Last updated May 5, 2020
Have you ever met one of those people that think they’re not actually hiking unless they’re on the trail for hours and hours? I don’t really understand that. Personally, I love myself some easy hikes because usually all I want is to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and get my body moving. I recently discovered an easy trail here in Kelowna that I wish I had known about sooner. Plus, it’s got those killer views that I’m all about. Y’know, the ones of Okanagan Lake? It’s called the Dilworth Mountain Water Tower trail and you should definitely check it out sooner rather than later.
Wow, what a mouthful of a trail name. I know. If you didn’t say it out loud, give it a try.
If the trail sounds familiar, it’s because there’s a trail system nearby called Dilworth Mountain Park. It’s got a pretty similar name, so it’s easy to confuse them. Both have super awesome views of Kelowna, but the water tower is higher so it has a more robust view, if you can believe that. The two trails are only about a kilometer apart, so you should definitely check them both out if you can!
Dilworth Mountain Water Tower Trail
So, where is this magical trail? Well, the Dilworth Mountain Water Tower trail is located in a subdivision smack dab between Rutland and Glenmore and it’s actually surrounded entirely by houses. Surprising, right? Despite that, you can enjoy some good ol’ nature time when you’re on this easy hike.
You’ll have views of Kelowna and the nearby houses as you wander up the mountain, but you won’t feel like you’re walking through the suburbs. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some deer or an owl on your hike!
Since Dilworth Mountain Water Tower a fairly easy trail, it’s a great hike for families with kiddos, if you’re breaking into your hiking season, or just want to soak in some nature. It’s a wonderful trail if you only have an hour or so to get outside and it’s perfect for all skill levels. It is an uphill climb, but it’s manageable if you go slow and steady.
Parking for this trail is a little awkward. Since it’s located in a residential area there aren’t a ton of places to park. You can’t park directly at the trailhead, but there is a small pullout a few hundred meters down the road where you can. It’s pretty small, so try your best to leave as much room as possible for your fellow hikers.
There are a few different trails up the mountain which makes it a fun choose-your-own adventure hike. Just like those old books, remember them?
The main trail is a paved service road and winds all the way to the top. The road is gated at the bottom, so you don’t have to worry about getting run over — unless someone is coming to maintain the tower, then all bets are off! Just kidding. Or am I? It’s a fairly wide road and has a few large switchbacks to make the trek up easier. For the most part, it has a pretty gentle slope except for the final stretch which is quite a bit steeper.
If you’re not super into walking along a paved road — which I totally understand — you’re in luck, you don’t have to. There are a few other trails on the mountain that feel a lot more like a forest hike and provide plenty of awesome views of the city through the trees. I love getting off the main drag and checking these out!
No matter which trail you choose, you can enjoy the shade of the forest. The entire mountain is covered in trees and there’s often a breeze making its way across the mountain. It does get warm so make sure you stay hydrated, but it’s not an exposed hike. And since there are a few different trails, you don’t have to go down the same way!
The Water Tower Summit
Before long you’ll reach the summit of the Dilworth Water Mountain Tower trail and meet its namesake — the ugly water tower. Just skirt around that eye sore and you’ll immediately fall in love with the view. Or at least I did. To be honest though, I fall in love pretty easily when I can see Okanagan Lake. And man, can you see the lake from here!
Okanagan Lake sparkles like the precious gem it is far below and stretches into the distance while Kelowna sprawls along the valley floor. You can really appreciate how big Kelowna is from the summit, but you can also see how lucky we are to have so much green space within the city. You can even spot Dilworth Mountain Park from here!
Take some time to enjoy the summit! It’s totally worth spending some time hanging out at — bring your hammock, a good book, or a deck of cards and soak up the crisp air and beautiful views. I always enjoy listening to the breeze rustle through the trees and the birds sing as they flit about. It’s such a beautiful reminder that easy hikes are full of just as much joy as their more difficult counterparts. You really don’t need to go on a hard hike to experience the Okanagan in all her glory.
Viewpoints at Dilworth Mountain Water Tower
The Dilworth Mountain Water Tower trail isn’t too popular or well-known, so you’ll likely get to enjoy the summit in peace. I only encountered a couple of small groups along the way, which is a far cry from some of the other trails in the Okanagan. I love checking out these lesser-known trails for their solitude.
There are two main viewpoints at the summit and both have incredible views. One of the viewpoints has a bench and a large cleared dirt patch in front of it. You can see all of Rutland and up into Black Mountain, as well as Okanagan Lake and over to West Kelowna. The second viewpoint is much more rugged and feels more natural, but has a limited view of Kelowna and looks towards West Kelowna over Okanagan Lake.
Honestly, since this is a pretty easy hike you can get by without much gear. At the very least, make sure you have a good pair of shoes and plenty of water. Runners or hiking sandals will do just fine and you don’t need more than a reusable water bottle. If you want, you can bring the ten essentials but it’s not really necessary.
If you wanna extend your time on the mountain, you could bring up a hiking hammock (get 5% off with code SAMAC5) or lightweight chair to relax in and read a good book. You could also play some cards or fun, no-gear games. It’s always nice to soak in the gorgeous views for as long as possible.
The Dilworth Mountain Water Tower trail is a great easy hike right in the heart of Kelowna. It’s a nice way to escape and appreciate the outdoors without actually leaving the city limits. Since there are a bunch of different trails across the mountain, you have the freedom to explore and make it a choose-your-own-adventure hike.