Author: Chris Fougner

Hiker on mountain
Aug07

With its clear blue skies and dry dessert heat, Kelowna’s ideal weather conditions have attracted outdoor enthusiasts, especially hikers from all over to relish in its beauty. Whether it be a weekend trip or a two-week vacation, the list of things to do it endless. Offering a wide variety of hikes for all types of adventure seekers and those new to exploring Kelowna it is the perfect place to post up this summer. Let us take you through some of our favourite hikes here in Kelowna to help make your trip planning a little bit easier!

 

Beginner / Family Hikes

 

Fintry Falls

Fintry Falls is one of the easiest hikes around Kelowna yet still offering some of the most picturesque scenery. The trail begins by passing the original barn from the Fintry Estate built over 100 years ago. The trail then turns into an ascent up 400 stairs that encircle the first of the three Fintry waterfalls. Keep on the lookout for resident Big Horn Sheep that are often seen strolling through the park.

 

Distance Roundtrip – 1 km

Elevation Gain – 73 m

Level of Difficulty – Easy

 

Ellison Park Nature Trail

Ellison Park offers the perfect spot for a nice easy stroll through the woods on those extra hot days. Stay shaded from the towering evergreens and enjoy some amazing views of Lake Okanagan along the way. Ellison Park offers a wide selection of trails ranging from 2 km loops to 10 km loops winding through fields of wildflowers and wooded forests. An awesome spot for day trips with the family!

 

Distance Roundtrip – 2km – 10 km

Elevation Gain – 122 m – 375 m

Level of Difficulty – Easy

 

Moderate / Difficult Hikes

 

Rooster Tree Lake Trail

Rooster Tree Lake Trail offers a little bit of everything, from uphill to downhill to flat this trail is a little more rugged which also makes it much less traveled. This trail is most well-known for its proximity to Rose Valley Lake which offers the perfect scenery for a picnic or a nice cool down swim. Dogs are also welcome on this trail!

 

Distance Roundtrip – 4.7 km

Elevation Gain – 219 m

Level of Difficulty – Easy / Moderate

 

 

Lebanon Creek Trail

Lebanon Creek Trail starts with a bit of a steep climb; however, this slowly descends as the hike continues. With a very well-maintained gravel trail, wildlife info signs along the path, and stunning sights and sounds the entire way up this hike has become a favourite among locals. It is particularly popular for its sunset views over lake Okanagan and the city giving the perfect hike to explore Kelowna and its beauty.

 

Distance Roundtrip – 6.4 km

Elevation Gain – 387 m

Level of Difficulty – Moderate

 

 

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

Kalamalka Lake is home to a great selection of hikes varying from short easy loop trails to longer more intermediate day hikes. Some of our favourites are the Lookout, Cairn, Cosens Bay, Base Lift and Wall Trail which provides a combination of forest, meadows, and rocking outcroppings with rewarding views along the way. This hike also provides a great opportunity to see some wildlife along the way!

 

Distance Round Trip – 13.7 km

Elevation Gain – 587 m

Level of Difficulty – Difficult

 

If you are hiking in the summer make sure to look out for forest fire warnings before heading out for your adventure. You can view an interactive map here. 

Exploring Kelowna through hiking is the best way to enjoy the natural scenery and beautiful views. If you are looking for a lakeside hiking vacation take a look at our beautiful lake cottages!

Sand
Jul31

If you’re visiting Kelowna, B.C., you are probably planning to hit the beach at some point. The Okanagan tends to get hot, hot, hot in July and August so being near the water is the perfect way to cool down. You’ll want to bring plenty of bottled water and sunscreen no matter where you go. This blog will give you the low-down on the best beaches in Kelowna.

You might be familiar with one or two popular tourist areas but we wanted to give you a better overview of different public waterfront areas. Here is our top picks for the best beaches in Kelowna. See how many you can check out during your stay!

 

  1. Sutherland Bay Park

Located quite northward in the city, Sutherland park is just “out of the way” enough to give you some much needed privacy during tourist high times. It’s located by Knox Mountain, which is great for hikes if you want to add some cardio to your beach day.

 

  1. Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is THE downtown park of choice. Not only is it in the heart of Kelowna, but you’ll often find markets and events going on in the area. There’s a bit of sand to enjoy by the water but it’s best feature is its grassy parkland, with plenty of shady trees.

 

  1. Stuart Park

Stuart Park is located near the Tourism Kelowna office, so anyone looking for a bit of extra help or insight into the area would do themselves a favour by coming here first. It’s also within walking distance of the Japanese-style Kasugai Gardens, which is a stunning local landmark.

 

  1. Hot Sands Beach

Located next to Kelowna City Park, Hot Sands Beach is a long stretch of shoreline that eventually meets up with Harvey Ave (the main highway). They have a dedicated parking lot are very close to downtown, and house “OkanaVan Crepes and Popsicles” for a quick, delicious treat!

 

  1. Boyce-Gyro Beach

This is THE beach to visit in the Kelowna area, so you may find it more crowded than some of the others on this list. It boasts a swimming area with a tree-lined park and an area for sports and volleyball.

 

  1. Sarsons Beach Park

Sarson’s Beach Park is located in the Mission neighbourhood, a quiet, residential area away from the downtown clutter and commotion. The area has a nice stretch of beach land, a playground for children, plenty of trees for shade, and a public washroom.

 

Those are just a few of the great beaches in the area but it will certainly give you a lot to go on. Let us know if you liked this feature and want to hear about more beachy hot spots.

 

Planning to visit a B.C. beach this summer? Let us help you find the perfect vacation rental for your stay! We have beautiful cottages for short- or long-term stay, for small gatherings or large groups. Give us a call and we’ll find the right fit for your Okanagan vacation plans.

Jul29

Canada-wide travel is open for the summer and visitors from the East Coast or the Prairies may be thinking about coming to B.C. for a short or long stay as the weather gets hotter. If you are new to B.C. travel, here are some tips that can help you avoid social faux-pas or even disasters!

  1. Research any National Parks before you Visit. Are parks closed, opened? Do they require a fee to enter? Do they have current siting of dangerous wildlife? Do they have “No trespassing” areas or confusing woodland areas? No one wants to look like a newbie at the park so make sure you spend some time reading up on what to expect before your arrival. Remember: Always clean up after yourself, stick to marked trails, and stay alert.
  2. Use Social Distancing Rules Where Necessary. There is so much wilderness and beach land in B.C. that it isn’t hard to find some private, safe spaces in which to enjoy the great outdoors. Patios or takeout picnics are a great opportunity to enjoy the area in a safe bubble. Be sure to keep a mask or bandana in your bag, in case it’s required—this can help with forest fire smoke and dust storms, too.
  3. Know the Wildfires Status. B.C. summers sometimes have spots of wildfires, ranging from “you’ll barely notice” to “blocks out the sun.” Be sure to check ahead of time for any fire notices or warnings so that you aren’t caught off-guard. Often times, you won’t be affected by actual fires—but you might have to make extra preparations for someone in the family who has asthma, for example.
  4. Respect the Wildlife. For the most part, wild animals are going to leave you alone. But when you venture into their territory, you should know the best practices for keeping a safe distance, making “safety noise”, and how to back out of a sketchy encounter. Bears, cougars, and coyotes are each native to B.C. Never try to approach a wild animal, even if it seems tame. And keep your snacks to yourself!
  5. Practice Sun Safety. Even if it’s cloudy, harmful UV rays can still get through! Wear sunscreen throughout the day, apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply it every few hours as you sweat or rub it off during regular activity.
  6. Practice Water Safety. B.C. is well known for beaches, be they ocean- or lake-based. But water can be dangerous for careless or inebriated visitors, particularly in the ocean. Pay attention to signs, know where the lifeguards are (if any), stay close to shore if you’re a weak swimmer, travel in a group, and keep floatation devices within arm’s reach.
  7. Highway Driving Caution. Whether you are cruising through the Rocky Mountains or hitting up the Coquihalla, highway driving can be worrisome. It’s up to all drivers to keep a level head and avoid tragedies for themselves and passersby. Keep to the speed limit, take blind turns slowly, pay attention to traffic warnings, and stay alert on the road!

Follow these tips and you are sure to travel safe in B.C. this summer and have a great time. Not sure where to go or where to stay? Contact us for a list of available vacation rentals today!

Trail ATV riding
May07

Wanting to find a place to ride your ATV near La Casa Cottage Resort? Bear Creek OHV riding area has 85,000 acres with scenic trail systems for motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs less than 50” in width. From La Casa, it is just a 20-minute drive south on Westside road (towards Kelowna) to the recreation area where you can unload your motorized ride into the trail. The trails vary in difficulty level and user groups. Make sure you know your level before heading out to ensure that you and others are safe.

 

Passes

A season pass or day pass is required in the recreation area at all times. Purchase your pass here. We recommend the season pass as it is quite cheap and gives you the opportunity to ride in other trail systems in the Okanagan from April 1st to October 31st. One primary season pass is $90, and you may also purchase secondary season passes for $70 each.

 

Trails

 View the PDF trail map for Bear Creek OHV riding area here. The trails are two-way and have some blind corners, so beware of other riders when riding. The riding area is great for all levels and offers spectacular views of the Okanagan as you get higher in elevation.

 

Is Bear Creek OHV riding area open during COVID-19?

Yes, but ONLY the trails! This means that the campsites, pit toilets, picnic tables and fire rings are closed. The park asks to still practice social distancing during your rides. Park, unload, ride and have fun, then load up and go home!

 

This area is great to get out into the outdoors and enjoy the Okanagan scenery. After a nice ride, pack up and head back to La Casa Cottage Resort for a beer on your Lakeview cottage porch! Our relaxed cancellation policies and deals through our reservation page will accommodate your flexible ATV vacation! Check out our rentals here.