Hikes

Winter hikes
Dec04

Wintertime in Kelowna tends to be mild and sunny—perfect for winter hikes. That’s because the region is a semi-arid desert! Sure, you will always get a bit of snow but the temperature rarely drops uncomfortably low. Plan to work up a bit of a sweat and you won’t even notice the chill.

That’s why we’ve compiled this great list of winter hikes for you in the Kelowna area.

  1. Cedar Mountain Regional Park

Cedar Mountain Regional Park (AKA the Kelowna Crags) was renamed the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park after a substantial land donation after the 2003 wildfire that devastated the area. Now, hikers can enjoy over 403 hectares of natural land, an easy and short walk, and a stunning view of the Okanagan Valley at the top.

  1. Spion Kopje Hiking Trails 

Sometimes written as Spion Kop Hiking Trails, this central Okanagan trail system takes hikers to the peak of the Spion Kopje mountain. You’ll find these trails closer to Winfield, about a 33-minute drive North from Downtown Kelowna. Follow the markers for a clear view of Lake Kalamalka and parts of Oyama.

  1. Mill Creek Regional Park

Mill Creek Regional Park is a family-friendly hike that is highly rated by experts and novices alike. The trail is moderately flat and all forks in the path take you to the same destination so you don’t have to worry much about getting lost. The area tends to be a haven for mosquitoes in warmer months, making it a refreshing winter walk even if you have done this trail before!

  1. Rose Valley Regional Park

Enjoy 250-hectares of parkland in the West Kelowna Rose Valley neighbourhood. The Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir-filled forest land has winding natural trails, a conservation area and pond, and views of Okanagan Lake. Dogs are also welcome on-leash and Rose Valley Regional Park is open to visitors year-round.

BONUS: If you are looking for a day trip, E. C. Manning Park is about a 3-hour drive from Kelowna and is one of the most popular parks in the province. Located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, the climate and geography make it a perfect natural location for year-round visits. The park has hiking trails for all levels, from 15-minutes walks to a 6-day excursion!

Just because there is snow on the ground, doesn’t mean you hiking enthusiasts need to be stuck indoors. The Okanagan is known for its scenery and wintertime is no exception. So bundle up, pack a snack, and take a relaxing winter hike amongst the trees.

Looking to book a spot for hiking, skiing, or other winter sports? Ask us about La Casa Mirador, our large group vacation rental property in West Kelowna. Open year-round! 

Travel BC
Aug21

Why travel B.C., you ask? As native British Columbia residents, we at La Casa Cottages have a few answers for you. Has traveling B.C. been on your mind? Thinking about visiting the beaches, parks, and cities? We don’t blame you! Here are just a few of the things that we love about beautiful British Columbia.

  1. B.C. Hiking Trails

From the Okanagan to the Island, B.C. has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Take a family-friendly meander through a wooden grove or challenge yourself with a steep uphill climb! If you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife (from a safe distance, of course).

  1. National Parks

B.C. is home to some of the most gorgeous national parks in all of Canada. You can birdwatch, picnic, or site-see to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to call or email ahead to ensure that they are open to the public during your day/hour of choice. Make a day trip to the nearest one—you won’t regret it!

  1. Budget Travel

B.C. has a perfect blend of flashy cities and small, community-centric towns. That means that no matter what your budget is, you can find somewhere to stay. Also: B.C. has a moderate climate year-round, meaning that you can fill your days with cost-free outdoor activities.

  1. The Beaches

B.C. borders the Pacific Ocean and has many lakes and ponds that are safe for a dip. No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to find a waterside spot to soak up some sun. Okanagan Lake is a must-see if you are vacationing in the Kelowna and Vernon area.

  1. Tourist-Friendly

Not only is B.C. very multicultural but they have a thriving tourism industry. That means everywhere you go you will feel welcomed and taken care of. Our doors are always open to newcomers.

  1. Wine County

B.C. wineries have a long history in the province, where the warm weather allows orchards of all sorts to flourish in the summer and autumn months. Book a wine tour to learn more or ask around for the best local picks.

  1. Farmers’ Markets

Wine grapes aren’t the only produce that grows across B.C. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available at any local farmers’ market and even many varieties in common grocery stores, too.

Have we convinced you to travel B.C.? Contact us for details on the best B.C. vacation rentals in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. We welcome the opportunity to set you up in a modern, personable cottage or abode of your choosing.

As always: travel safe!

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!

Black bear
Jul15

What to do if you see a Bear

 

If you go hiking, you may one day encounter a bear. Therefore it is really important to know about how you should behave when this happens. BC is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. They tend to behave differently in a given situation, so first you need may want to know the differences between these bears. The protocol for bear encounters is different depending on the type you see.

Differences between Black Bears and Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears are also called Brown bears. Don’t be deceived by their name! Both of these bears can be anything from blonde to dark black in color. You can’t identify a bear based on its color alone. The easiest way to tell if a bear is a black bear or a grizzly bear is to look for the shoulder hump.  Grizzly bears have a very distinct hump on their shoulder area which black bears do not. Black bears are the most common type of bear near BC’s largest cities. Grizzly bears generally live in rural and remote areas of BC and thrive in undisturbed habitats.

What to do if you see a bear

  • Do not run/climb a tree

These Behaving in this way might cause the black bear to chase after you. Bears are good climbers.

  • Talk in a low, calm voice

Let the bear know you’re there so it can see you’re no danger to it. However if the bear is 300 feet away and hasn’t noticed your presence, making a quiet exit is probably your best course of action.

  • Back away slowly

Back away without making any sudden movements and hopefully you and the bear will go your separate ways.

What to do if a Black bear charges at you

  • Stand your ground

If the bear is still with you even after you have followed the above, slowly put your arms up around you or move to higher ground to make yourself look bigger. Black bears are generally timid animals. 

  • Always leave the bear an escape route

  • Fighting back

As a last resort, you may want to fight back with all your strength, aiming direct blows at the bear’s face while using any weapon or object available to you. If you have bear spray with you, this would be the time to use it.

What to do if a Grizzly bear charges at you

Grizzly bears have an aggressive nature, and if you behave the same way as you would when seeing a black bear, you could make the situation worse.

  • Use Bear pepper spray

  • Play dead

Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. It is likely that the bear will try to flip you over or play with your body. If this happens, instead of resisting, you should allow the bear to flip you, but roll all the way over so you end up face-down again.

grizzly bear

Make your Kelowna vacation wonderful by staying at one of our beautiful cottages! Call our reservations line on 1 888 226 5566 or email rentals@lacasacottageresort.com. 

 

Written by Natsumi Matsumoto

Fintry Provincial Park
Aug20

Spotlight on Fintry Provincial Park

 

Fintry is a beautiful provincial park right on La Casa Cottage Resort’s doorstep! Only a five-minute drive to the main trails, this park is the perfect way to stretch your legs (between BBQs on the deck and swims in the lake of course!)

There are two walks easily accessible at Fintry park – each quite different from one another. The first walk takes you on a flat path around the historical elements of the park.  See old buildings, farm sheds and packing houses!  The second route is a little more challenging as it involves climbing around 400 stairs.  However, if you do make it to the top you will get to see astounding views of the waterfalls!

Self-guided tours can be downloaded from the BC Parks website, but here are our highlights from both routes:

  • The Manor House:

    Fintry Manor House is a stunning home originally built around 1910. Check out the white stone walls and large verandah! There are also gardens that surround the house, equipped with nostalgic features such as an old sundial and a traditional labyrinth.

    Fintry Estate Manor House

  • The Octagonal Dairy Barn:

    The name says it all! This barn has 8 sides and is the only one of its kind in British Columbia. Due to it’s interesting shape and layout, this site is ideal for taking a couple of selfies!

    Fintry Provincial Park Octagonal barn

  • The Waterfalls:

    Who doesn’t love a good waterfall? With a viewing spot every third of the way up, you can take your time and enjoy the views as you meander up this taxing set of stairs!

    Fintry Provincial Park Waterfall

So, what do you think?  Will you be exploring Fintry Provincial Park soon?  Let us know your favourite sights, and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram with #lacasacottageresort – we love to hear what our guests are up to!

 

 

Written by Hannah Poaros