Thank you for checking out one of the Okananagan's most most amazing through hikes.

Thru-hiking, or through-hiking, is the act of hiking an established end-to-end trail or long-distance trail with continuous footsteps in one direction. Wikipedia

Thank you for volunteering on a recent trail building experience. Wasn’t it great! Now, please, PLEASE, complete this short volunteer records form. It will help us receive more money from various grants and related programs. 

Trail Resources

Trail Maps:

View the entire trail in Google Maps.

Printable PDF Trail Maps for each section of the Okanagan High Rim Trail.
***Note***Each map is around 18 Megabytes. The server may throttle the download, please be patient.
***FSR = Forest Service Road

Cosens Bay to Microwave Towe​r

Microwave Tower to the Monolith

The Monolith to Vernon Creek

Vernon Creek to James Lake FSR

James Lake FSR to Goudie FSR

Goudie FSR to Mission Creek

Water Sources:

The list is not exhaustive, and the availability of water will be dependant on weather and time of year. Based on past observations, including a drought year in 2017, these are expected to be available during dry periods:
  • Mission Creek (km 0)

  • Daves Creek (km 10.5)

  • Frog Pond (km 12.5) – May be used by cattle

  • Scotty Creek (km 16.5)

  • Kelowna Creek (km 23.5)

  • Vernon Creek (km 29)

  • Hayhurst Lake (km 39.5)

  • Oyama Creek (km 42)

  • Damer Lake (km 45) – Located off the trail

Spring time conditions may see water available at the following locations:

  • Cardinal Creek (km 4)

  • Emery Creek (km 14.5) – Typically low flow

  • Rockface Creek (km 17.5)

  • South Clark Creek (km 35)

  • North Clark Creek (km 37.5)

  • Cosen’s Creek (km 52)

Camp Locations:

There are tent pads and outhouses at only 2 locations along the trail. The Grand View (km 14.5) and Damer Lake (Off the trail at km 45)

​The Okanagan High Rim Trailheads:

The trail is accessible via the many forest service roads through the area, although most are unmarked and in varying condition. The main trailheads that are the easiest for access are:

To Download the route for your GPS, View the entire trail in Google Maps. and use the download options found by clicking the menu:

Downloadable GPS KML file for High Rim Trail.

 

Snowshoeing on the HRT

During the summer, the Okanagan High Rim Trail offers hikers the serenity of a wilderness trail. In the winter, it comes alive with stories told through animal tracks amidst beautiful snow draped trees. The trail is a well-guarded secret and a snowshoer’s paradise.

There are popular areas along the trail where the snowshoe path is kept groomed by other keen snowshoers. Those areas can be accessed from the Goudie Forest Service Road trail head and the Wrinkly Face Provincial Park area off Beaver Lake Forest Service Road.

Due to the elevation loss and gain along the trail, the trail is best suited to experienced snowshoers. Depending upon which area you choose to explore, there are steep climbs and tricky descents that challenge fitness levels and require careful navigation. Snowshoes with crampons and steel teeth lining the frame provide more stability and traction. Poles add extra stabilization and propulsion.

For the adventurous, the trail also offers an opportunity to go winter snow camping. While it is similar to its summer cousin, winter snow camping requires different gear and more planning. A sled or pulk takes the weight off your back and the extra space and weight capacity allows you to bring those extra warm clothes and blankets.  A 3-season tent will suffice in our Okanagan weather but a winter tent provides extra options including controlled ventilation, insulation flaps, stronger tent poles and a more substantial floor. Your water source is all around you although it’s always a good idea to use a coffee filter to clean out any fir or pine needles or other detritus.

If you are interested in winter camping, make sure you spend some time learning about proper gear and tricks for staying warm. Or better yet, head out with a friend who has experience and can show you the ropes.

As in all cases, bring the “10 essentials” and leave a trip plan with friends or family so that others know where you are going. For more information about snowshoeing, outdoor safety and trip planning, please check out AdventureSmart at adventuresmart.ca.

Colleen Owens