Spion Kop is Dutch for “look out hill” and for good reason. This large area of Crown Land in Lake Country, BC overlooks Okanagan Lake, Ellison Lake, Wood Lake, Kalamalka Lake, Lake Country, Kelowna and beyond. With such fabulous views of the Okanagan Valley it’s no surprised that this 350 hectare area is covered in trails, but thanks to the hard work of the Walk Around Lake Country (WALC) group there are seven well marked hiking trails that range from easy to difficult.
Because this area is Crown Land, these trails are multi-use. There are hiking trails, biking trail and ATV trails. Unfortunately, ATVs are quite hard on the environment causing increased erosion, destruction of plant life and less than ideal hiking trail. That being said, a good effort has been made by the trail setters to maintain the trails and offer as much single-track trails as possible.
There are four different access point to the Spion Kop Hiking Trails. We parked at the Raven Ridge Trail Head at the end of Northstart Lane which is located on the west side of Spion Kop in Lake Country, BC. The trail starts as the Paintbrush trail which is a 2.6 km trail (one-way) up the Grand Overlook. A second trail, the Ridgeline Trail loops off of the Paintbrush trail and goes along the top of an old glacial ridge, eventually reconnecting with Paintbrush trail up to the lookout.
Of the two trails, we preferred the Ridgeline Trail. This single-track trail is in great condition and the views from there were lovely. The Paintbrush Trail is a wide gravel ATV trail that eventually cuts across an old road and continues on as a single-track trail just before the lookout. The views from the Grand Overlook are amazing! My only recommendation is to take the Ridgeline Trail loop and bypass as much of the Paintbrush Trail as possible.
From the Raven Ridge Trail Head to the Grand Overlook and back again is just over 5.0 km. This hike took us about one hour and forty-five minutes to complete. This hike is best enjoyed in the spring and fall, or on a cool summer’s day.
There are four different access points to the Spion Kop trails, in Lake Country, BC. The Raven Ridge Trail Head is located at the end of Northstar Lane. The Upper Lakes Trail Head is off Apex Drive. The Old Mission Road Trail Head is on Old Mission Road and the Pelmewash Parkway Trail Head is on Pelmewash Parkway.