The trail starts at McAlpine Bridge on the Okanagan River and climbs 300 meters to the top of McIntyre Bluff. There are several short steep sections but it is mostly a moderate grade. In the spring wild flowers abound and the vista from the bluff is awesome. You can see up and down the valley or look 1000 feet straight down into the Okanagan River.
The bottom part of the trail is not well marked. Start at the McAlpine Bridge, walk northeast on the west side of the river until you come to a paved road (1.0km), turn right down the gravel road (NE), the old rail grade is on the right, follow the rail grade until you come to the piers of an abandoned rail bridge and an old pump house (2.2km). You can see the profile of the chief straight ahead. From here you climb up a smooth single track which switches back away from the chief. At 2.8km you will pass a driveway off to the left, 50 meters farther a road turning left downhill and directly opposite an abandoned single track heading uphill back toward the chief. Head for the chief until you come to the power line (3.3km). Follow the power line west past the big corner pylon and you will come to the east corner of the fence surrounding Covert Farms. Walk northwest along the fence for 750 meters. You will come to a road heading uphill to the north (4.4km). From here on the trail is well marked thanks to the South Okanagan Bike Club. The road leads to Rattlesnake Lake (6.1km). Just past the lake there is a trail intersection, straight ahead (NW) takes you to Willowbrook to the right (NE) takes you to the bluff, the trail is clearly visible. Your destination is the southeast corner of the bluff (9.0km).
Park in the parking lot just north of McAlpine Bridge 6 kilometers north of Oliver on Highway 97.
The trail head is north of the highway on the west bank of the Okanagan River, directly across from the north end of the Oliver hike and bike trail.
You can drive to Covert Farms and start your hike at the halfway mark. Check in at Pancho's Market.
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Posted By: datum555
- Mon Aug 18 04:44:53 UTC 2014
UpsideAwesome View of Oliver DownsideMostly uphill not steep but steady.
Posted By: tanh
- Tue Apr 15 19:02:07 UTC 2014
CommentI've been doing this hike for years both by foot & on horseback. We have always started in Willowbrook however. Takes about 3+ hours round trip. There is a small lake/mud pitt called Rattlesnake Lake that you would miss if you start at Covert.
Posted By: Wpchurch
- Fri Aug 09 18:17:35 UTC 2013
UpsideQuiet. Great views. Awesome non technical downhill on a bike. </br></br> DownsideFair amount of uphill sections where most will need to push. </br></br> CommentStart inside Covert Farm. Biking, bank on 90 mins up and 25 down. Start early in the summer and take a camera</br></br>
Posted By: frost 1
- Tue May 08 23:06:18 UTC 2012
UpsideAwsome going down on a mountain bike DownsideA few steep sections going up that are a little difficult on a bike CommentLots of fun and totally worth the climb!
Posted By: Camowen
- Fri Aug 13 18:59:22 UTC 2010
UpsideThe views, the breeze, the hawks, no rattle snakes DownsideHot, dry, dusty CommentI rode the trail on a mountain bike. I started at Covert Farms. The trail into Rattle Snake Lake is undulating single track and mildly technical. After Rattle Snake Lake the trail heads up a fair amount but the view is well worth the climb in this area there were a number of hawks circling the valley riding thermals. I did not see any rattle snakes which is definitely and upside.