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South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area



The protected area has few developed trails. There are opportunities for hiking on the old roads that traverse the sites. Coulee Road passes over Black Mountain. There are various old 4-wheel drive trails leading up Kruger Mountain. Parking space is limited.

Mt Kobau trails: (Mt. Kobau Lookout and Chopaka Lookout Trail). Both trails begin at the parking area atop Mount Kobau.

Mt Kobau Lookout Trail is a short distance up to where the former fire lookout tower stood. There are great views over the Okanagan valley.

The 3 km Chopaka Lookout Trail (formerly known as Testalinden Lake Trail) passes through mixed sub-alpine forest and open grasslands including the red-listed Vasey’s sage plant community. The trail provides interesting landscape diversity and excellent views of the Similkameen Valley and the Cascade Mountains. This trail was re-routed in 2016 and no longer passes Testalinden Lake. See link above under “Maps and Brochures” for a downloadable map of the trails.


Kilpoola Lake is stocked with rainbow trout from the Summerland Trout Hatchery. It is a small lake with no facilities. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.

Wildlife viewing
The viewpoint at the location of the former fire lookout atop Mt. Kobau gives visitors a panorama of the Okanagan Valley, Osoyoos Lake and the Similkameen Valley. This is accessed via the Mt. Kobau Lookout Trail. The views are breathtaking and well worth the short hike to the lookout. The summit of Mt. Kobau is considered one of the best places in Canada for astronomy. The annual Star Party attracts enthusiasts from throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Pets on leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.

Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia. Cycling is permitted. Recreational mountain biking is allowed on designated roadways only.

Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.

Horseback riding
Horses and/or horseback riding are permitted.

South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area is open to the discharge of firearms, bows and crossbows during the lawful game hunting season as listed in the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis. Horses are permitted, motor vehicles are not. Parts of the Mount Kobau section of the park are above 1,700 metres in elevation. The restriction on operation of motor vehicles above 1700 m elevation applies.