Maps

6 Places to Hike Around Osoyoos

Indian Grover Riding Stables

Originally published in February of 2018.

Looking to get out in nature near Osoyoos in BC’s South Okanagan? There’s no better way to enjoy the beautiful desert scenery than to hit the trails for a hike. Situated on the shores of Osoyoos Lake and surrounded by grasslands, highlands, and mountains, Osoyoos is a major draw for outdoor recreation. And after a day of hiking, reward yourself with a sip (or two) at one of many nearby wineries.

To get you started, here are six don’t-miss Osoyoos hikes.

International Hike and Bike Trail

Take your time on this scenic trail as there are plenty of things to do. Stop to read interpretive signs and gain insight into the local landscape, take advantage of viewpoints along the way, and enjoy a snack with a view at one of the provided picnic tables. The trail is wide a relatively flat so it’s one that can be enjoyed by the whole  family.

Red, orange, and green fall foliage grow along the edges of a creek.
International Hike and Bike Trail | Sharen Gibbs

Beginning at the north end of Osoyoos Lake (8 km north of town), the International Hike and Bike Trail makes its way for 18 km along the Okanagan River channel to the McAlpine Bridge in the town of Oliver, known as the “Wine Capital of Canada.” You’ll pass several farms and vineyards as you go, making the trail a great way to travel between the area’s wineries for a tasting tour.

A thatched-roof hut with placards of information posted on all sides stands in a lush landscape.
Osoyoos Oxbows | Janine Salmond

Oxbows

The Oxbows, located at the north end of Osoyoos Lake, is a rich wetland habitat popular with both hikers and bird watchers. One of the only remaining wetlands in Osoyoos, this protected area includes a gentle, restored trail (approximately a 5-km return trip) that offers great wetland views.

Access the trail from the International Hike and Bike Trail parking lot, heading south from the lot.

Strawberry Creek Trail

The Strawberry Creek Trail is located on the west side of Osoyoos. It winds its way through the Osoyoos hills, past a historic mine, and around a golf course where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lower valley. The terrain is varied along this moderately difficult route, and includes sidewalks, gravel roads, and a narrow trail. Please note: the trail is unmarked, so be sure to consult a map and/or connect with a local before heading out.

McIntyre Bluff | burgundavia via Flickr

McIntyre Bluff

Although it’s a bit of a climb to the top, sweeping views of the Okanagan Valley from the top of McIntyre Bluff make it worth the effort. This 10-km return trip trail will lead you gradually uphill, with a few steep spots along the way. It’s well marked, with a trailhead at Covert Farms in Oliver. After your hike, stop by the farm’s tasting room to sample their wines and enjoy some charcuterie, and take home fresh local produce from their on-site market—the perfect way to reward yourself for climbing to the top.

Mount Kobau Trail

The Mount Kobau Trail offers panoramic views of the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys. This 5 km trail begins at the top of Mount Kobau, accessible from Highway 3 west of Osoyoos. It follows a loop around the summit, passing through sub-alpine forest and open grassland. At the top, enjoy an unobstructed view of the valley that will take your breath away.

Note: The dirt access road is not suitable for low-clearance vehicles.

A wooden walkway in a lush green trail system.
Irrigation Canal Walkway | Janine Salmond

Irrigation Canal Walkway

This 4.3-km loop trail, paved along its full length, travels along the now-abandoned waterway that once provided water to the area’s orchards and wineries. Walk, bike, or rollerblade along this flat surface and take in spectacular views of Osoyoos’s desert ecosystem and of the town itself. The trail starts at the corner of 62nd Street.

 

Plan Your Trip to Osoyoos

Know Before You Go

Summer afternoons in Osoyoos can be extremely hot, so if you’re hiking in summer bring lots of water, and aim for a morning or evening excursion. 

Please do your part in respecting the area’s delicate ecosystems by staying on designated paths and leaving nothing behind but footprints.

Interested in hiking with a group? The Osoyoos-Oliver Naturalist Club schedules hikes throughout the season. Stop by the Osoyoos Visitor Centre to learn more and say hello.