Winter hikes near Kelowna, British Columbia
Myra Canyon Trestles in the Okanagan is the perfect winter hike to enjoy the snow. Myra Canyon Trail is located just outside Kelowna with stunning views from start to finish. It is the old Kettle Valley Rail that has been rebuilt as a multi-use recreational trail. There are 18 trestles and 2 tunnels in the 12 km stretch from Myra Station Parking Lot to Ruth Station Parking Lot (24km return). Since it used to be an old railway, it is a very wide, flat path that makes it perfect for everyone to use.
Trail Route: Myra Canyon Parking Lot to Ruth Station Parking Lot
Distance: 24km round-trip
What to bring: water and snacks, microspikes, snowshoes, and layers
Other information: If you don't want to do the whole hike, hike to the 7km mark to see the tunnels and trestles.
Getting to Myra Canyon in the Okanagan
Myra Canyon Trail is located just outside Kelowna, about 30 minutes from downtown. If you want to start from the Myra Station Parking lot, you can simply type that into Google Maps (be careful to not go to Myra Canyon Adventure Park as that will take you towards Ruth Station).
From the Orchard Park Shopping Center in Kelowna, take Benvoulin to K.O.L Rd and turn left. K.O.L Rd will turn into McCulloch road, which you will stay on until you turn right onto Myra Forest Service Road. You will stay on Myra Forest Road for about 8km before turning right into the parking lot. Depending on the snow and how comfortable you are with winter driving, it is possible to make it up with a car.
Myra Canyon Trailhead
The trail starts right from the parking lot. There's a stone marking with 0Km on it and a yellow gate that prevents people from driving on it. There is also an information board with a map on it. The trail is pretty straightforward as you will be following a railroad track the entire way.
There are 2 outhouses in the parking lot, make sure to use them as the next one isn't until the 3 km and 7 km mark.
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Trestle and Tunnels
The good news for all of you who do not want to complete the entire 24km Myra Canyon trail, you do not need to do the entire 24 km to see some trestles or the tunnels! There are 2 alternative distances you can do: ~3 km (6km return) or 7 km (14 km return)
Option 1: ~3 Km One-Way | ~6 Km Return
This option is perfect if you are short on time, have small kids, or just want a shorter hike in general. Here you will be able to see about 7 trestles and 2 tunnels. The second tunnel is just after the 3km mark.
You will see 2 tunnels and 7 trestles in the first ~3km
Option 2: ~7 Km One-Way | ~14 Km Return
Km 6 is where it’s at! Get your camera ready for the next 1 km because the scenery is absolutely breathtaking! There are about 5 trestles in a row and as you curve around the bend, you get an amazing view of them all.
View of the trestles
If you venture all the way to the Ruth Station, from km 7 to km 12, there are a few more trestles but the route takes you mostly along the trees. I would say it's not as scenic as the first 7km but still beautiful.
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There are 2 storm shelters, around km 3 and 7 if you do need to use them, along with 2 outhouses along the trail. A fire devastated the area in 2003 and you can still see the remains of it.
There are benches along the way if you need to rest.