Hiking is a year-round reality in Kelowna thanks to mild winter temperatures in the valley and iconic trails that take in lake views. At higher elevations, rent a pair of snowshoes to navigate paths that stay covered in snow from November to April. Here are a few places to put one foot in front of the other.
Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park is a 20-minute drive southeast of downtown. Explore 155 km of multi-use trails that wind past ancient rock outcrops in an eerily beautiful burnt forest, scarred from a fire in 2003. The park is also home to famous Myra Canyon, where the Kettle Valley Railway trail passes through two tunnels and over 18 trestles as it curves around the horseshoe-shaped gorge. The trail’s high elevation means the snow sticks all winter—bring snowshoes for an unforgettable experience.
Go to Bear Creek Provincial Park in West Kelowna to see spectacular frozen waterfalls. The Bear Creek Nature Trail is a 2.1-km loop that passes multiple viewpoints over Bear Creek, where the crashing waterfalls of summer morph into frozen torrents of ice in winter. The hike is steep in sections so bring ice cleats or grips to wear over hiking boots in case the trail is slippery.
You can tackle trails in Knox Mountain Park, adjacent to downtown Kelowna, all year. Some flat paths, like the trail to Paul’s Tomb, can be enjoyed in regular hiking boots. Trails that ascend, such as Apex, may require shoe grips. Alternatively, drive to the top of Knox for an easy walk to the viewpoint.
For guaranteed snowshoeing head to one of three nearby areas with dedicated snowshoe trails. Telemark Nordic Club has 60 km of trails that vary in length and ability; the club also rents snowshoes. Bring your own gear to the Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club, where 24 trails marked with orange tape indicate paths for snowshoers. Try the trails on your own at Big White Ski Resort, or join an interpretive Snowshoe Tour and learn about the local wildlife and the woods while walking atop the deep snow.