High Rim Trail: Full Trip (Vernon to Kelowna & Back)

Kalamalka Lake

31 min from Downtown Kelowna
379 Philpott Rd, Kelowna, BC V1P 1J6

This trail is officially listed as a long trek through the Thompson Plateau from Vernon to Mission Creek in Kelowna (on Highway 33 & Philpott Road on your way out of Kelowna via Rutland). Travelling through numerous dense forest-ways, the trail has essentially two open sections that offer stunning views of the valley: The Oyama Repeater and the Grand View. However, if hikers deviate slightly in Wrinkly Face Prov Park, there is a chance for a view mid-way between these two.

WARNINGS: There are countless intersections with main forestry roads; watch carefully for signage and always carry a GPS with the trail map. Absolutely do not go without one, and definitely bring a battery backup. The trail is littered with pink and black ribbon which often marks the correct route; however, at times can indicate a bike trail (of which there are many). Also, if hiking in the late summer or early fall, the ONLY water sources are Cardinal Creek (4.75 km), Frog Pond (12.5 km and 13 km), Kelowna Creek (23.75 km), Vernon Creek (28.75 km), Hayhurst Lake (39.5 km), and Kal Lake's Cosen's Bay around 56 km.

From the main trailhead at the Cosens Bay Rd parking lot at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, this hike will take 3-4 days from start to finish for most hikers. Averaging a pace of 3.5-4.0 km/hr is expected with a pack for fit adults (allowing extra time for the initial ascent/final descent).

High Rim Trail has many access points for emergency exits, or alternatively shorter day-hike entry points. For more information, visit the Okanagan High Rim Trail Association web site for a complete set of maps, photos, and more.

  • Multi-Day
  • Difficult
  • Out & Back Same Way
  • 115.80 km round-trip
  • 32 hr solo
  • 41 hr 56 min group
  • 2,094 m gain
Kids & Pets
  • On-Leash


379 Philpott Rd, Kelowna, BC V1P 1J6

Driving Time

From Downtown Kelowna, approximate travel time by car is 31 min.

Notable GPS Co-ordinates

Detailed Directions

1. From downtown Kelowna, drive north towards Vernon on Highway 97.
2. Turn RIGHT on Highway 33
3. After approximately 20 km, turn LEFT on Philpott Rd and park.

Google Directions

Use our written directions in preference to the Google directions below as they are likely more accurate.

Linear Trail
This is a linear (out and back/not a loop) trail; the values below indicate the one-way statistics from the trailhead to the end of the route.
  • Starting Elevation: 794 meters
  • Ending Elevation: 492 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 1438 meters
  • Minimum Elevation: 451 meters
  • Elevation Gain: 2094 meters
  • Elevation Loss: -2395 meters
  • Slope Up: 6.00%
  • Slope Down: -7.00%

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Map Waypoints

GPS Notes
We have often color-coded our GPX tracks. While it is not always the case, we have tried to use the following convention on our newer maps:

Green/Blue: human-verified by our volunteers.
Purple: overgrown trail, bushwhack, or on private property.
Red: default color or not reality-checked
Yellow: Road
Other Colors: May have been satellite traced or imported from third party sources.

While we strongly believe our GPS are accurate, please be aware that no logging system is perfect and to be aware of potential errors. Use at your own risk.
  • Naomi Zukowski

    To everyone that is doing this hike in 2017. The trail workers bridge between postil lake and beaver lake no longer has a railing due to the high volume of water. Please be careful when crossing as it is very slippery and there is only a log left.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 4:38 PM
  • Smitty

    If anyone has come across some bad blow-down areas, post them up. I've been trying to clear out them where I find them. Just took the chainsaw up to KP11 to KP12 (Between Goudie and Grand View).

    Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:28 AM
  • Bobi McGrath

    Just did the hike between Vernon & Beaver Lake Rd. Lost a Samsung Note 4 between The Monolith and Wrinkly Face Provincial Park. If anyone finds it can they please call 250-863-5704.

    Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:34 PM
  • Smitty

    We just formed the Okanagan High Rim Trail Association to maintain and improve the HRT. Spend 2017 clearing the trail of windfall and overgrowth. Look for more of the same this season!

    Also, Bobi, I'm stoked Mike was able to find your phone. Talk about luck!

    Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 3:55 PM

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