Ellis Creek: Canyon View Trail

by Josée


Ellis Creek Canyon is located on the east side of Penticton, BC. The creek is named after Thomas Ellis who was the first European immigrant to arrive in the Penticton area in 1865. There are several trails along the canyon ridge and another trail along the canyon floor. Of these trails the most accessible for families with younger children is the Canyon View Trail. This trail begins at the Garnet Fire Interpretive Site which is located off Beaver Dell Road, directly across from the Lost Moose Campground, and follows along a scenic 2.2km loop.

Near the parking area there is a small map, picnic table and interpretive sign; there is no outhouse. The wide trail starts straight from the parking lot and descends to a trail marker, continue right to follow the Canyon View Trail. The trail goes towards the canyon cliffs but as the canyon comes into view there is a bit of confusion with the trail. At first it might seem like the trail goes forwards, but in fact it veers right before the canyon edge. The trail direction is marked by several cairns (rock piles) on the right so keep an eye out for them. The cliff edge is unguarded so keep children close. As the trail moves away from the canyon it makes a quick loop back to the parking area.

We had the opportunity to enjoy this short trail with friends on a cooler 15°C day in June. We timed our hike during what appeared to be a break in the rainy weather but managed instead to get caught in a thunderstorm and pelted by hail. During the worst of the storm we avoided open areas and waited under a grouping of smaller trees until the worst had passed. Thankfully it passed by quickly but being caught outdoors during a thunderstorm is always a bit unnerving.  It took about an hour to complete the loop but this was mostly because we were delayed a little by the storm.  I suspect we could complete the hike in thirty minutes or less on a clear day. I should also mention that the trail is partially exposed and could be hot during the summer; however, it isn’t nearly as exposed as other hikes in the South Okanagan such as Munson Mountain.

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