Route: Okanagan Highlands Trail

Submitted by Mylon Ollila on Tue, 10/25/2022 - 01:01pm
British Columbia, CA
130 km
Vertical Gain
5,860 m

The Okanagan Highlands Trail (OHT) runs from Coldstream (near Vernon) to Chute Lake (near Okanagan Mountain Park) through Okanagan backcountry. It is approximately 130 kilometers in length. The length and difficulty of this route make it a unique challenge in the Okanagan region. It requires backcountry experience, survival gear, and navigation ability.

The route includes the well-maintained High Rim Trail from Coldstream to Kelowna, where it crosses Highway 33 and ends at Mission Creek. The OHT requires a crossing of Mission Creek (no bridge) and continues to Hydraulic Lake. From Hydraulic Lake, the trail climbs the east side of Little White Mountain (2200 meters) and traverses a wide ridge with multiple climbs that take you up to 2000 meters before descending to Chute Lake.

This trail requires expert level backcountry experience and should only be attempted in good weather conditions. Reconnaissance of all sections of trail is highly recommended before attempting full route. The Mission Creek crossing can be dangerous in certain conditions. The trail from Coldstream to Little White Mountain is well marked and maintained but becomes challenging in the alpine sections. The section from Little White Mountain to Chute Lake is unmaintained, poorly marked, and should not be attempted in snow or bad weather.