam. There are logging truck kilometre markers along the gravel roads that will help you find the hiking trail.
You will see a sign for "Christie" while passing the dam at the 24 kms logging marker, which is roughly 34 km. Turn right. After the 27 km logging marker on the road, you will see a gravel road on your left that is located at 35.7 kms. Turn here!
There is a wooden sign several feet down the road on the left hand side that says "Christie Falls’". WARNING! It is very easy to miss, so make sure you drive past the 27th marker with the fork in the road, the next left turn has a sign for Christie Falls.
It takes about 2.1 km from the Christie Falls sign to the parking lot. In total for us, it was roughly 35.7 km from downtown Kelowna to Christie Falls.
Hike difficulty: moderate/difficult
This trail is unique from the moment you leave parking lot.
The trail starts heading through a burnt forest crossing back and forth over a small creek. You then come to some ropes which help you down the steep but attainable trail to the bottom of the falls. If you are uncomfortable heading down the ropes, there is a view of the falls from the top of the trail as well. However, I highly recommend heading down. With the right gear and precautions, the trail is very manageable. Once near the bottom you receive an amazing view with a breathtaking waterfall plummeting into the earth. The falls have a large rock wall and small cave for rock climbers with the proper gear to enjoy!
There is an incredible rock-covered stream descending from Christie Falls into the valley. Though it's early spring, we had a day of sunshine and couldn't help but get close enough for a refreshing shower! The hike took us over two hours admiring the view, taking photos, and of course taking a small dip in the water.
Gloves for descending down the ropes
Backpack with water/snack
Whistle/bear spray/bear bell (I always have my bear bell on my pack just as a precaution)
These incredible falls are roughly 37.5 km from downtown Kelowna and probably my favourite falls I have seen thus far. The falls are at full force in May. I have heard that in July/August the trail is covered in a flower called "Fire Weed" creating an even more spectacular view. This will not be my last visit to these falls. I hope you thoroughly enjoy them as much as we did!
- Carlee Kish (Nature Jane)
Carlee Kish is a 23-year-old hiking enthusiast who has lived in Kelowna for two years now. Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Kish fell in love with the mountains and hiking during a family trip as a youngster. She has a passion for the wilderness and capturing it along the way with beautiful photos. Kish lives for the outdoors and you can follow her adventures as she relishes in moss during her captivating hikes and boundless adventures. Be sure to follow Carlee's adventures on Instagram @CarleeKish.
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