Mount Boucherie, Hiking an Inactive Volcano
To imagine thick lava flows pouring down the surface of the mountain was nearly unbelievable. What kind of pressure could make rock so hot that it turned to liquid…
Mount Boucherie is located on the west side of the Okanagan Lake,
in West Kelowna, BC. It stands only 1368 feet above the level of the lake, but does serve as a great viewpoint to see the valley.
This landmark is known mostly for being a form of stratovolcano, or composite volcano, which are classified by their steep slopes, and explosive eruptions. Although this sounds exciting, Mt. Boucherie has never erupted in recorded history.
Even though molten magma hasn’t recently touched the mountain,
it has had its share of forest fires. In 1992, two boys playing with matches ignited a fire that destroyed 60 hectares of forest, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to extinguish.
Mount Boucherie is littered with trails that lead up to the peak. Depending on which one you choose, it can be a very easy hike, or more challenging. While this mountain’s hike up can be completed in under 20 minutes, most hikers enjoy the scenery and winding trails that can take up to an hour or more to traverse.
The base of the mountain is mostly forested, composed of thin trails, loose dirt, and small rock. As you gain elevation, the evergreen trees thin out and make way for leafier foliage and larger rock structure.
Halfway up the mountain,
there are some great viewpoints to see the surrounding areas in West Kelowna and the Okanagan Lake.
After the halfway point,
trees start to thin out even more, and trails become increasingly steep. Large rock covers the majority of the peak, and makes for a fun and not overly intimidating climb for inexperienced hikers or families.
The peak is quite arid and lacks most of the foliage that can be found below. The view is amazing! You can see huge orchards, residential areas, industry, rolling hills, and much more.
There is several types of cacti at the top. You would be wise to watch your step!
The Mount Boucherie hike is fairly common to locals, and other people enjoying the land can usually be spotted. There are often Inukshuk stone markers built at the top by hikers, which were signs originally used for navigation by the North American Indians. Another interesting thing at the top are colorful cards with names and dates and inspirational messages from one hiker to the next.
Mount Boucherie was a beautiful, historic hike, that is enjoyable for even an occasional hiker.
Special thanks to Azia for being amazing and enjoying the hike with me.