I asked a TracksAndTrails.ca visitor for information about Okanagan Highlands Trail and am pleased to post the following info from her reply and with her permission;
“I have also been coordinating the Okanagan Highlands Trail and this summer Nordic Cross-country ski club volunteers flagged and cleared the trail from the Nordic parking lot to Mission Creek – I also gps’d this section of the trail. On September 20th there were 19 hikers who hiked the High Rim Trail from highway 33 and then crossed Mission Creek on foot and continued on the Okanagan Highlands Trail to Grouse Creek.”
OKANAGAN HIGHLANDS TRAIL (provided by Okanagan Highlands Trail building volunteers)
A 16 km (10 mi) section of the Okanagan Highlands Trail Head is located at the Nordic Cross-Country Ski Club main cabin, elevation 1,265m (4,150’). The trail travels north to Mission Creek where the High Rim Trail begins on the other side of the creek. The trail is marked with pink/black flagging tape and hiker signs.
- From the Nordic Cabin trail head, west side of the parking lot start at the Okanagan Highlands Trail sign and
- then follow the Snowy Hilton snowshoe trail for 4.6 km (3 mi) to the plastic shelter
- and then continue north about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) along a trail passing Long Meadow Lake, and then west connecting with Browne Lake Road.
- The trail continues on Browne Lake road for about 1 km (.6 mi)
- and then diverges left onto a trail which follows a forestry road for about 3 km (2 mi) to the Grouse Creek Forestry Road junction.
- The trail continues north/west about 5 km (3 mi) and eventually leads to Grouse Creek (you do not get to the creek, but you can see it on your left as you hike along the trail) through a dense forest of cedar trees, ferns and moss.
- After crossing a creek at an elevation of 900m (2,953′) the trail descends gradually to the east and then north dropping about 9m (30 ft ) down a steep slope to Mission Creek to an elevation of 800m (2,486′).
The trail is marked with pink/black flagging tape, pink dots and signs.
Four Access points to the Okanagan Highlands Trail:(access points listed in order of travel from the Nordic cabin heading towards Mission Creek)
A) From the west end of the Nordic parking lot, access the trail from the main ski trail at the Okanagan Highlands Trail signage;
B) From McCulloch Road, take Browne Lake FSR and drive 5 km (3 mi) up Browne Lake Forest Service Road. Just past Browne Lake; on your left you will see a Grouse Creek sign and markers that direct you onto the trail;
C) from McCulloch Road, Drive 4 km (2.5 mi) on Grouse Creek Forest Service Road to the hiker signs. This road has been deactivated and a four wheel is recommended.
D) The end of the Okanagan Highlands Trail can be accessed from the High Rim Trail head on highway 33 at Phillpot Road to Mission Creek in early fall when the creek is low, and walk across the creek from the High Rim Trail mile zero to the other side.