Exploring Basalt Columns in the Okanagan
Hiking the Aberdeen Columns is an absolute must if you're exploring the Okanagan area! Not far from Vernon, BC, you get to see these unique, beautiful columns up close. Make sure you save this post and add it to your Okanagan Bucketlist!
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Time: ~1 hr
Distance: 1 km return
Trail: There and back
What to bring: water, snacks, sun protection, bug spray, and hiking sticks (optional)
Road conditions: Accessible by car
Other information: The trailhead is just before km 18 and there's a little area to park after the curve.
Bonus tip: Hit up Bluenose Mountain Trail as it is on the same road.
Aberdeen Columns Hike Close-up
Aberdeen Columns are well known for climbing but it's still worth the quick hike around the area. They are polygonal basalt originating from volcanic activity and raise to 22m from the ground.
If you're looking for a bit more adventure, the Bluenose Mountain trail is on the same road (you will drive by it first) and you'll get spectacular views over Lavington/Vernon area as well as the Monashee Mountains. You can do both of these on the same day but if hiking the Aberdeen Columns is what you want to see, do those first!
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How to Get There:
Located about a 45-minute drive from Vernon, B.C. Travel on BC HWY 6 towards Lavington, turning right on Learmouth Rd and then right on Reid Rd. Continue on Bluenose Rd (which turns into Aberdeen Lake Rd) for about 10kms. Keep straight on Buck Hills Rd and a small pullout/parking area is just after the curve before the 18km mark. Alternatively, type "Aberdeen Columns" into Google Maps.
Aberdeen Columns Hiking Trail
Directly across from the parking area, there will be a sign for the trailhead leading you through a marsh area (bring bug spray), over a few bridges before opening up to a field of rocks and columns. Continue left at the field of rocks to follow the trail up to the Columns.
There's a sign at the start of the trailhead; the trail goes through a marsh
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Once at the columns, you can continue exploring on either side or along the lava rocks.