On a Sunday Funday in the middle of July, Hubby and I set out to explore Kathleen Lake. Access to the trail is off Knox Mountain Road, and we intended to drive to the top of Knox Mountain, then walk the short distance down the road to the trailhead. What we didn’t know is that on Sundays the road is closed to vehicle traffic until noon. So we hiked up the Apex Trail to the first lookout, then took the road up.
An elevation change of eighty metres is listed on the entrance sign, and we found the trail easy, without any real steep sections.
We got a peek or two at Kathleen Lake along the first part of the trail.
As we climbed higher, the small lake came into view.
At that point, we branched off onto the Glenmore Ridge Trail. It appears to have been an old service road and vehicle tracks serve as the trail, which is lined with a multitude of Inuksuk.
Some of the Inuksuk are quite large and elaborate.
I found this little notebook inside an Inuksuk and wrote a short greeting in it. What a lovely idea.
Our lunchbreak view of Dilworth Mountain and the Glenmore Valley. Even a glimpse of the lake in the opposite direction.
Hello up there.
Back on the Kathleen Lake Trail, we followed another old service road. Very unusual to see green foliage in the middle of July. There’s usually little green to be seen midsummer in the Okanagan.
The upper lookout on Knox Mountain is visible in the centre top of this photo.
Kathleen Lake from a better vantage point.
Such a look of concentration on my face as I inch my way down the precipitous slope to the lake. After my tumbles on Okanagan Mountain, I’ve grown a tad cautious going downhill.
The small lake was lush and green and peaceful. Well worth the trudge down and back up the steep incline.
Way back when Hubby and I were first together, I once explained to him while on a road trip that I was so blind, I couldn’t tell a bear from a stump. Over the years, he’s teased me many times: “Look, there’s a bear!…No, it’s just a stump.”
Maybe this time, I’m right. Look – there’s a bear! (Dead centre)
Oh, no…it’s just a stump.
Well, it could’ve been a bear. We were definitely in bear country. And although we didn’t come across any actual bears, I finally got my first deer sighting on Knox Mountain.
The following Sunday, we hiked up to the Rose Valley Reservoir on the Westside, one of my most and least liked hikes of the season. I loved how well-marked this regional park’s trails are. There’s even a clean porta-potty at the trailhead.
We started off on the Bunchgrass Trail, a short .6 kms and rated moderate.
Bunchgrass meets up with Yellow Bell Loop, which is 3.1 kms and also rated moderate. A small pond borders the start of the trail.
Tiny, tantalizing peeks of the lake promised better views to come.
Benches are placed at viewpoints along the trails, offering a chance for a breather and to take in the beauty.
Kelowna waterfront and Dilworth Mountain in foreground.
WR Bennett Bridge and Kelowna city
Knox Mountain (where we were the prior weekend)
Okanagan Lake, looking north
Mere steps further were views of Okanagan Lake from the Westside.
City of West Kelowna, with Mount Boucherie (I’ve climbed that!) to the right and Okanagan Mountain (I’ve climbed that too!) across the lake.
The Forest Loop branches off from Yellow Bell. This is an easy 2 km trail.
Next comes Bitterroot Loop, 2.8 kms and probably the most challenging and definitely the most interesting. The trail circles the top of the mountain, and at times is barely discernible, as the following photos attest.
We took a break on this rock to soak in the view.
Close-up of Kelowna waterfront and Okanagan Lake.
WR Bennett Bridge and Kelowna General Hospital.
Vista view lunchbreak.
Off we go again.
Rose Valley Summit, Bitterroot Loop.
Great view looking north from the summit.
Rose Valley Reservoir, a lovely oasis of water on the top of a mountain.
Another bench for our viewing and relaxing pleasure.
I made myself a little dizzy, going out on this bluff to check how steeply the trail drops off.
The reason I’d earlier said this hike was one of my least favourite is because, although there aren’t any steep inclines, the entire hike is steadily uphill, with few flat sections. That wasn’t a problem, but steadily uphill also means steadily downhill. Not only have I grown leery of descents, they’re extremely hard on my feet. By the time we reached the bottom, my Morton’s Neuroma was screaming, making every step an agony, and my two big toenails had partially lifted from their beds – owie painful.
We took advantage of the last bench on the trail to rest my feet and enjoy one final view of the lake. Total distance walked, about nine and three-quarter’s kms. And yeah, I’d do it again, with different footwear.
We had company on our last Sunday Funday in July. My eldest son and his family came to visit from Alberta, making this Grammy very happy. We spent a gloriously sunny evening at Waterfront Park.
Even the dogs came along. And we won’t mention that Sukie, the lab, fell into the lagoon when she went for a drink. 😉
Fantastic panoramic shot my daughter-in-law took.
And that’s a wrap-up of our Sunday Fundays…at least for now.