Hikes

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

Deer Okanagan
Jun25

Wildlife to watch out for whilst hiking in the Okanagan

 

Spring in the Okanagan brings out more wildlife.  Bears come out from hibernation, rattle snakes bask in the sun and birds become more adventurous.  Though unlikely, it is possible to come face to face with several animals.  Here are the top six to watch out for when hiking in Kelowna and surrounding areas:

  • Bears –

    Black Bear

    The most likely bear that you would encounter near Kelowna is a Black Bear. Black bears can come in all shapes, colours and sizes.  Though the bears feast mainly on berries, insects, fish and grasses, they can develop an appetite for human food. Because of this, it is important to not leave food scraps or trash on any hiking trails or campsites!  If you encounter a bear, you should never try to run away.  Instead raise your hands above your head, act big and talk to the bear whilst you begin to back away.

  • Deer –

    Deer Okanagan

    There are plenty of deer in and around Kelowna, so this would be the most likely animal that you would spot on a local hike. There are three types of deer that are prevalent in the Okanagan areas: Mule Deer, White-Tailed Deer and Black-Tailed Deer. Though Deer are not dangerous animals, it is still best to leave them alone (especially their young), give them space and keep dogs close.

  • Big Horn Sheep –

    Big Horn Sheep

    Keep your eyes peeled for Big Horn Sheep. These sheep are spread out in small flocks across the Okanagan regions.  They are rarely spotted in well populated trails and urban areas, but they are great animals to see if you get a chance! The males have large, curled horns which distinguish them from other types of sheep – and these horns act as a sign of the ram’s status, as well as being used as weapons in battle.

  • Western Rattle Snake –

    Western Rattlesnake

    You won’t usually find a Western Rattle Snake on a well-established hiking trail, but never say never! You could encounter snakes under rocks or logs so be careful. Watch where you are treading or putting your hands – you don’t want to accidentally disturb a sleeping snake!  In Canada, only found in the warmer climates of the Okanagan, and small parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Western Rattle Snake is venomous and carnivorous.

  • Cougars –

    Cougar Okanagan

    Cougars, or Mountain Lions, are the second most powerful predator in Canada (after bears). The Okanagan is prime territory for cougars due to its mountainous, rocky terrain.  Because they are most active between dusk and dawn, it is unlikely that you will see a cougar on a day hike.  However, if you do spot fresh tracks or warning signs that a cougar is in the area, it is best to turn back!

Always be on the watch for wildlife when out on a hike, and always travel in a group.  If you are unsure what to take with you when hiking, please refer to our Okanagan Hiking Packing List.  There are so many trails around Kelowna to enjoy – Do you think you will encounter any of these animals?  Have you seen any interesting wildlife on your adventures?

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

Jun18

Your Okanagan Summer Hiking Packing List

Summer is the perfect time to stretch your legs, pull your hiking gear out of the cupboard and get outside.  Because the Okanagan is a hot, dry climate, you won’t want to leave for your hiking adventures without these essentials:

  • SunscreenSunscreen

– The sun can be out for over 12 hours a day in the height of the Okanagan summer. For that reason, sunscreen is a must.  And you’ll want to reapply often.  It is so easy to get sunburnt and this can happen at any point in your hike!

  • Mosquito Repellent

– Some years are worse than others for mosquitos in the Okanagan, but it’s always handy to carry some bug spray when you’re out and about. With lots of exposed skin in the summer, you have a greater chance of getting bitten – a truly uncomfortable experience!

  • Water

– You should always take plenty of water with you when you’re hiking, but this is extremely important in the Okanagan where temperatures can reach 35 degrees Celsius or more. The heat is dry and can make you feel lethargic and exhausted if you don’t stay hydrated.

  • Snacks

– Gather a selection of healthy snacks for your hike! You won’t want anything that’s going to melt in the sun, or get squashed at the bottom of your bag though. Take cereal bars, nuts, dried fruits, crackers and vegetable sticks – all of these are perfect for giving you bundles of energy right when you need it.

  • Sun hat

–  Have we mentioned that the sun is strong and out for hours upon end?  Even if you’re not a hat fan, don’t risk not wearing one.  Without a hat, your head will get hot faster and you’re more likely to get a headache.

  • First Aid Supplies

– You never know when you are going to need a bandage or set of plasters.  It is easy to fall on some loose rocks or get scratched by branches, and you want to be prepared if this happens.  Your first aid kit should go everywhere with you and the Okanagan is no exception – even if you’re only going out for a short hike.  Chuck in some bear spray, tweezers and a knife… just in case you see any wildlife!

  • Hiking Boots

– It’s not worth wearing anything other than hiking boots! Running shoes, rain boots or sandals are just not going to cut it when you’re out in the Okanagan terrain.  Good hiking boots will be water resistant, will have great tread and will give you ankle support.  Brands that might be of interest are Salomon, Merrell, Keen or Columbia.

Okanagan Hiking Boots

Now that you’re ready to go, why not check out our blog post on the best hikes in Kelowna? There are plenty of trails only a short distance away from La Casa, so you don’t have to worry about driving far!

Take a look – where will you head next?

To reserve a cottage for your summer holiday and enjoy the Okanagan sun,  please contact our reservations line on 1-888-226-5566 or email rentals@lacasacottageresort.com where we will be more than happy to assist you!

 

Written by Hannah Poaros

Hiking
Jun11

Get your hiking boots out for these Okanagan Trails

 

The hiking trails are starting to open up again due to sunny skies and warmer temperatures.  What better time to get outside than right now?  There are many interesting trails for all abilities in and around Kelowna – so there is sure to be a hike that gets you excited!  By staying in one of our cottages here at La Casa, you will be right on the doorstep to some awesome trails.

  • Carrot Mountain Bluffs

    Distance from La Casa: Approximately 45 minutes to start of the trail; address is 2334 Shannon Heights Place
    Length of hike: 4km
    What you can see: Small waterfalls and panoramic views of West Kelowna & Okanagan Lake

  • Mount Boucheries: Eain Lamont Loop

    Distance from La Casa: Approximately 35 minutes to Eain Lamont Park – start of the trail is a turn-off of Lakeview Cove Road
    Length of hike: 6 km
    What you can see: Brilliant views of the Central Okanagan Valley

  • Christie Falls

    Distance from La Casa: Between 1hr – 1hr 30 depending on the route; reach Christie Falls Trailhead by taking Terrace Mountain Rd
    Length of hike: 2.2 km
    What you can see: Great views of the waterfall, Christie Falls – from above and below

  • Kalamoir Park

    Distance from La Casa: Around 40 minutes to Kalamoir Park; access via Collens Hill Road
    Length of hike: 4.5 km
    What you can see: Wildflowers, Okanagan Lake and a Black Cottonwood Forest

  • Rose Valley Regional Park

    Distance from La Casa: About 30 minutes to the entrance of the park at Westlake Road
    Length of hike: 6 km
    What you can see: Volcanic cliffs, beautiful views and lots of wildlife

  • Bear Creek Provincial Park

    Distance from La Casa: Only 20 minutes from La Casa, near the beginning of Westside Road
    Length of hike: Canyon Rim Trail 2.5 km; Loop Trail is 15 mins
    What you can see: Views of the creek and surrounding area

  • Fintry Provinicial Park – Fintry Falls

    Distance from La Casa: Entrance to Fintry Provincial Park is less than a 10 minute drive from La Casa
    Length of hike: 1 km – up a wooden staircase
    What you can see: Lovely views of the waterfall, Okanagan Lake and the canyon

Hiking Boots
Which one will you try next?!  Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re not a big fan of hiking, check out our other blog posts on things to do in the Okanagan.

 

Written by Hannah Poaros