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Bear Creek Hike

Where:

  • Bear Creek

 

When:

  • July 20, 2020

 

Who:

  • Ed, Jace, Jamie, Vicki

 

Trailhead:

  • a ten minute drive from downtown Kelowna
  • head south on Highway 97 across the bridge
  • take the Westside Road turnoff along the west side of Lake Okanagan for about five minutes (7 km)
  • the parking lot is on the left-hand side just before you cross the bridge to the Bear Creek Provincial Park beach and camping site

 

 

Degree of difficulty:

  • 120 meters of elevation
  • 2 km round trip for the loop, but we added on a section that went out an old road to an abandoned orchard that added another 2 km
  • 2 hours total time on the trail
  • we did the loop in a counter-clockwise direction
  • a steep but short climb up the stairs at the start gets the lungs opened up
  • after you cross the bridge in the upper part of the canyon and climb the south embankment, we detoured off onto a horse trail that led up the valley to another valley that contained the abandoned orchard which was an interesting and unexpected discovery
  • there are railings and safety fences to protect people from falling into the canyon, so it’s a safe hike for all levels of ability

 

 

Interesting notes:

  • this is a short hike if you only make the loop
  • beautiful views of the canyon, Lambly creek, and waterfalls as well as sweeping views of Lake Okanagan, Knox Mountain, and downtown Kelowna
  • we came across an abandoned orchard that had saskatoon berry, Oregon grape, maraschino cherry, and red currants
  • we also saw Indian paintbrush and a few other wildflowers along with the unique bark of the bull pine tree
  • there is a road up the north side of the creek that leads up to a lumber site
  • near the end of the hike and off to the right is a large tree with an osprey nest in it
  • there is an outhouse at the trailhead and halfway around the loop
  • the creek was named Bear River in 1833 by David Douglas of fir tree fame, although the official name is Lambly Creek