Breathtaking views, fresh Okanagan air, and a racing heart — what more could you ask for of an afternoon hike? Lochview Trail connects Paul’s Tomb on Knox Mountain with Lochview Road and is a true 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. You won’t want to miss this wonderful hike!
Lochview Trail stretches over one and a half kilometers and offers views of Okanagan Lake that weren’t available to the public prior to 2012. 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 the 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, there’s no rush! In fact, the slower you go, the more you’ll get to enjoy the stunning landscape.
Enjoy the forest & fancy houses
We started our hike on Lochview Road. There is limited parking and almost all of the road is private property even though it looks like a forestry road. The trailhead is located directly off the road and is marked by a sign and staircase. The wooden staircase brought us downhill and deposited us on a trail that quickly descended into a sparse forest. Almost immediately, we spotted the first multi-million dollar house on Lochview Trail.
In 2012, the City of Kelowna completed the Lochview Trail. It cuts its way through the fancy Sheerwater Court and offers a small glimpse into the lives of the rich; the trail was one of the requirements for the original subdivision. As you hike make sure to stay on the trail because the land on either side is private property. No one wants strangers traipsing through their backyard!
The eye candy of Okanagan Lake
Before long we spotted Okanagan Lake through the trees. The day had begun with a valley-wide blanket of fog, but as the day progressed it slowly disappeared. Remnants of the foggy morning still clung to the lake and looked like smoke rising from the water. The deep blue of the lake glittered in stark contrast to the yellows and oranges of the autumn forest.
A bench sat at the bottom of the steep hill and offered us an amazing view of Okanagan Lake. After resting for a few moments we continued on and soon found a set of wooden stairs that led us to a small, rocky beach. The staircase led down the steep embankment and it felt as if we were headed straight into the lake as we walked down.
A secluded, rocky beach
The beach was small and secluded, a perfect place for a rest. Occasionally someone would pass on the trail above, but for the most part, we were entirely alone. The beach was littered with perfectly flat stones that were perfect for skipping. We had a competition to see who could skip the farthest and Jacob won by a long shot. Afterwards, we wandered the rocky shores and avoided the lake’s chilly water!
After the beach, the Lochview Trail led us to a tiring set of 115 stairs which brought us into the literal backyard of multi-million dollar houses. The houses were gorgeous, but it was discerning to be so close to their backyards. At one point, the Lochview Trail actually cut between a house and their elevator to the lake – at least, that’s what we thought it was.
Once we left behind the fancy houses, we enjoyed the trail as it cut across the side of the mountain. There were steep dropoffs but wooden railings ran along the edge of the steepest areas. It was fairly easy going from here on out and we didn’t meet the lake again until we came to Paul’s Tomb. The trail was gorgeous — we can never get enough of the Okanagan and its views!
Take a break at Paul’s Tomb
Paul’s Tomb was quite busy, but we weren’t surprised. Everyone was out enjoying the last of the fall and Paul’s Tomb is a local favourite. Paul’s Tomb features a secluded beach, picnic areas, and beautiful cliffs that overlook Okanagan Lake.
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 bladder because it’s super easy to carry liters of water and we can sip on water the entire time instead of chugging it at breaks.
Trail location & information
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 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.
|Difficulty||Easy to moderate|
|Notes||There are some very steep, tiring sections. Make sure to take your time and rest plenty! Stay on the trails as the land on either side is private property.|
|Related Activities||Kathleen Lake on Knox Mountain
Summer hiking packing list
I love eating, hiking, and taking awesome road trips. I’m particularly fond of perogies and mangos; find them for me and I’ll be your best friend.
My love of exploring began as a kid; my family took many road trips and I loved building forts in our backyard. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than exploring the world around me.