Last updated October 12, 2019
Lochview Trail in Kelowna, BC offers breathtaking views of Okanagan Lake. There’s crisp, fresh air and your heart will race — what more could you ask for of an afternoon hike?
Lochview Trail connects Paul’s Tomb on Knox Mountain with Lochview Road and is an Okanagan gem, nestled just north of downtown Kelowna. The rich lake views are unlike any other and the rigorous hike will have your heart hammering in no time. Despite it’s beauty and location on Knox Mountain, it’s a relatively unknown hike and is usually very quiet.
~3.7 km // ~1 hr 30 min
Lochview Trail, Kelowna
Lochview Trail stretches over one and a half kilometers and offers spectacular views of Okanagan Lake for almost the entire hike. The total elevation change is only 90 meters, but the many ups-and-downs along the way means you will be climbing much more than 90 meters! There are numerous timber crib stairs throughout, including one that gives you access to a small beach on the shore of Okanagan Lake.
Lochview Trail is rated as difficult due to the elevation change, steep drop-offs, and stairs. While it’s definitely a tiring hike, it’s more of an easy to moderate trail than difficult. Kids and seniors can certainly enjoy this trail, so don’t let the rating scare you off. Our advice is to just take your time and the enjoy the view, there’s no rush!
In 2012, the City of Kelowna completed Lochview Trail which cuts through Sheerwater Court on Knox Mountain and offers a small glimpse into the lives of the rich. The land on either side of the trail is private property, so respect the owners and stay on the trail. You wouldn’t want strangers traipsing through your backyard, so don’t do it to others.
Entrances to Lochview Trail
There are two main entrances to Lochview Trail.
The first entrance is via Lochview Road, just off Clifton Road. The parking here is roadside and is extremely limited due to most of the road being private property. The trailhead is located directly off the road and is marked by a sign and staircase. The wooden staircase quickly brings you downhill and onto a trail that descends into the sparse forest. Almost immediately, you’ll spot the first multi-million dollar house of Sheerwater Court.
The second entrance is from the beach at Paul’s Tomb. This entrance requires you to first hike to Paul’s Tomb from the Knox Mountain parking lot and adds an additional 4 km to your hike. There is plenty of parking at this parking lot, but it’s also usually very busy. Once at Paul’s Tomb, Lochview Trail begins to the right of the small beach.
What to expect
No matter which direction you decide to hike Lochview Trail, you’ll enjoy views of Okanagan Lake for most of it. You’ll hike along the side of the mountain, through sparse forests, and get a brief glimpse into the lives of the rich — or at least at their houses.
You’ll be led through the literal backyard of gorgeous, multi-million dollar houses. Lochview Trail actually cuts between a house and their elevator to the lake (that’s what we think it is, at least). These houses litter the mountain and will leave you envious of their spectacular views.
A small, rocky beach is accessible via a wooden staircase near the Lochview Road entrance. The beach is a wonderful place to relax and have a snack, although the small rocks don’t make for the most comfortable seats. They are, however, perfect for skipping on the lake.
There are numerous benches along the way and they usually mark the beginning or end of steep sections. Wooden staircases are also littered throughout the hike but don’t be fooled, these staircases are often quite tiring. In some sections, there are steep drop-offs but wooden railings ran along the edge of the steepest areas.
Lochview Trail is pretty quiet, especially compared to Paul’s Tomb which it connects with. If you like Paul’s Tomb, you’ll fall in love with Lochview Trail.
What to pack
Besides the ten essentials that you should always bring, hiking in the Okanagan comes with its own packing list. However, if you decide to throw that all aside and only bring a few things, make sure you bring these.
Staying hydrated on the trail is important. The Okanagan is a desert, so between the heat and exercise, you’ll definitely need water. We love hydration water bladders because it’s super easy to carry liters of water. Plus, you can sip on water your entire hike instead of chugging it at breaks. We always stay more hydrated with water bladders than water bottles.
In addition to water, we always recommend bear spray. The Okanagan is full of wildlife and bears love the mountains, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s also important to be bear aware and know bear safety before heading into the woods.
Lochview Trail is a wonderful, tiring trail that is much less popular than the normal route to Paul’s Tomb via Knox Mountain Drive. It offers stunning views of Okanagan Lake and a chance to look at the extravagance of the rich. Although it’s rated as a difficult hike, there are only a few places that are actually challenging. It’s quite well maintained and you’ll love the views!
Lochview Trail can be accessed via Lochview Road at the top of Clifton Road or via the Paul’s Tomb Trail on Knox Mountain. There is only a small area for parking at Lochview Road and make sure to respect the private property that surrounds the trailhead.