Just a short drive south of Penticton, the Peach Cliff hike is short, rewarding and surprisingly interesting. The epic views stretch from Vaseux Lake to Skaha and Penticton.
The Peach Cliff hike is perfect for those slightly chilly spring or autumn days when you’re feeling lazy but it’s just way too sunny to stay inside.
This post tells you everything you need to know about the Peach Cliff hike, including where to find the trailhead, how to see the best views and the side trails you can’t miss!
- Always bring the 10 Essentials
- Know how to stay safe in the backcountry
- Remember to Leave No Trace to help keep the wilderness wild
- Understand how to avoid negative bear encounters
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A cliff with a lot of history
When driving through the Okanagan Valley there are a number of towering cliffs and bluffs that catch the eye.
One of these is Peach Cliff, a rocky outcrop that looks over the small town of Okanagan Falls (OK Falls for short).
This 600m rockface is part of what was once the continental shelf and is approximately two billion years old. The outcrop was originally created by earthquakes and volcanoes but then rounded out by glaciers and ice melt.
This violent history is one of the reasons why the Okanagan Valley looks so different to other valleys in British Columbia.
The Peach Cliff hike trailhead is located on an unassuming backroad to the east of Okanagan Falls. Like the trail to McIntyre Bluff (which can be found just a little further south), the actual rockface is approached from behind.
This means the views are revealed towards the end of the hike, kind of like a reward for making the trip. On the way, however, there are a few interesting things to break up the journey.
Mining, goldfish and elevation
After about ten minutes of hiking, the trail opens up and a small shed appears on the left. Only, it’s not quite like any other shed.
This one stores old core mining samples. From 1969-1976, the Peach Cliff area was home to the Dusty Mac Mine which produced silver and gold.
There have been other exploratory drills here during the decades since. While leftover mining equipment can be found all over BC, I’d never seen anything quite like this.
Just around the corner (stay left) from the core sample shed, is an old quarry pit. It has since filled with water that now glitters green. It’s apparently possible to spot goldfish in this pond, but we didn’t see any on our visit.
The Peach Cliff hike
Backtracking to the main trail from the pond, the hike can get a little confusing from here. Well, at least we found it to be! There are a few different routes heading towards the Cliff; I think some have been recently created by ATVs.
On our most recent hike, we followed the path furthest to the left (close to the fence).
All the routes seem to travel vaguely left towards the Cliff and then converge near a cattle gate overlooking Skaha Lake. Go through this and then look left for a narrow trail leading up towards a satellite tower.
If you continue on here and don’t make the turn left, the trail starts to descend and turn north towards Penticton (i.e. the wrong direction). The views are still pretty panoramic from here, so even if you do go wrong (or don’t feel like hiking to the top), it’s not really a bad thing!
Reaching the top of Peach Cliff
The narrow trail leading to the summit of Peach Cliff is quite steep for a couple of sections. The surface is mostly smooth rock, scree and tall grass.
Most of the trail goes straight up rather than using switchbacks and can be a bit of a grind.
If, like me, you feel a bit nervous about going down steep slopes with loose rock, I’d highly recommend bringing at least one hiking pole on this hike. Our poles of choice are the Black Diamond Carbon Z (SO LIGHT!)
The good news, however, is that the elevation gain is quick. On our first visit to Peach Cliff, we didn’t go quite the full distance to the satellite tower but had excellent views and a rock bench from our position about two-thirds of the way up.
All the details: Peach Cliff hike, Okanagan Falls
The trailhead location is on McLean Creek Road, just to the east of Okanagan Falls. There is a gate (see photo below) just to the right of the property at 4062 McLean Road.
- Note that the hike is not signed, but you can clearly see the trail leading west from the gate
- There is no designated parking but vehicles can safely park parallel to the road. As always, be mindful of local residents
- Peach Cliff hike trail distance is around 5km. We spent just over two hours on the trail with a leisurely stop at the top for lunch
- Like most other hikes in the Okanagan, there is very little shade on this trail so be sure to head out early when hiking in summer (before 9am!), bring a hat, sunscreen etc.
- There are no outhouses or bins along the route, so be sure to pack out all trash
- Even before starting the Peach Cliff hike we were lucky enough to spot a herd of bighorn sheep. From what I’ve read, it’s not uncommon so keep your eyes open!
- Other animals in the area (common to most hikes in the Okanagan) include rattlesnakes and ticks. Watch your step and do a tick check after your hike
- If planning to hike to the top of Peach Cliff, be sure to wear shoes with decent tread
Planning to book a stay near Okanagan Falls, British Columbia?
Holiday Beach Resort Motel – Great lakeside location
Casa Colina B&B – Highly rated on Booking.com
Are you looking for more hikes like this? Check this next: Hiking Giants Head Mountain. Summerland or 18 Fast and Fun Hikes in Penticton
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One half of the Canadian/British couple behind Off Track Travel, Gemma is happiest when hiking on the trail or planning the next big travel adventure. JR and Gemma are currently based in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Wednesday 1st of July 2020
We tried this hike yesterday when it was really hot. Not a good idea as there’s not much shade. The trail is not well marked at all. After the pool we were lost. A local woman came by and steered us in the right direction but also warned us of the many rattlesnakes in the area. Being so hot we weren’t wearing long pants and a couple of us only running shoes so we turned back. Would not recommend this hike
Friday 3rd of July 2020
It's too bad you didn't like this hike! Like most trails in the Okanagan, it is not marked, something I mentioned in the post. There also isn't a lot of shade and rattlesnakes (and other wildlife) are always a possibility, as they are almost anywhere in the southern Okanagan Valley. Luckily though, the rattlesnakes here are not aggressive and you just have to watch your step, especially in rocky areas.
For this and most other trails in the area, it is best to hike early (starting before 9am) in the summer or go in spring/autumn.
Sunday 3rd of December 2017
Looks amazing, love the bits of history and all the views from the hike! Definitely would love to do it!
Monday 4th of December 2017
Thanks Audrey, it's an interesting (and beautiful) hike for sure!