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The Best Okanagan Valley Waterfalls

The Okanagan Valley – lakes, wineries and…waterfalls? Yes, there are plenty of must-see Okanagan Valley waterfalls!

This post showcases eight beautiful Okanagan Valley waterfalls, from Vernon and Kelowna to Peachland and Naramata. We live in Penticton so not too far from any of them!

Each waterfall is unique, with a different approach and accessibility rating. Some are easy to reach, while others require an hour or two of hiking. Read on to discover the best Okanagan Valley waterfalls!

Published June 2024

Waterfall safety

Waterfalls offer breathtaking views but caution is essential. There are hidden dangers.

While exploring waterfalls in the Okanagan Valley, be sure to:

  • Stay on established trails and keep back from drop-offs
  • Follow trail signage and respect closures
  • Beware of slippery surfaces – even if a rock looks dry, it probably isn’t
  • Wear proper shoes (avoid flipflops or sandals)
  • Waterfalls are usually more impressive in spring or after rain but swollen rivers can cause flooding
  • Pools of water that seem shallow may be a lot deeper in reality
  • Remember that the water temperature is probably a lot cooler than you’d expect!
  • Considering a swim? Additional risks include submerged hazards, rapid currents, and whirlpools

Okanagan Valley Waterfalls

To help preserve nature for wildlife and other visitors, be sure to Leave No Trace while exploring these waterfalls in the Okanagan Valley.

BX Creek Falls, Vernon

BX Creek Falls has one of the best effort-to-reward ratios for any Okanagan Valley waterfall!

From the Tillicum parking area, simply follow the creek 350m to the top of a staircase. BX Falls lies in a cool canyon below. The water flows from Silver Star Mountain and can be raging in spring.

Very popular with young families, the shady trail is perfect for hot summer days. For a longer hike, climb back up the stairs and continue along the trail. There is another trailhead at Star Road, 3km further.

BX Creek Falls is usually open in winter, though plenty of caution is required to visit safely. The steps down to the waterfall can be very icy and microspikes are essential to descend without slipping. Even then, it can still be difficult.

Length: 700m out and back
Difficulty: Easy – path is mostly flat, over 60 stairs
Trailhead location: Tillicum Road, Vernon
Parking: Small dedicated parking lot
Facilities: None

Looking up at BX Falls, which cascades down small canyon with tree roots, surrounded by trees
BX Falls

Cosens Bay Waterfall, Vernon

Also known as Cosens Creek Waterfall or simply Cosens Falls, this Okanagan Valley waterfall is located in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. It is best seen in spring as the flow usually dries up quickly in summer.

While not signed, it is a very short detour from the Cosens Bay Express Trail (check the route on AllTrails). The quickest route is from the Cougar Canyon parking lot, but it’s not the most interesting hike as there is a lot of road walking.

Consider a longer day hike from the Cosens Bay gate, with a visit to the beach. This is a far more satisfying experience, especially in late spring/early summer when the waterfall is likely to be quite weak.

In winter, the frozen falls form a dramatic wall of ice. The terrain is quite steep around the waterfall so we find microspikes to be helpful in winter.

Length: 4km return (shortest route)
Difficulty: Easy – some steep and loose sections of trail, road walking
Trailhead location: Cougar Canyon, Kalamalka Provincial Park
Parking: Medium-sized lot
Facilities: Outhouse in parking lot

Frozen waterfall on left of photo, cascading over canyon wall, surrounded by trees
Cosens Bay Waterfall

Fintry Falls

If it’s a dramatic waterfall you’re after, look no further than Fintry Falls. Located in Fintry Provincial Park, this triple-level 65m high waterfall is one of the most spectacular in the entire Okanagan Valley.

Visiting Fintry Falls is not difficult but does require a little effort. There are almost 400 steps along the main Fintry Falls trail. A series of observation platforms are the reward, with excellent views of the various cascades.

This impressive waterfall is exceptionally powerful in spring during the snow melt. James Cameron Dun-Waters harnessed this energy in the early 20th century, building a complex electricity generating and irrigation system for his nearby farm.

The most direct route up and down to the falls is only 1km return, but I’d recommend a longer loop (1.4km) that avoids descending the stairs again.

Length: 1.4km
Difficulty: Easy – many stairs
Trailhead location: Fintry Provincial Park
Parking: Very large dedicated parking lot
Facilities: Signage, outhouses, historical buildings

Looking up at thin triple level waterfall on side of rocky canyon
Fintry Falls in late winter

Christie Falls

Feeling adventurous? Christie Falls may be the Okanagan Valley waterfall for you. This is a rugged backcountry adventure along unpaved logging roads and an unmaintained hiking trail through a wildfire damaged area.

The waterfall itself is spectacular – a free-falling wonder on the side of a steep rock face. There is a viewpoint at the top with another located at the base of the falls, accessible via a very steep trail (assisted rope descent).

I would recommend a high-clearance vehicle with all-terrain tires (AWD preferable) to reach the trailhead. There is no phone signal at the parking lot so be sure to tell someone where you are going and plan you plan to return.

Length: 2.4km return
Difficulty: Moderate – unmaintained trail, very steep descent to base of falls
Trailhead location: Near Terrace Mountain Road
Parking: Dedicated dirt lot
Facilities: None

Mill Creek Falls, Kelowna

Mill Creek Falls is an approachable, family-friendly cascade near the Kelowna airport. Yep, the airport! The trail and waterfall are surprisingly quiet and peaceful, however, so don’t let the location put you off.

The path to Mill Creek Falls is very wide and level, perfect for strollers and large groups. There is a short side trail that crosses the creek with a large bridge; I’d recommend taking it on the way back for a more interesting loop.

At the falls, there is the choice to walk above the cascade or to the side. The path continues beyond the waterfall but most visitors will turn around at the waterfall.

As is the case with most of these Okanagan Valley waterfalls, Mill Creek is a lot more impressive during the spring melt. It remains a pretty cascade throughout the year.

Length: 1.6km return
Difficulty: Very easy
Trailhead location: Spencer Road, Kelowna
Parking: Street parking
Facilities: Outhouse near the parking lot

Looking towards Mill Creek Falls in Kelowna, with a small cascade inbetween small canyon, with rocks in the foreground
Mill Creek Falls

Crawford Falls, Kelowna

Also known as Canyon Falls, Crawford Falls is a real ‘hidden in plain sight’ cascade. The 6km high Lower Falls sits just below a residential area, in a steep canyon.

The trail down to the falls is moderately difficult, with a steep and rocky descent. The waterfall is situated in a cove surrounded by tall cliffs, with a pool at its base.

As of June 2024, the Crawford Falls Trail is closed to visitors due to trail instability. I decided to include it in this Okanagan Valley waterfall post as it is still often discussed on social media and other websites.

Length: 2km return
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead location: Canyon Falls Court, Kelowna
Parking: Street parking (be respectful of local residents)
Facilities: None

Bear Creek Falls, West Kelowna

Plunging into a deep canyon, Bear Creek Falls is one of the most dramatic-looking waterfalls in the Okanagan Valley.

Unfortunately, the Canyon Rim Trail that provided access to the waterfall was significantly damaged in a 2023 wildfire and is currently closed.

Again, I have included it within this Okanagan Valley waterfalls list as it is often referred to on social media and other websites.

Elevated view lookign down on a very tall waterfall plunging into a deep canyon
Bear Creek Falls

Hardy Falls, Peachland

The most accessible Okanagan Valley waterfall on this list, Hardy Falls’ trailhead is located just off Highway 97 to the south of Peachland.

The shady trail crosses several bridges as it follows Deep Creek through a deep canyon to the small cascade.

Short, wide and level, the 400m long path is ideal for families and individuals of all abilities, including those with strollers and wheelchairs.

The best time to visit Hardy Falls is in late spring (May, June), during the snow melt. Autumn is another great time to visit, when the Kokanee salmon return to the creek to spawn.

Deep Creek serves as a critical habitat for the Kokanee. To protect the fish and their eggs, keep dogs on a leash and refrain from entering the creek from September to May. Even a single step could harm hundreds of salmon.

Length: 0.8km return, 20-30 minutes
Difficulty: Very easy
Parking: Dedicated street parking opposite the trailhead
Trailhead location: Hardy Street, Peachland
Facilities: Interpretive signage, viewing platform

Looking up at a small cascade in a steep canyon, with the river running towards the photographer
Hardy Falls

Naramata Creek Falls, Naramata

Tucked away just beyond the busy Naramata Road, Naramata Creek Falls is a beautiful multi-tiered cascade nestled within a forested canyon.

This hidden waterfall offers a refreshing escape during the scorching summer months.

The hike to the base of the falls is low to medium difficulty. While it is only 2.5km return, the final approach to the waterfall is a little tricky (especially in spring).

The first part of the trail is very easy, with a flat maintained path following the creek through the trees. At the 1km mark, hikers must choose to continue on a narrow uphill trail or stay along the creek. The latter requires two short creek crossings (no bridges).

The ease of these crossings varies depending on the season. When the water is low, it is possible to rock-hop and avoid wet feet. This is a lot more difficult to do in spring and early summer.

Length: 2.5km return, allow 1 to 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy with some harder sections (see below for details)
Trailhead location: Just off Naramata Road, Naramata
Parking: Small dedicated parking lot
Facilities: Outhouse at trailhead, picnic table
More information: Naramata Creek Falls hiking guide

JR is standing on a rock in front of Naramata Creek Falls, a series of cascades in a forest
Naramata Creek Falls

Other Okanagan Valley posts you may find helpful:

17 of the Best South Okanagan Hiking Trails

The Best Okanagan Valley Wineries: A Local’s Guide

Okanagan Mountain Park: A Complete Hiking and Paddling Guide

22+ of the Best Campgrounds in the South Okanagan, BC

Okanagan Valley Road Trip: What to Do and Where to Stop

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Linda (LD Holland)

Thursday 6th of June 2024

This post was timely. We are headed to the Okanagan in a few days and we love chasing waterfalls!


Thursday 6th of June 2024

Oh that is so great to hear! I hope you have a fabulous time in the Okanagan. Weather forecast looks fabulous for the next week!