McDougall Rim Trail, Kelowna, British Columbia
McDougall Rim Trail is located in West Kelowna, British Columbia, in the world renowned wine region of the Okanagan Valley. The area around the city of Kelowna has the perfect mixture of city life and country life all wrapped up in one beautiful package. You could be downtown enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the popular Bernard Street and then decide to go on a wilderness hike and be at the trail head within minutes.
How to Get There
Depending on what direction your coming from, McDougall Rim Trail can be reached several different ways. Being from Vernon, which is the next city to the north, we had the option of taking the beautiful and scenic Westside Road. The road leads you alongside Okanagan Lake through small resort communties and First Nations reservations. This is the longer way, but it avoids all traffic and you get to take in the fantastic scenes of the Okanagan .
The most common and time efficient way of reaching the trail is by crossing the bridge over Okanagan Lake from Kelowna into West Kelowna and turning right on Bartley Road. Head up Bartley Road and when you get to the Niche Wine Company you know your getting close, drive a little further and you will see the trail head located in a clearing to your right. You will have your selection of a couple of different routes, we chose to go straight up the mountain on a steep ATV trail, which turned out to be a crazy workout, but must have shaved a lot a time off of our ascent to the top.
Just 20 minutes into the hike we were greeted by a scenic view of Mount Boucherie in it’s entirety. Mount Boucherie offers it’s own hiking adventures and is in fact an extinct volcano, which in turn creates the perfect conditions for world-class wine making as evident by the many wineries surrounding the base of the volcano.
There was a weird tree that made a great bench for some people, or bucking bronco for others.
There were a lot of good camping spots along the way, like this one with a great view and rock fire pit. I wouldn’t mind waking up to this view in the morning, though I’m not to sure camping up here is actually allowed.
After a hard battle with the mountain we reached a plateau, which had this stagnant swamp. We saw lots of moose droppings around the area, so we wanted to be cautious because they can be quite violent if you walk up on them in the forest and wont think twice about trampling you.
We finally arrived at the top, but the trail does continue on further to Hayman Lake and loops back around. Our legs were rubbery from going straight up the mountain so we decided that this was far enough for us. We were not disappointed by what we witnessed on top, stunning views filled our eyeballs. Views of Rose Valley Lake(also a hiking trail) and Okanagan Lake as well as Kelowna and beyond.
If you are not hiking solo you will be able to get some amazing panoramic shots of your hiking partner, like this one below.
The McDougall Rim Trail is a great way to get some good exercise and take in the gorgeous views of Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. It is the perfect day hike and I highly recommend it, but if you like to challenge yourself head all the way to Hayman Lake for the day.
I suggest Hiking the trail early in the morning to beat the summertime Okanagan heat, afterwards you could head down to Bernard Street for refreshments and then go take a dip in the lake and enjoy one of the many picturesque beaches Kelowna has to offer.