British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. There’s no shortage of places to hike and stunning viewpoints to explore, but some of them can get pretty crowded. Fortunately, the Enderby Cliffs trail in the Okanagan Valley isn’t very well-known — but it is absolutely gorgeous.
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The Enderby Cliffs Trail is fairly challenging, mostly because of the elevation gain. It gains more than 2,000 feet over the 3.9 mile one-way distance. The gain is pretty gradual, but you’ll definitely feel it in your thighs before you reach the top. It depends on your hiking speed, but you’ll want to budget at least four hours or so. The large cliffs were formed by glacial movement over eons, and you’ll have views of them on the second half of the way up. The trail is relatively easy to follow and there’s a large parking lot at the trailhead. It can get a bit busy on summer weekends, but never as busy as places like Banff or Whistler.
The trail is within Enderby Cliffs Provincial Park, a 5,600-acre park in the Okanagan Valley. It’s about 90 minutes north of Kelowna or 90 minutes south of Revelstoke. The area does get snow in the winter, so it’s best to hike it between May and November, though it varies from year to year. If you do go during the winter, read trail reports to check the snow cover and be prepared to turn back if it gets too deep or slippery.
Hiking from the US
Unfortunately, the trail is a little too far from the US-Canada border crossing for most travelers to do in a day — it’s about three hours north of the border. So while you can do it in a day, you’d probably have a much better time if you do it as an overnight and stay in Kelowna. That way, you can take advantage of that part of BC’s awesome agricultural spoils and sneak in a second hike before heading home the next day. Mount Ida is a really nice (and equally challenging) hike just a few minutes’ drive from the Enderby Cliffs trailhead.
About the Okanagan Valley
The Okanagan Valley is known beautiful lakes, mountains, and recreational opportunities. That makes it a popular vacation destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially since it’s accessible from the Pacific Northwest. The Okanagan Valley is also known for its wine industry, with many wineries producing award-winning wines made from grapes grown in the region’s warm, dry climate. The area is also home to a number of farms and orchards, and is known for its fresh, locally-grown produce.
There are plenty of hotels in the various towns in the valley, but you’ll also find plenty of camping opportunities. You can camp at many of the area’s provincial parks, including Bear Creek Provincial Park and Fintry Provincial Park, among others. Be sure to make your campsite reservations in advance on the Parks BC website.