Located on a hilly plateau between two magnificent lakes, Predator Ridge Resort is a stunning setting for hiking.
While it may not be wilderness, this gorgeous area near Vernon, BC, features over 35km of well maintained, carefully marked hiking trails. Most are multi-use; some are exclusively for hikers.
Better yet, many of the trails interconnect so you can make your hiking experience last as long as you like.
Easily accessed right from Highway 97, Predator Ridge is one of those classic ‘hiding in plain sight’ hiking destinations. JR and I had driven past so many times and wondered what lay beyond the hillside.
Having now visited multiple times, I thought it was about time to share our discovery and give you the lowdown on Predator Ridge’s hiking trails.
Published April 2021. Tourism Vernon invited us to visited Predator Ridge and hosted our stay. At the time of writing, BC has a public health order recommending that all non-essential travel should be avoided.
The best Predator Ridge hiking trails
Predator Ridge is a resort community about twenty minutes drive south of Vernon, BC. Hiking and walking trails weave through residential areas, lakes and fairways to ascend the rocky ridges that give the resort its name. Beautiful views await!
Keep reading to discover five of our favourite Predator Ridge trails, beginning with the scenic Okanagan Lake Lookout Loop. Find a trail map on the Predator Ridge website here.
Okanagan Lake Lookout Loop
Length: 3km loop
Type of trail: Mix of hiking and multi-use
Rated: Black Diamond
What to expect: Steady ascent (80m gain), with some short and steep sections featuring loose rock
Parking: Dedicated parking lot on left hand side of Birdie Lake Drive
The Okanagan Lake Lookout Loop is definitely our favourite Predator Ridge trail. It takes about an hour, with plenty of stops to check out the epic vistas of Okanagan Lake, Terrace Mountain and the fairways of Predator Ridge.
I’d recommend hiking in a counter clockwise direction. The first section features a wide gravel path, which steadily climbs to a (signed) lookout and picnic bench. Return to the junction and then continue onto the narrower path to reach the ridge itself for even better panoramas.
The second half of the Okanagan Lookout Loop winds down to Birdie Lake. Alternatively, you could follow the multi-use Granite Trail back to the parking lot.
If you’re concerned about having enough time or fitness to complete the entire loop, I’d suggest hiking to the first lookout area. This section is the easiest to hike and would be 1km round trip.
Type of trail: Hiking only
What to expect: Forested dirt path, with quick elevation gain (70m total)
Parking: Parallel parking spots on Longspoon Drive
The Longspoon Loop offers a quick ascent up to a ridge with some lovely unobstructed views towards the end of Okanagan Lake. We used it to gain access to the Ridge Trail and meandered our way back to our vehicle via Birdie Lake.
Hiking in a clockwise direction from the parking area on Longspoon Drive, the narrow trail starts with some short switchbacks. The path is shaded here, which meant there was a little leftover snow in March.
It’s not long before you reach the best lookout spot (500m distance). Just a few minutes further is the Ellison-Ridge Connector trail junction.
Length: 3.5km one-way
Type of trail: Multi-use
What to expect:
Parking: Small parking area on right hand side of Birdie Lake Drive or resort center
The Ridge Trail has an excellent reward to effort ratio, especially if you only hike the first 1.5km before turning around!
The first part of the trail is mostly flat and leads to a large yoga platform with an absolutely spectacular panoramas of Okanagan Lake and Terrace Mountain across the water. There’s a picnic table here too.
There’s actually another yoga platform on the other side of Predator Ridge, just a short walk from the Commons Racquet club (the big bubble-like structure near the entrance of Predator Ridge).
The Ridge Trail then starts to descend towards Ellison Provincial Park, where it connects with the Blister Sister trail. Keep in mind that both trails are multi-use, so stay particularly alert when rounding corners.
Length: 4.1km one-way
Type of trail: Multi-use
Rated: Black Diamond
What to expect: Dirt and rock path with steep, twisty sections
Parking: Dedicated parking lot on left hand side of Birdie Lake Drive (same as Okanagan Lake Lookout)
The Granite Trail offers an excellent, but challenging, extension to the Okanagan Lookout Loop. The first half has some significant twists and turns, as well as some steeper descents.
This route actually loses a total of 150m in elevation as it meanders down towards the Ellison Provincial Park boundary. So you’ll need to be prepared for a bit of a climb back up on the return journey!
Just beyond the half way point is a yoga platform, where you can take in the stunning views of Okanagan Lake.
The Granite Trail is multi-use, so be careful around blind corners and hills and listen out for approaching mountain bikers.
Birdie Lake Loop
Length: 1km loop
Type of trail: Multi-use
What to expect: Easy, mostly level trail with wide path
Parking: Small parking area on right hand side of Birdie Lake Drive
This short path circuits Birdie Lake, a waterbody in the heart of Predator Ridge.
This tranquil spot was once part of a golf course until it was reclaimed about ten years ago. Native species were planted and sandy beach habitat restored for the resident western painted turtles.
The lake is popular with migrating birds, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. There is an observation platform at the northern end, with some interpretive signage.
The Birdie Lake Loop makes for a pleasant add-on to create a longer hike in the Predator Ridge area.
Other local hiking trails
Looking for a longer hiking adventure? Predator Ridge’s hiking trail network connects to a number of other local options.
Ellison Provincial Park
As mentioned above, the Ridge Trail and Granite Trail both reach the boundaries of Ellison Provincial Park, where there is more than 45km of additional trails. The network here is primarily used by mountain bikers, with a map available on the North Okanagan Cycling Society website.
Sparkling Hill Resort
The fabulous Sparkling Hill Resort is located immediately adjacent to Predator Ridge Resort. Four short trails (click for PDF trail map) surround the main building, offering perspectives of Okanagan Lake, Predator Ridge and the resort itself.
Sparkling Loop (1.2km) is an ideal place to start, following on to the Deer Trail (.8km) and the Bobcat Trail (0.9km) for an extended hike. The Falcon Point Trail can be used to circle back round to Predator Ridge Resort (1.4km).
Hiking at Predator Ridge: What to expect
Predator Ridge’s hiking trails are located in a semi-urban setting, offering surprisingly impressive views while still being close to community amenities.
The designated trails are very well signed, with signposts at all trail junctions and a map in the Okanagan Lookout parking lot. You can find a trail map here.
You’ll find many of the trails featured on Maps.me, our favourite navigation app. Be sure to download the area maps in advance so you can use the app offline.
With that being said, it can sometimes be tricky to keep on the correct path on some of the higher elevation trails (such as the Okanagan Lookout Loop) due to their rocky nature. Retrace your steps if you go wrong.
Predator Ridge rates the difficulty of trails using the same system as ski resorts. Green are the easiest, blue are more challenging and Black Diamond are the most challenging.
We regularly hike trails of varying difficulties and found the rating system to err on the side of caution. We found the biggest challenges on the Black Diamond trails to be loose rock and some steep sections.
When to go
The best time to hike the Predator Ride trails is April to October.
Most of the hiking trails at Predator Ridge feature a mix of forest and ridge hiking. This means that there is intermittent shade. It’s a good idea to bring a hat, sunscreen and water, especially during the warmer months.
In spring (particularly in late March/early April), there may be temporary trail closures to reduce thaw damage. On our visit, these closures were limited to bike users only.
Important to know
There is reliable phone signal in the Predator Ridge area, but it’s still a good idea to tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to come back.
Good news for dog lovers! All of the Predator Ridge trails are dog friendly, so you can bring your pooch along. Dogs are required to be on a leash and please remember to pick up after them.
Other things to do at Predator Ridge
Predator Ridge isn’t just a hiking destination – there are plenty of other fun things to do across the resort’s 1,200 acres. Here are my top picks!
More than two thirds of the Predator Ridge trails are multi-use, meaning that bike users can enjoy them too. Predator Ridge describes the difficulty rating as ‘fit beginner/ intermediate.’ Please note that there are a few places that are designated one-way to help manage bike flow.
Bike rentals are available from the Bike Shop located next to the Commons Racquet Clubhouse (the big bubble-like building near the entrance of Predator Ridge). As well as hardtail mountain bikes, there are electric assist options which offer an extra boost on uphill climbs.
The Bike Shop opens for the season on April 9th 2021. Bike rentals must be prebooked online.
The biking trails around Predator Ridge are just the tip of the iceberg for riding opportunities in the area.
Ellison Provincial Park, for example, has over 45km of beginner, intermediate and advanced trails and can be accessed directly from the Granite and Ridge Trails.
Okanagan Rail Trail and Bike Shuttle
Predator Ridge is just a stone’s throw from the Okanagan Rail Trail. When finished, this 52km long path will run from Coldstream (on the edge of Vernon) all the way to Kelowna. The former railway line has an exceptionally gentle grade (1.3% max), making it perfect for all ages and abilities.
The section closest to Predator Ridge runs alongside beautiful Kalamalka Lake. The most effortless way to access the Okanagan Rail Trail from Predator Ridge is to use the dedicated Bike Shuttle, which drops passengers in Coldstream in the morning and then provides a pick-up 3.5 hours (and 27km later) in Lake Country.
No bike? No problem. The Predator Ridge Bike Shop rents a range of cruiser bikes, including some with electric assist. JR tried out one of the latter and it may be hard for him to switch back…
Sometime in the next couple of years, Predator Ridge will be directly connected to the Okanagan Rail Trail for even easier access!
In the winter months (Dec-Feb), Predator Ridge’s hiking trails become snowshoe trails. The trail network actually grows to include a number of additional winter-only routes, such as the Redtail Trail (4km), the Falcon Point Trail (1.4km) and the Redtail Bailout (2km).
Snowshoe rentals are available at the Commons Racquet Clubhouse.
For more winter fun, check out the skating rink located beside the Range Lounge and Grill. It will open for the season in November 2021.
Just in case you didn’t already know, Predator Ridge is one of Canada’s best golf resorts. There are two award winning courses, offering 36 holes of championship golf.
I may not be much of a golfer myself, but if there was ever place to play golf, this would be my choice! The setting is simply gorgeous.
You don’t have to go far for a post-hike meal. There are two awesome places to eat right in Predator Ridge Resort.
Upscale but unpretentious, the Range Lounge and Grill serves globally inspired dishes made with local ingredients whenever possible.
The menu is pretty big and ranges from comfort food (burgers, wings, pasta) to elevated favourites (steak, fish, ribs and more). There are usually theme nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights – we can vouch for the sushi!
On sunny days, be sure to claim a spot on the spacious patio which has incredible views of one of Predator’s golf courses.
Consider fueling up before your hike with brunch at the Range (check times and availability first). The Eggs Benedict ranks in my top five across the entire Okanagan Valley!
Just across the courtyard is Pallino’s, a casual Italian-themed bistro. We haven’t eaten here yet, but I know that the Pizza Patata is calling my name. Take-out is available.
If you just need a snack, head to the Commonage Market. As well as fresh pastries and coffee, they also have locally made picnic supplies.
To get the most out of the Predator Ridge area, you can even stay overnight.
This section includes some affiliate links. If you make a booking via one of these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
Located in the center of everything is Predator Ridge Lodge, which features high-end studio, one bedroom and two bedroom condo suites. You can set out for the hiking trails right from your suite!
Guests have exclusive use of the outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, and Predator Ridge’s restaurants are practically next door. Pet friendly. We stayed at Predator Ridge during our fall visit to Vernon.
Combine your Predator Ridge hiking experience with relaxation at Sparkling Hill Resort. Situated in the northwestern corner of Predator Ridge, Sparkling Hill is an adults only resort with luxurious modern rooms, each featuring a two person soaker with a view! Entry into the KurSpa, the largest in Canada, is also included.
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