There’s no shortage of panoramic views in the Okanagan and the views from the Boucherie Rush Trail in West Kelowna are certainly no different. Almost from the beginning, you’re presented with dramatic, sweeping views that only get better the farther you hike.
The Boucherie Rush Trail is located on Mount Boucherie, an extinct volcano that lies in the middle of West Kelowna. It's visible from almost every part of town! It's a moderate hike that's perfect for the whole family and great for a quick adventure.
History of Mount Boucherie
Mount Boucherie is an extinct stratovolcano that has a history spanning almost 60 million years. Today, Mount Boucherie’s highest elevation is 758 m and stands 417 m above Okanagan Lake. It’s thought to have once been almost 2,000 meters tall!
The mountain is named after Isadore Boucherie who was an early settler and farmer in the Okanagan. In the late 1880s, he purchased land near the mountain and it was later given his name.
Volcanic Activity on Mount Boucherie
Mount Boucherie’s early eruptions, which happened approximately 60 million years ago, consisted of rhyolite and andesite flows. These can be seen on the northern and southern edges of the mountain and can be identified by their distinctive yellow, tan, and pink colours. The mountain became a lava dome which has been extensively eroded ever since.
During its final volcanic activity, Mount Boucherie’s eastern slope was carved into large columns of dacite rock. The forest below these cliffs is littered with pieces of large columns that fell long ago.
When the volcanic activity ended, a large river flowed through the area and partially buried the volcano with rock and sediment. Over the last 40 to 50 million years Mount Boucherie was subjected to glacial activity that further eroded the lava dome into what we see today.
Hiking the Boucherie Rush Trail
The trails on Mount Boucherie offer something for everyone. No matter your skill level, you’ll fall in love with the trails and the beautiful views you’re rewarded with. The Boucherie Rush Trail is a moderately-rated 6.5 km loop hike that takes about 1 to 3 hours. West Kelowna created the trail in 2015 which has made Mount Boucherie more accessible.
Amenities at the Trailhead
A tiny, four-car parking lot marks the trailhead for the Boucherie Rush Trail on the southwest side of Mount Boucherie. This parking lot fills up quickly, but there’s plenty of parking available on the roadside and ball diamond just up the road. A small outhouse sits in the parking lot. We always bring a small amount of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, just in case.
What to Expect from the Trail
From the map at the trailhead, follow the Flint Man Trail for 0.4km and then head uphill on the Boucherie Rush Trail. You’ll steadily climb up the side of the mountain using an extensive switchback system. The hard packed trail is very well maintained and free of roots and loose rock. There are wooden railings at the steep and narrow sections, as well as informative signs throughout the hike. West Kelowna did a wonderful job when they created the Boucherie Rush Trail!
There are plenty of shortcuts that connect the switchbacks which can be tempting to take. However, it’s important to stay on the trail so that your impact on the mountain is lessened. Instead of racing up the mountain, take your time and enjoy the panoramic views and volcanic rock. The majority of the trail is exposed with little tree cover and you’ll quickly become very hot on a sunny day. Bring lots of water in a hydration pack, lather yourself in sunscreen, and wear a hat to protect yourself. Check out our Okanagan packing list — it'll help keep you safe on your hike.
Summiting Mount Boucherie
The Boucherie Rush Trail is mostly an extensive switchback system and only near the summit does this change. You’ll know you’ve reached the top when the trees thicken and the trail straightens.
The summit of the Boucherie Rush Trail is marked by the 3 km marker and a large, rocky landing with a wooden fence. The landing overlooks West Kelowna, Okanagan Lake, and Okanagan Mountain Park. The views from the summit of the Boucherie Rush Trail are absolutely breathtaking! It's a great place to kick back and relax. Bring some snacks and enjoy a wonderful picnic.
You can keep exploring Mount Boucherie by taking the unmaintained trails to the northeastern side of the mountain where you’ll be rewarded with more amazing views. If that’s not your jam, just head back the way you came.
What to Bring on Your Hike
The Boucherie Rush Trail is a fairly easy hike so luckily you won't need to pack too much, but there are a few things we definitely recommend bringing.
Hydration packs are my favourite way to bring water on any hiking adventure. I find I stay way more hydrated when I use a hydration pack instead of a water bottle because I have easy access to water the entire time. Hydration packs are made to easily fit into backpacks, which makes carrying 2-3 litres super easy.
You'll want to bring as much water as possible on your hike, especially in the summer, because most of the Boucherie Rush Trail is entirely exposed.
I won't lie, I'm bad for wearing hats. But they make such a difference that when I actually do wear one, I'm glad I did.
Hats are great for keeping the hot sun out of your eyes as well as preventing your face and scalp from getting sunburnt. And if you're getting a little too hot, just drench your hat in some water! It's a win-win.
Trail Location & Information
The Boucherie Rush Trail is a great day-hike for all skill levels that rewards you with beautiful views of West Kelowna, Okanagan Lake, and Okanagan Mountain.
|Distance||6.5 km loop|
|Duration||1 – 3 hours|
|Parking||There's a small 4-car parking lot at the trailhead with plenty of additional parking available on the roadside and ball diamond.|