JFNC: Cedar Mountain (Kelowna Crags)
BC-Okanagan (Central) / Upper Mission
25 min driving from Downtown Kelowna
Cedar Mountain was the name of this park prior to 2013. Its name came from the Western Red Cedar tree that was the dominate form of vegetation in the park. At 80 hectares, it was a large park. It backed onto Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. In 2003, the park and surrounding area was severely burned by a wildfire. No trees survived the intense heat of the fire and regeneration of the park will take generations.
In 2013, the park expanded by way of a private land donation from the Johns family. The addition of323 hectares to the existing 80 hectares brought the size of the park up to 403 hectares. Due to the significance of this donation, the park was renamed the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park to honour them and respect their wishes of preserving the area in its natural state.
The area does have natural hazards due to the fire however charred timber has been removed from the trail to make it more user-friendly. As the area is in the process of re-growth, it is advised to stay on the path to prevent trampling sensitive areas of new vegetation.
The relatively short hike is quite easy but does involve a steep climb towards the viewpoint near the end of the path. Once at the cliff top, you are treated to an excellent view of Okanagan Lake from about 2,500 feet. For those planning on spending a little time at the peak, a fire pit for eight is available for use, providing stone-slabbed chairs.
If you like climbing, this trail provides access to the Kelowna Crags climbing area.
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