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Okanagan

Black Mountain Viewpoint in Kelowna

Last updated June 30, 2020

There’s nothing quite like getting in a quick adventure before starting your day. It’s just that shot of energy you need — it’s basically the same thing as a coffee, right? And what better way to spend your morning than with a quick hike up to the Black Mountain Viewpoint? It’s quick and easy, but it’s still hard enough to get a sweat up. And, best of all, it’s got some awesome views over Kelowna. Is that enough to get you out for a quick hike?

Just like a lot of easy hikes around Kelowna, the Black Mountain Viewpoint is located in a pretty unlikely spot — suburbia. It’s totally surrounded by houses and is a surprising little pocket of nature with great views. Who said you had to get outta the city for a hike? Definitely not me! That’s actually what I love about poking around town for trails — you can have a great little microadventure and still go about your day like normal. Hiking doesn’t have to be an all-day affair to be wonderful.

Length1.9 km
Duration20 – 60 mins
DifficultyModerately easy
Elevation Gain130 m
TypeThere-and-back
SeasonOpen year-round
Trail↠ Google Maps
AllTrails
View toards Kelowna and Okanagan Lake from the summit of the Black Mountain Viewpoint
The wide open field at the top of the Black Mountain Viewpoint
High view of the residential area at Black Mountain

Black Mountain Viewpoint

You’d be surprised how many trails there are around Kelowna that are basically unknown. Black Mountain Viewpoint is certainly one of those and I love that. It means the trail is pretty much empty and that’s one of my all-time favourite things about a hike. I’m definitely an introvert and love exploring without feeling like I’m a damn sardine. Anyone else?

Even though I went on and on earlier about doing this trail in the morning, it’s a great hike any time of day. The first half is pretty exposed as you climb the hill, so if you’re hiking in the middle of the day you’ll probably get a little warm. Luckily, the exposed part isn’t too long, so you won’t be a total sweat-show by the end. Maybe. I make no promises, though.

Anywho, the Black Mountain Viewpoint is also spectacular at sunset! You’ll get treated to a stunning view over Kelowna and Okanagan Lake as the golden light washes over the valley. Sounds like a pretty awesome way to end the day to me!

Trailheads

There are two trailheads for the Black Mountain Viewpoint trail.

The main trailhead starts just off Black Mountain Drive and heads uphill quickly. It’s just past Lund Park and is super easy to miss. The trailhead is directly across the road from a second set of stairs, so after you pass Lund Park just keep your eyes peeled. Parking for this trailhead is, to be honest, weird. There’s no parking lot, but you also can’t park on the road near it. You’ll need to head up into the residential streets to find somewhere to park.

The second trailhead is on Stockley Street and makes the hike extremely short — and lets you bypass all those stairs. This one’s easier to spot because there’s a decent sized gravel parking lot.

Heading uphill on the Black Mountain Viewpoint trail
A set of stairs heading downhill
Closeup of a purple flower

Hiking Black Mountain Viewpoint

If there’s anything you need to know about the Black Mountain Viewpoint hike, it’s that there are about a bazillion stairs. Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. There are 322. Still, that’s quite a few stairs! And there’s no easing into those stairs. Nope, they start right at the trailhead, so get ready for a grind.

There’s quite a bit of elevation gain for such a short hike, especially in the very beginning. As you hike up the exposed grassy hillside, you’ll get to enjoy the plethora of wildflowers and increasingly great views of Black Mountain. From the bottom of the trail, the summit looms above you, but don’t worry, you’ll be there before long!

About halfway through you’ll meet up with the small forest on the northwest side of the hill. It’s a welcome respite from the exposed hillside. The trail also starts to level off here. You’ll still head uphill, but it’s not nearly as steep. When you’re on the backside of the hill, you’ll come to a fork. Take the right, uphill trail to reach the summit. The left fork brings you to a second trailhead (which, if you start at, makes the hike super short).

Girl walking the trails of the Black Mountain Viewpoint hike in Kelowna
A lightly forested trail in Black Mountain
The summit of a hike in Black Mountain area

The Black Mountain Viewpoint Summit

You’re in for a treat at the summit of the Black Mountain Viewpoint! It’s aptly named because the view is pretty ahh-mazing. Maybe even more so because it’s unexpected. Do you really expect an awesome view when you’re surrounded by housing? I dunno about you, but I don’t.

You’ll overlook all of the Black Mountain area as you gaze towards Kelowna. You can just spot Okanagan Lake as it stretches into the distance. And if you can peel your eyes away from the lake, you can check out Black Knight Mountain itself, the Myra Canyon area, and even follow Highway 33 as it disappears into the rolling hills. It’s quite a panoramic, scenic view!

The summit itself is basically a large, flat field with a main, fenced viewpoint. A trail winds around the field and gives you a few different perspectives before heading back downhill. There’s lots of room up here for a picnic!

A girl sitting on a fence overlooking Kelowna and Black Mountain from the Black Mountain Viewpoint hiking trail
Stairs heading down a hill towards houses
Stairs going uphill

Recommended Gear

Since the Black Mountain Viewpoint is short and fairly easy, it’s easy to think you can just head out. And even though you don’t need to prepare for this hike nearly as much as bigger ones, it’s still important to think ahead!

  • Water: I’m always gonna tell you to bring water. You don’t need a full-on hydration pack, but at least bring a water bottle. It’ll make your hike so much more enjoyable.
  • Proper footwear:  You can get away with a solid pair of runners or even hiking sandals on this trail. Just don’t wear flip flops!
  • Sun protection: Anytime you’re hiking in the Okanagan during the summer, it’s super important to protect yourself from the sun. Make sure to wear a hatsunscreen, and sunglasses. You could even wear sun-rated clothing (which, surprisingly, isn’t super ugly!).

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View of Black Mountain area

Final notes

The Black Mountain Viewpoint is a great trail if you’re looking for a quick and easy microadventure. But even though it’s short, don’t underestimate the workout you’ll get from the trail! Remember those bazillion stairs? Yeah, they’re fun. This trail is great for solo hiking, a family adventure, or even just walking your pooch!

Are you ready for a fun microadventure hike at the Black Mountain Viewpoint? I know I am, I wanna head up there right now!

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