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Hiking in a hurry: 5 wonderful walks within 20 minutes of downtown Kelowna

The flowers are out, the lake is scintillating and the air is (mostly) clear.

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy one of Kelowna’s pleasantest pastimes – a good old hike.

Our area is rightly famed for its trails, but some of the most popular are quite a way out of town.

So we’ve compiled a short list of beautiful walks all within a 20-minute drive of downtown Kelowna.

Check them out – and if we’ve missed any of your favourites, tell us about them on Facebook!

Rose Valley Regional Park

  • Travel time from downtown: 10–15 minutes by car

  • Difficulty: Easy–Moderate

  • Length: 6 kilometres round-trip, but you can pick and choose your route

A nice 5km hike today

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The ever-stunning Rose Valley Regional Park is one of the gems of the Central Okanagan.

A short hop over the bridge from downtown Kelowna, this oasis of wildlife and natural splendour is worth anyone’s time.

You only need to hike a few minutes from the trailhead before you are enveloped in a wonderful tranquillity.

There are plenty of birds and other animals, quiet forests, spectacular views and even a picturesque lake.

Bear Creek Provincial Park

  • Travel time from downtown: 10–15 minutes by car

  • Difficulty: Easy–Moderate

  • Length: The loop trail is 2.1 kilometres

A very popular hike for Kelownians and visitors alike, Bear Creek is just over the water and a short way up Westside Road.

It features a beautiful waterfall, plenty of trees and a gorgeous view of the lake and Kelowna from the top.

There’s quite a bit of up-and-down involved in the walk – you have to go down into the creek and then back up – but it’s well worth it.

Lebanon Creek Greenway Regional Park

  • Travel time from downtown: 20 minutes by car

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Length: 6.4 kilometres

Lebanon Creek Greenway Regional Park can be reached by heading south along Lakeshore Road.

The trail doesn’t look like much at first, squeezed between homes and farms on either side as it is, but it soon expands into a stunning walk.

By the time you reach the border with the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park, the views – and scenery – are magnificent.

Some of the hiking can be fairly steep, but it’s definitely worth it.

Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park

  • Travel time from downtown: 20 minutes by car

  • Difficulty: Easy–Moderate

  • Length: You decide

The far northwest of the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park is remarkably close to urban Kelowna.

Popular with bike riders, the trailheads found at the end of Stewart Road East also offer some excellent hiking.

If you’re in the mood for a very long walk, you can hike through the Lost Lake and KVR–Trans Canada trails into the trestles.

Or you could enjoy a gentler stroll along the Fairlane Trail.

Either way, there are plenty of routes to choose from – and all include gorgeous forest surroundings, a chance at spotting some wildlife and the prospect of rewarding views.

McDougall Rim

  • Travel time from downtown: 20 minutes by car

  • Difficulty: Moderate–Hard

  • Length: 7.6–14.7 kilometres

Another gem on the west side of the lake, the McDougall Rim hikes offer some superb views of the city.

From the trailhead on Bartley Road, the hikes begin with a very tough and very steep climb.

But things soon flatten out as the path cuts through forest and passes by ponds.

An excellent vantage point called the City on the Edge of Forever – apparently named after a Star Trek episode – is reached as part of a 7.6 km loop.

The view – which overlooks Rose Valley Lake and the city – is truly stunning.

If you aren’t satisfied with that, however, you can keep on walking to see Hayman Lake, bringing the loop up to about 14.7 km.



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