BC Hiking Pictures can be found at my website.
The number of dedicated individuals in British Columbia who volunteer days of their time on building hiking trails for hikers of every ability throughout BC is truly amazing. Often, I’ll view a mountain on the horizon for awhile, form a plan to go hike it and as I begin to map out my hiking route I find that some group has already been in that area and made my hike a little easier by clearing a section of difficult trail. As I began to search for more information on the High Rim trail, I found this to be true again. In the case of this trail system, there have been thousands of hours volunteered to create another amazing Okanagan gem of a trail. Here are some exerts taken from two of the High Rim Trail reports found at the Kelowna Nordic Ski Club website. A few areas I will find more information about are: Philpott Trail, Mission Creek Trail and Cardinal Creek. I think that all three of these trails mentioned on the High Rim Trail signpost on Highway 33 are referring to specific sections of the High Rim Trail. The Cardinal Creek and Philpott trails would be the left (if you are heading towards Big White from Kelowna) and the Mission Creek Trail would be on the right. Of course this Mission Creek Trail should not be confused with the Mission Creek Greenway which follows Mission Creek and allows you to hike/bike/horseback for 16 km right from Lakeshore Road in Kelowna all the way to Scenic Canyon Regional Park.
Here is the exerp from the Kelowna Nordic Ski Club Reports.
The trail is on Crown forest land and traverses through a
number of grasslands to sub-alpine forest.
The High Rim Trail extends 50 kms south from Cosens Bay in Kalamalka
Provincial Park to Mission Creek near highway 33 and Philpott Road. At an
elevation of approximately 1,400 meters it stretches along forested areas
on the rim of the plateau providing spectacular views overlooking the
Okanagan Valley and beyond.
It was designed, planned, mapped, and built by the Western Canada Wilderness
Committee “Trail Builders”. Hundreds of people hike parts of this trail each
year. The High Rim Trail has not been maintained for a number of years and
some areas have been difficult to hike due to dense underbrush, saplings and
fallen trees blocking the trail.
In December 2005 the Nordic Cross Country Ski Club adopted the High Rim
Trail as a summer restoration and maintenance project. Between the months
of May and September 2006, thirty-three volunteers flagged and cleared a
total of 31 kms of trail over 10 work days collectively totaling 468 volunteer
hours. The Club will over the next several years upgrade and replace
interpretative and trailhead signs for easier access, and as well will publish a
brochure and trail map.
There are six trailheads to access the High Rim Trail offering day hikes
from various points. The trail may be approached from north to south
starting at locations in Cosens Bay in Kalamalka Park, Oyama Lake Road,
Beaver Lake Road, Postill Lake Road, Goudie Road and Philpott Road. The
length of each route varies from 5 to 8 kms each way. The thirty-one kms
recently flagged and cleared by the Nordic Club start from Postill Lake Road
hiking south to Philpott Road; and from Philpott Road off highway 33 hiking
north to Postill Lake Road. The trail is well marked with pink/black Arctic
stripe fagging tape and is easy to follow. The grade is easy for family
excursions to moderate with some elevation gains especially in the Cardinal
Creek area. The trail interconnects with forestry roads and is best hiked or
backpacked May to October. Snowshoeing is good mid December through
The project is supported by the Valley First Financial Group, the Western
Canada Wilderness Committee, Friends of the Environment Foundation,and
Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Isabel Pritchard, a member of the Back Country Horsemen of B.C., Friends of the South
Slopes and the new steering committee, said the section of the Okanagan Highlands
Trail from Joe Rich south to McCulloch Lake is “quite useable, all good.”
However, the section from McCulloch to Canyon Lakes (near Little White) is “rough,
very much a no man’s land” although motorized users take an old logging road which
parallels the trail.
The LRMP committee had asked if there was any interest in designating the latter
section as a multi-use class A trail but Pritchard noted Sumner built a hiking trail which
is difficult for horse and mountain bike riders.
“At this moment, we have nobody who is really knowledgeable about that section or
working on it. I think next year we’ll be able to get a few Back Country Horsemen in
there, have a look at it and see what we can do with it.”
The trail then goes from Canyon Lakes to Chute Lake and the former Kettle Valley
Craig Henderson, project director with the Naramata Conservation Initiative, wants to
construct a connection between Chute Lake and Naramata to complete the trail down to
Okanagan Lake. The alternative is to take the KVR to Penticton, “a spectacular trail,”