Snowshoeing The Columbia Mountains
After checking out a local University with my son, we had a free day ahead of us ... we knew we had to explore the beautiful area that surrounds Kelowna, BC.
Kelowna is a growing city located midway along the shores of Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and is surrounded by three mountain ranges, including the Columbia Mountains, the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Mountain range.
With all these mountains around us, the obvious choice for adventure was snowshoeing. So, we reached out to a guy the locals call, "Trailhead Ed" at Monashee Adventure Tours who took us on a breath-taking tour of the Kettle Valley Trail in Myra-Bellevue Canyon Provincial Park.
The 6k round trip trail that we snowshoed on part of a much longer abandoned and cleared railway trail that includes two impressive tunnels and 18 trestle bridges. Originally built by hand at the turn of the century it is now hiked, biked and explored by thousands of people per year and extends an incredible 600km from Midway to Hope. It's also a part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
The Big Questions ...
Some of you may be thinking, "How hard was it technically and physically to go snowshoeing for the first time?" I know those were both questions in my mind at the start of the three hour trek. Well, the answer to both questions is "easy".
Ed walked Jordan and I through a few simple steps on how to put the snowshoes on (modern snowshoes are very, very simple to attach to a good winter boot) and after 6km of travel, I thought I'd be more tired than a hike of the same distance on foot, but I wasn't (and I even had to run at a few spots to catch up because I kept stopping to film and shot photos!). If you can hike a flat, 6km loop, then you are ready to walk on snow for the same distance!
If you are looking for an afternoon on winter wonder and fresh, mountain air then this is probably one of the best ways that you can spend your day in the Kelowna area! Happy snowshoeing!
Jordan and I connected with Monashee Adventure Tours, which offers year round adventure tours of the Kettle Valley Trail and Myra Canyon. You can find more information and contact them about their Trestles and Tunnels Snowshoeing Tour HERE