You’re walking through grasslands dotted with ponderosa pine alongside a group of mule deer mulling through the mountainside covered in blossoming Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers. You turn to look back down the hill you’ve climbed and see Okanagan Lake shimmering in the evening light. This is an average day of hiking in Kelowna between April and May when the sun begins to shine and the wildflowers bloom. Kelowna is the perfect destination for spring hiking with a little something for every hiker, from flat, easy trails to a low-elevation multi-day backpack route and everything in between! This article will walk you through a few of the must-visit hiking spots in the area!


Knox Mountain Regional Park

Knox Mountain
Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers in spring at Knox Mountain Regional Park.

Knox Mountain Regional Park is the quintessential hiking destination in Kelowna, and it has several hike options ranging from easy to moderate. The best option on the more accessible side of the spectrum is to hike roughly 1km up the Apex Trail to the first lookout. Those who have made it to the first lookout but are interested in hiking a longer distance without much additional challenge are recommended to continue along the Paul's Tomb trail.

The Paul's Tomb trail is a beautiful hike that travels on a bench above a stretch of undeveloped shoreline along Okanagan Lake, leading to a beach that can only be enjoyed by those who travel by foot, bike, or water! The Paul's Tomb Trail is named after the Paul family, who built their tomb at the location of their summer cabin, which previously stood at the site. While the tomb is up the hillside from the beach and mostly buried over, one remnant from the Paul family you will surely notice is the lilac bushes blossoming in the spring.

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Paul's Tomb Beach Access. Photo: @lwadewrites on Instagram

For those eager to gain more elevation and get the best views, an alternative to the Paul's Tomb Trail involves continuing up the Apex Trail from the first lookout to the upper lookout. While hiking Knox in the spring, take a moment to pull your gaze away from the lake views to admire the buttercup and balsamroot wildflowers blooming on the southeast-facing mountainside. The upper lookout gives a spectacular view of Kelowna, Okanagan Lake, and Mount Boucherie on the opposite side of the lake.

From the upper lookout, there are two options to descend the mountain. The easier of the two options is to descend back down the Apex Trail, and the more challenging option is to make the hike into a 7km loop connecting the Apex, Ogopogo and Paul’s Tomb trails. The latter, while the most difficult, offers the full Knox Mountain experience and gives hikers the option to go for a little swim at Paul Tomb. While hiking in the park, it is essential to stay on the trails, not only to help protect the area's ecology but also to avoid stepping on one of the prickly pear cacti hiding in the tall grass!


Mount Boucherie

Hiking at Mt. Boucherie in Spring with Dog
Early spring hike at Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna. Photo: Mathew Wanbon.

Mount Boucherie is a well-loved Gem in West Kelowna with loads of trails regularly enjoyed by locals. The Mount Boucherie Rush Trail is a 3.5 km out-and-back trail that switchbacks along the southeast face of the mountain. Because of the direction this part of the mountain faces, it gets favourable sunlight in the spring months, and the snow tends to melt earlier than it does on other parts of the mountain. The switchbacks ensure the trail is never too steep, making it accessible to people with a moderate fitness level. At the top of the trail, you will find yourself looking out at one of the best views in the valley, spanning over West Kelowna and down the lake towards Peachland and Okanagan Mountain Park.

Mt. Boucherie Lookout in Spring looking over Okanagan Lake West KelownaMount Boucherie lookout in early spring. Facing toward Peachland and Okanagan Mountain Park. Photo: Mathew Wanbon.

This lookout is one of the dreamiest locations in the city to watch the sunset! For those who are feeling more adventurous, there is a trail that navigates the ridgeline across the top of Mount Boucherie to a lookout at the opposite end of the mountain, offering a panorama view of Kelowna and down the lake towards Bear Creek Provincial Park.


Kalamoir Regional Park

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Kalamoir Regional Park in spring with Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers in full bloom. Photo courtesy of ©RDCO & Michael Hintringer

Located along the shorelines of West Kelowna, Kalamoir Regional Park offers a range of trails, their difficulty level ranging from easy to moderate. The road to the parking lot takes you down to the lake, where mellow, wide trails extend in either direction. The trail facing North (towards the bridge) will take you past multiple dog-friendly beach spaces and has several options for trails that branch up the hillside, offering a bit of a steeper uphill grade leading up to some of the most phenomenal panorama views of Kelowna and Okanagan Lake.

The low elevation and proximity to the lake make this a perfect place to explore earlier in the spring when the snow levels are lingering lower on the surrounding mountains. It is important to note that there are some prominent patches of poison ivy in this park that you should keep your eyes open for. If you are unsure what poison ivy looks like, it is recommended to look up some example photos and remember the mantra: leaves of three, leave it be!


Okanagan Mountain Park

Okanagan Mountain Park Hike
Okanagan Mountain Park. Photo: Matt Ferguson Photography

Eager for an early-season backpacking trip? Kelowna is your place. Located in Okanagan Mountain Park, there is an option for an out-and-back trail that stays under 700m of elevation, meaning that it is likely to be snow-free and offer warmer temperatures earlier in the season than many other backpacking destinations. The hike is 18km along the Wild Horse Canyon Trail and Commando Bay Trail, making for a 36km round trip. The hike will lead you to Commando Bay, a backcountry camping site located on the shore of Okanagan Lake. This trip is recommended for experienced hikers. Make sure to have a map, necessary safety gear, and warm camping gear appropriate for the time of year you plan your trip. 


Part of what makes Kelowna a great spring hiking destination is the relatively warmer temperatures and abundant sunshine. It’s not only the weather conditions that make it great but also the close proximity between the hiking trails and all the amenities you’d expect from a city of Kelowna’s size. Getting off the trail and heading straight into a restaurant or microbrewery for an afternoon re-fuel is as easy as ever. For more info on visiting Kelowna, including food and accommodation, visit the homepage at