Rose Valley

By Bobby
15th April 2022

Prior to August 2021 my hiking experience had been pretty much limited to Broughty Ferry. The ascents of Forthill Road, Whinny Brae, and the Hilltown in Dundee provided the challenges.

Living on the Canadian Prairies for more than 40 years just doesn’t cut it. Between Winnipeg and the mountains of western Alberta and British Columbia are literally hundreds of miles of flatness. Consequently, when my wife and I relocated the 1,200 miles to Kelowna last year, hiking was high on our bucket list. During the last eight months we have completed over 60 hikes of varying lengths. Although we have got lost on more than a few occasions, we have enjoyed every single one. Something I found out very early; there are no grumpy people on the mountains.


The number of hiking and biking trails in and around Kelowna is as close to unlimited as you could ever hope for. Kelowna is located midway along the shores of the 135km long Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley. Three mountain ranges surround the region: the Columbia Mountains (a range of the Rockies), the Cascade Mountains, and the Coastal Mountains to the west.

We live on the Westside which is connected by bridge to Kelowna. So far, my favourite area for hiking is anchored by the 250-hectare Rose Valley Regional Park. We can be out the door and on a trail within 10 minutes.

Rose Valley

Our hiking times have ranged from 2 hours to just over 5. For this hike we decided on 10 miles; around 4 hours. Thankfully, no spikes were needed this time.

Our first objective was to reach the top of The City on the Edge of Forever. There were several options to reach the 1,150 feet summit, ranging from relatively easy switchbacks to tougher, more direct gradients.

We opted for Jabberocky – a direct route with a challenging start. It took around 90 minutes to reach the City followed by a very steep descent that took a third of the time.

The highlight was the stone tunnel about two-thirds of the way down.

Arriving back at lake level there was a more leisurely walk by way of Lake Loop. This took us to the lakehead and round to the other side. By the 2.75 hour mark we were ready for the Bitter Root challenge.

Bitter Root

Bitter Root provided some glorious views of Kelowna and the surrounding areas. From the top we connected with a trail called Forest Loop that was less challenging but quite lovely.

From lake level to the top of Bitter Root was 1,000 feet, broken into two stages that took a total of around 40 minutes. The first was pretty much straight up followed by a 5-minute break to catch our breath courtesy of some flatter ground. The second part was a mixture of some gradual switch backs and more severe inclines.

To return to our starting point we took a bike trail called Camel’s Hump. This took us to another hiking trail – Slik50. The last big challenge was an offshoot of Slik50 called Back to School. We always say we are going to take a pass on School, but more often than not we take it.

It is only a five minute walk, but it has a very challenging gradient. It’s reminiscent of running up the Monifieth sand dunes during pre-season training in the ’70s. The nice part is nobody throws up after Back to School.

The last mile or so was a gentle descent. After 10 miles, an elevation of 2,300 feet, and a little over 257 minutes we were finished.

With less than 5 weeks until the West Highland Way hike, I have several more walks planned.