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The most colourful fall hikes in Kamloops, Okanagan

September 29, 2020 - 7:30 AM

One of the best parts of fall is seeing the leaves turn, and we've rounded up some great places to find those famous red, yellow and orange hues.

Whether you're looking for a hike or a leisurely stroll, bring your camera, because these spots in Kamloops and the Okanagan won't disappoint.


Lac du Bois Grasslands

Lac du Bois is full of fall colour. Hikers will notice the bright red pickleweed growing around the ponds.
Lac du Bois is full of fall colour. Hikers will notice the bright red pickleweed growing around the ponds.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Louis Gosselin

No matter what time of year it is, the Lac du Bois Protected Grasslands are always picturesque. With rolling hills, abundant wildlife and views of the city, you can take an amazing photo everywhere you turn. If you visit the many hiking trails around Lac du Bois in the fall, you'll have a chance to see more than just the leaves changing.

The Grasslands are littered with many salt water ponds, called salt pans. Several of these ponds are surrounded by a plant called pickleweed, which thrives in saline soil. In the fall, pickleweed turns from green to a vibrant red.

READ MORE: Kamloops grasslands home to mysterious salt water ponds unique to B.C.'s southern interior 


Tranquille River

Tranquille River is a great spot for fall photoshoots, as the trail is lined with sage brush and cottonwood trees that turn gold every year. 

The trail is located about 20 minutes from City Hall, past the Kamloops Airport.  According to Hike Kamloops, the hike is 4.2 km long and takes just over an hour to complete. Once you enter the orange gate, the trail is packed gravel, and easy to hike.


McConnell Lake Loop

McConnell Lake is just as picturesque in the summer as it is in fall. The McConnell Lake loop is 25 minutes from City Hall via the Lac le Jeune Road towards Merritt.

According to Hike Kamloops, the trail is a little rough, but still an easy hike that loops around the shore of the lake. It's 3.7 km long and takes about one and a half hours to complete.



Cougar Canyon

While Cougar Canyon is known for its rock climbing, it's also a great area for hiking.The trail leads to the top of the cliffs, revealing a stunning fall view.

Make sure to wear good walking shoes, as it's an uphill climb with some rocky terrain. The trail into Cougar Canyon is located 35 minutes from Vernon via Cosens Bay Road. 



Angel Springs


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Angel Springs Trail not only has all the fall leaves, but you'll see geological formations and natural heated underground springs too.

According to Tourism Kelowna, the springs are lukewarm at 25 degrees Celsius, but not suitable for swimming. 

The trail is 7.48 km long and located off Little White Forestry Road, about half an hour's drive from downtown Kelowna. 


Mission Creek


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If you're looking for a quick easy hike close to home, Mission Creek Park is a great place to go to see the trees turning in the fall.

The trails, accessible from two entrances on Springfield Road, are wide packed gravel and great for cycling. 


Kettle Valley Rail Trail

The Kettle Valley Trestles are easy to walk and bike, as long as you're not afraid of heights. Visitors will get a great view of leaves turning gold and brown in Myra Canyon below. 

The access point for the trestles is a 40 minute drive from Kelowna, via McCulloch Road.



McIntyre Bluff


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South of Penticton, a hike up McIntyre Bluff will be rewarded with some great fall scenery and a bird's eye view of the South Okanagan.

The access point is at Covert Farms, a winery just north of Oliver. There is designated parking set aside for hikers, and the trail begins behind the tasting rooms.

According to Explore Oliver B.C., the hike takes between two to four hours depending on your fitness level, and is mostly a gradual climb with a few steep areas. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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