Hubby and I had never been to Kelowna’s Wilden area before, so on a comfortably cool and sunny Sunday Funday in June we took our grandpuppy, Daisy, to check it out. Not certain where to go, we happened across the Hidden Lake trail. What an unexpected delight!
The trail follows Hidden Lake to Still Pond.
Look close. A log absolutely covered with turtles!
In fact, turtles were sunning themselves on every available log and rock. I’ve never seen so many turtles in one place.
We took a path up from Still Pond, hoping for a viewpoint, but it led back into the community.
Besides the turtles, the two ponds are teeming with feathered friends.
Yellow headed blackbird
American Coot and babies
This colourful guy is a Ruddy Duck
As we were leaving Hidden Lake, I spotted another log, loaded with even more turtles. Wow!
Back at the car, Daisy lapped up a refreshing drink of water.
We then investigated another trail, eventually ending up above Blair Pond.
The steep path didn’t bother Hubby (or Daisy) but I had to carefully pick my way down.
We’d set out in search of stellar views, and instead found some enchanting ones. The stellar views came a week later…
On the last Sunday Funday in June, we tackled Okanagan Mountain. Boulder Trail started out easy enough, with plenty of beautiful vistas.
Soon, the trail became both steep and eroded.
Okanagan Mountain Park stretches along the east side of Okanagan Lake, between Naramata and Kelowna. In 2003, a ferocious wildfire roared through the park, leaving utter devastation in its path, destroying 238 homes in Kelowna, along with twelve historic trestles in Myra Canyon. Thirteen years later, the aftermath of that brutal fire still remains.
Deeper Creek was actually not very deep.
The most challenging section of Boulder Trail ascends the ravine on the other side of Deeper Creek. We climbed straight up for half a kilometre. The entire time, I kept thinking about negotiating my way back down again. Yikes!
A scenic spot to catch our breath and have a snack.
The incredible views kept getting better.
More stark evidence of the ‘03 wildfire.
Slow but sure signs of regrowth.
As we hiked by a house-sized boulder, I mused that if our adventurous middle son was here, he’d want to climb that rock to see what he could see. Moments later, we were scaling that massive beast and this is what we saw!
The trail grew steep again as we cleared the junction with CN Trail and neared the viewpoint.
Best seats in the house for lunch.
Heading down to marvel at the panoramic lake views.
Looking northwest, Gellatly area and Mount Boucherie on the left, Knox Mountain and city of Kelowna on the right.
West Kelowna (Westbank)
Southwest, toward Peachland
Soaking it all in and feeling quite accomplished.
Didn’t feel quite as accomplished as I hunted for the rock I’d set my poles and bag on.
Back down, we went.
Descending the steep trail bordering Deeper Creek ravine was as difficult as I’d feared. I fell a time or two, luckily escaping with only a few scrapes and bruises. Without my surefooted hubby’s helping hand, I might’ve been in worse trouble, especially when a tumble off the path could result in a fall down a deep ravine. Note to self: buy footwear with more aggressive tread.
At approximately seven kilometres, round-trip, and an elevation sharply rising 300 metres, Boulder Trail was a challenging, exhilarating hike, and I’m so glad I experienced it.
That hike may have been the pinnacle of our Sunday Fundays, but there are plenty more to come…