High Rim Trail: The Grand View
BC-Okanagan (Central) / Joe Rich
30 min driving from Kelowna
The Okanagan High Rim Trail connects Vernon to Kelowna through 55 km of wilderness. The trail ranges from wide open spaces with spectacular views of the valley to shaded more denser areas laden with Cedar and Lodgepole Pine trees.
This stretch of trail runs from the Philpott & Highway 33 intersection to the Grand View just before the 15 km marker. The Grand View is really the only viewpoint along this section of trail. Some sections of the trail to note:
*** The kilometer ratings below are relative to the signage on the trail, not the kilometers from the trailhead which actually starts at the riverfront on Highway 33 ***
• 2.5 km (approx): The end of "Cardiac Hill" and the majority of the steep ascent (about 30 min in)
• 4.5 km (approx): Cardinal Creek with a cute little footbridge
• 4.75 km (approx): Pedro's Point bench w/minor view
• 5 km: Marsh boardwalk
• 6 km: This is the highest point of the trail you will be on for this segment (1442 meters elevation)
• 9.5 km (approx): Goudie FSR Trailhead (leads back just before the hair pin turn near Wild Play on Highway 33)
• 12 km to 13 km: Three small frog ponds, which at the right time of day, are incredibly loud!
The High Rim Trail is home to several types of wildflower such as the rare Indian Paintbrush. Widlife is in abundance and includes deer, mink, bobcat, black bear, cougar, coyote and red fox as well as numerous types of reptile such as rattlesnakes and boas. Several bird spotting opportunities await.
WARNING: The trail is casually maintained and crosses over a number of forest service and 4x4ing roads. We highly recommend taking the GPS map with you to avoid losing the trail at intersections. When in doubt, follow the pink and black striped ribbon and signage. Do not get lead astray by the numerous other coloured ribbons along the way.
For advanced hikers without much gear, expect 3.5 hours to "The Grand View" and about 3 hours to return back to the trailhead.
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