Bear Creek Hike: Adventure in the Okanagan

By Tanille Schmidt, CPAWS-BC Wild Ambassador

Bear Creek is an incredible area protected by BC Parks! The trail is approximately 2.5km, making it reasonable for most abilities. We had a group of twelve people, ranging in abilities from avid hikers to those that had only been on a short hike once before! Everyone had come with someone that they knew, but we had a great time getting to know those that we had never met before.

While going uphill, we got to enjoy beautiful views of downtown Kelowna and the Okanagan lake. Once we had been going steadily up for about fifteen minutes we were rewarded with a lookout point that gave us a view of the canyon and the creek running through it. It was there that one of our group members pointed out that one way of identifying the Ponderosa Pine was by its characteristic vanilla smell! I had never learned this before, and definitely enjoyed smelling the beautiful bark! Passers by may have thought that our group looked a little odd with our noses all pressed against the trees.

Once the hike leveled out we were able to pass bridges over the creek and spent some time watching nearby birds. It wasn't long after our descent down that we saw a bald eagle and were able to look at it closely with a participant's binoculars! We ended up having a big discussion regarding what to do about bears and what the risk involved in encounters actually was. It was decided that going with a group increased comfortability and that the more one spent enjoying the outdoors, the more confident they become!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend a Saturday afternoon with an amazing group of people from so many different backgrounds. The fresh air, views, conversations, and new smells were incredible.

To learn more about our Wild Ambassador Program please click here.