Mount Rose Swanson, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Mount Rose Swanson hiking trails are located within the rural farming community of Armstrong, British Columbia and tucked away in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. It is a moderately difficult hike that takes you through thick green forest, eventually leading you to a mountaintop clearing with sensational views of the Spallumcheen area, as well as Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake.
Some of the gorgeous farmland scenery on the drive out to Rose Swanson.
The trail head is around 12 minutes if your coming from Armstrong and around 32 minutes from where we started in Vernon. There is a longer way around and the drive is fairly scenic taking you through picturesque farmlands and rolling hills to the trail head and that’s the route we decided to take.
There is a small sign marking the trail head that is fairly easy to miss.
The trail starts off by leading you into a thick wooded forest where the rotten and moist, but somewhat welcoming smell of forest mold will fill your nostrils.
A short distance into the hike you will see this interesting phenomenon of a tree that fell from natural causes, but was then cut by somebody and ended up growing a whole new tree out of the top. On closer inspection I noticed that this little tree had roots traveling down the dead log under the bark, obviously using the log as nutrients for growth.
Many different kinds of beautiful wildflowers were out in full bloom at the end of June when we hiked the trail.
Wild Strawberries were all over, but still had no berries yet.
There was so much greenery and it had been raining quite a lot around the time that we visited, so I’m sure that probably contributed to the lushness of the forest. The only problem is, when there’s lots of rain, there’s also tons of mosquitoes and we fully felt their wrath. We had such a great workout and the mosquitoes were our number one motivation, we literally could not stop to smell the wildflowers or we would face hoards of savage bloodsuckers. We would be cruising at fast pace through the woods trying avoid bites, then come to a swamp and look at each other like “oh crap”, then have to start jogging because they would come at us full speed. So basically what I’m saying is, “bring bug repellent”, don’t be a fool like me and read the warnings ahead of time and think “they can’t be that bad”, I’m telling you as a guy who 99% of the time refuses to wear bug spray “yes they can!”
Thimble berries are all over the Okanagan Valley and we eat a ton of these when we get the chance, but they weren’t quite ready.
So many colorful wildflowers and I caught a great closeup of this sweet little Bumble Bee.
At the top there is an outhouse, in case you ate too many berries on the way up.
Finally, after a non-stop race against the unwilling blood withdrawals, we made it to the top. In the distance you can see Swan Lake on the left, Okanagan Lake on the right and Otter Lake in the forefront.
I decided I was going to hike down onto the cliff edge to see if I could get some good shots and my extremely rock solid and manly disposition was nearly shattered to pieces when I saw this large snake. Luckily it was a harmless Garter Snake and not a venomous Rattlesnake, which are also locals in the area.
Rose Swanson hiking trails are well worth a visit and that is due to the breathtaking views you will be treated to when you visit. My suggestion is to bring mosquito spray unless your training for a marathon, then you can just use the mosquitoes to help you build endurance for your upcoming event. Otherwise heed my words and spray up brothers and sisters and enjoy your hike at Mount Rose Swanson in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.