Mission Creek Falls and the Meloe violaceus

Hullo everyone! This past weekend I set out to find Mission creek falls…. Sucess! or so I thought untill I went online and read that they were supposed to be 66 feet high….. Still I could have found them , Im almost positive I did. Hiking along the creek to get there well that proved […]

Written By Clayton Kessler

On May 12, 2009

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Hullo everyone! This past weekend I set out to find Mission creek falls…. Sucess! or so I thought untill I went online and read that they were supposed to be 66 feet high….. Still I could have found them , Im almost positive I did. Hiking along the creek to get there well that proved quite the risky business and the penalty for failure was high, I broke uphill, to get to safer ground, and it’s along the ridge that I seen it and my veiw wouldn’t afford a hight estimate. For all those who would like to find it for themselves I have …. you guessed it gps coordinates (supplied at end of post) anywho .. Along with the precarious veiw of the falls along the ridge I had the pleasure , 😐 maybe not the right word, of a couple Meloe violaceus ( blister beetles or oil beetles) mating apparently these bugs after being threatened or scared relese a oily secretion that blisters the skin and can cause poisonings…. so lol don’t touch. Ill upload more pics later

oil beetles

oil beetles

gps coordinates as follows


Decimal Degrees (WGS84)

Latitude Longitude
49.855033 -119.32025
Degrees, Minutes & Seconds

Latitude Longitude
N49 51 18 W119 19 12

Latitude Longitude
N 49 51.302 W 119 19.215

11N 333223 5525095


Pic of a cool unused road off the trail used to find the falls!!

Pic of a cool unused road off the trail used to find the falls!!


  1. Clayton

    Now that is an eye for detail! I have never laughed so hard at a hiking post! 🙂 – Very interesting too, thanks for the info. Bushiologist.

  2. Fred

    Care to provide even the slightest clue how to actually get there rather than just coordinates of where the falls are. I can do that with Google Earth but doesn’t help me figure out where the trail head is!

    • Bushiologist

      Shoulda read my previous post

  3. Bushiologist

    Hi Fred. this is a follow up post. If u were to read my previous post you can seen that the “trail head” is mission creek greenway at field rd.. I pushed my way throught the bush crossed klo and hydraulic creek followed every path I thought would keep me close to the creek. , now as for an actual trail to the falls …. their isn’t one. I followed the creek diverting to deer pathes when I had to, and broke out on a whole bunch of trails when I was able. I’m not even positive that the native band has donated the land back… just heard rumors. Heck all I knew is that there were falls on Mission creek, from there all it took was a little gumption and a heart for adventure. If your expecting a nice easy jaunt into the bush to look at the falls u got another thing coming. expect log crossings (on some very thin logs),a maze of deteriorating trails, TICKS,and more ticks, have fun fred.

  4. Fred

    Sorry about my first post Bushio. I missed the starting point you mentioned the first time I saw your comment.

    I tried to go down from the the road beside Layercake mountain but there are big signs saying the indians will scalp me if I do so I decided against it. Seems like it would be much easier to reach the falls from that side. It looks dead simple to just park on the side of Hwy33 and walk through empty fields to get there. You can see the falls on Google Earth. Looks like there are 2 sets or rapids through narrow canyons. I am almost positive the falls are at the end of the last set of rapids coming from below so you probably found them.

    Just curious how long approximately it took you to get there after slogging through the bush? I’m not afraid of a slog but I don’t want to spend a whole day doing it.

  5. Fred

    Ok I figured out where they are. They are about another 2km above the coordinates given in this post. So sorry to tell you the falls you found are not THE falls. I figured it out by using the length of the planned Phase 3 trail from KLO creek to Mission creek falls (6km).

    When you map that length out on google earth it land exactly on what clearly appear to be large falls. Not far below the Black Mountain water treatment plant so one could theoretically park there somewhere and walk down. If I have time I’ll give it a shot in the next few days.

    The coordinates are 49 51 13 N, 119 18 16 W

  6. Fred

    Just to be clear. The 49 51 13 N, 119 18 16 W coordinates are the exact location of THE falls. These are about 2km (hiking distance) above the coordinates given in the original post at the top of this thread.

  7. Clayton

    That sounds like a good hike. Feel free to register on this site and post your trail info after the hike. 🙂 (just register with the link at the top right of this page)

  8. Reg  Volk

    If you use the CORD map site and zoom in and out just below the Black Mtn rodeo grounds, you will see the falls.

    It should be spectacular now as it comes through a hole in the canyon there. There are also some old East Kelowna water intakes near here-foundations etc.

    The North side is very steep below the rodeo grounds with no established trail. The south side has a road through native land that will take you from the East Kelowna Rd, down to the site. You can see it also on the map.

    The native people are not doing any development here yet so my understanding is, they do not mind you hiking down. BE RESPECTFUL and take care of garbage!

    BE AWARE! It still can be VERY steep approaching the Falls. When I was last there my son an I had to wade chest deep to get to the base of them. Believe this was in July??

    The Greenway up to the Falls is the next stage of development with a viewing platform-much safer!

    I am not aware of any other falls on this section of Mission Creek. The Greenway is planned to eventually get to the Greystokes where I believe there are some more falls above Joe Rich.


  9. Reg  Volk

    DO NOT go down the BMID settling ponds road. The Canyon is VERY rugged in here and you can EASILY get trapped. Voice of experience.

    Yes, the native people have kindly allowed easement for the Greenway. It is all mapped and set to go for the third stage-just needs the BIG BUCKS!!

    • Clayton

      Thank you for the really great intel Reg! Sounds like you get out hiking quite a lot. It would be awesome if you register on this site and tell us about other trails you’ve been on!

  10. Franz Huber

    Here is a website that describes a trail to the larger falls. Mission Creek has two falls. The lower falls are the smaller falls. 3 km upstream is the big waterfall. Have not yet found out where the public access to the falls are. Always sneaked down to the creek over private land, but might get shot oneday. It’s a shame that a natural beauty like Mission Creek Falls are coralled in by large landowners and native reserves. In the European Alps they would never allow that.

    • Clayton

      Thank you so much for the intel, Franz! I read the link and as usual, TrailPeak has a fantastic post that someone uploaded for Mission Creek Falls. I will be downloading the GPS track soon and heading up to the falls. Someone else commented on the fact that you could get to the falls through the rodeo grounds, it is nice to have a route to follow prior to trespassing. 🙂 I’ll try to find the owner and get official permission.

  11. Glen Wittur

    I grew up on Gallagher Road and often fished, swam and otherwise explored Mission Creek from the Pinnacle up to the Black Mt water intake. That included trips to view the big falls from the top and once or twice we waded up the creek to the base of the falls, where there is a large and deep pool. At that time (around 1950), the “trestle” that supported steel pipe installed by SE or S Kelowna Irrigation District was still in place but it was soon removed. Access to the falls from the north (eg via the rodeo grounds or Winters)is virtually impossible. There was, however, a fair road from McCullogh Road to the irrigation intake that was later used for logging. Don’t know what condition, but it probably passes through the Native reserve. I remember the falls as being over 50 ft but Murray Roed (in his book Geology of the Kelowna Area) says they are over 20 m (66 ft) and I doubt that anyone has greater expertise on Mission Creek than he.

    • Glen Wittur

      Further to my comments on 13 September 2011, I since spoke with Marray Roed ( I stongly recommend to any Okanagan hikers his books Okanagan Geology and Okanagan Geology South – these describe all sorts of natural features and many other items of interest). Roed will unvail a painting of the “big falls” on Mission Creek at Tantalus Winery on 1 December, which shows the full extent of this exceptional feature. It actually comprises two or three cataracts or falls and it is possible that he underestimated the full drop, probably exceeds 100 feet. Unfortunately, I know of now locations from which one can view the full falls all at once. I still recommend accessing the falls from McCullogh Road. Good Viewing!

      • Clayton

        Thank you very much for the info on the Mission Creek Falls and for mentioning geoscapes and what Dr. Murray A. Roed is accomplishing in the field. I would love to write a post about Geoscapes based on http://www.geoscapes.ca/info/what-are-geoscapes and specially how Dr. Roed’s work relates to the Okanagan. Unfourtunately I have a ton of projects on the go right now but if you have an article or summary of the site I will post it on my home page complete with links etc. and hopefully that will help get some of Tracks And Trails thousands of monthly visitors to check it out. (August had over 20 000 visitors)

        Can you see the falls from McCullogh Rd? If so, that would be cool!

        • Clayton

          Thanks for emailing the following information Glen!
          Re Mission Creek Falls, I know of no location where one can view the entire
          extent of the falls, and that of course is the problem. Many hikers have
          seen either the top end or the bottom end without realizing that they are
          missing most of the falls. As far as I know, one cannot see the falls from
          KLO Road but I do believe that is the best access point.

          As for Dr Murray Reod, I have no authority to speak for him except that he
          has edited or co-edited and partly written three books that I guarantee
          would greatly enrich the hiking experience in the Okanagan. These are:
          Geology of the Kelowna Area, 1995 (covering not just just geology written in
          popular terms but also chapters on climatic change, ancient peoples, water
          issues, notable physical features and field visits, etc.);

          Okanagan Geology, co-edited with Dr John D. Greenough, 2005, which is an
          updating and expansion of the first and probably still in print (call 250
          491 1446).

          Okanagan Geology South, 2011, co-edited with Dr Robert Fulton (I believe
          former president of the Kelowna Naturalists Society), with similar coverage
          on the south Okanagan (including a chapter on Geology and Wine by Fulton).

          All of these should also be available in local libraries. The editors and
          contributors are all highly regarded professionals. and Roed is becoming
          increasingly noted for his realistic paintings of scenes and features of the

          Glen Wittur


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