Fall is finally here! The air is crisp, and the greenery is turning gold, which means there’s no better time to explore the many beautiful hikes in Osoyoos, BC.
Our little slice of the Southern Okanagan is the perfect place to experience a variety of ecosystems, as it’s surrounded by everything from dense forests and mountains to grasslands and highlands. See the spectacular golden views from the top of Mount Kobau as the leaves turn orange and amber, or follow the Okanagan River channel to see everything these agriculturally rich valleys have to offer, and so much more.
There’s no shortage of trails to find around here, and below we’ve listed our five favourite hikes in Osoyoos for you to explore – for both experienced and inexperienced hikers.
The Mount Kobau trail is the perfect introduction to hiking in Osoyoos, as it’ll reward you with amazing views of the Similkameen and the Okanagan Valley below, along with the nearby Cascade Mountains. It will truly feel like you’re on top of the world!
This is also one of the easiest trails on this list, making it accessible to families of all ages. The trail starts at the top of the mountain after a drive up a 17 km forestry service road off of Highway 3. When you arrive you can walk along the gorgeous mountainside following a 1 km walking trail (please note that this short trail can be steep in some places).
You’ll also find a trailhead for Testalinden Trail, a flat 3 km trail loop that leads you through gorgeous meadows and gives you a spectacular view of the surrounding area.
Irrigation Canal Walkway
Our next favourite brings you back down to the valley floor, with another levelled trail that’s just over 4 km and fully paved. The Irrigation Canal Walkway is also the most accessible trail on this list, as you can find the start right at the BC Visitor Centre in Osoyoos.
Walk along the old waterway that used to deliver water to the orchards and wineries in the area. This trail is perfect for stepping back through the rich history of the community and Canada’s wine region, while also exploring the unique desert ecosystem.
nʕaylintn (McIntyre Bluff)
If you’re searching for a bit of a challenge, with a panoramic view of the South Okanagan as a reward, McIntyre Bluff (or nʕaylintn) might be the perfect fit for you.
This intermediate hike is a 10 km round trip, starting and finishing from Covert Farms Family Estate in Oliver. This trail has a gradual uphill rise and a few steep sections but is definitely worth the climb for the view when you get to the top, where you can spot Gallagher Lake as well as the surrounding orchards and vineyards.
We highly recommend setting aside two to three hours on your next trip to the Southern Okanagan to enjoy this one, as it is one of the most popular hikes in the Osoyoos area.
International Hike & Bike Trail
The International Hike and Bike Trail is for the intermediary to advanced hiking enthusiasts, as it’s just over 18 km in length. This gorgeous trail is also quite flat, so it’s still a great choice for any age and you won’t need much in terms of serious hiking equipment.
One of our favourite things to do is to walk or cycle along this trail with friends and loved ones who enjoy wineries, since you will encounter quite a few along the way, as well as farms, vineyards, viewpoints, washrooms, and picnic tables.
Many couples that come through our resort tell us that this was one of their favourite hikes in Osoyoos, and we completely agree!
Mount Kruger Loop
This last hike is quite popular among the experienced hikers that come through Osoyoos. The Mount Kruger Loop is a 24 km trail that runs up the side of Mount Kruger.
This is a moderately difficult hike, so we recommend dressing for the occasion with proper boots and other attire as well arriving prepared with snacks and water.
Enjoy the peaceful bliss of the yellowed forests and lakes around you, as well as fewer hikers than the other trails. The Mount Kruger Loop is also popular among bird watchers as there’s a rich diversity of wildlife in this area.