Photo: Shutterstock/Karamysh

Scenic Canyon Regional Park

Hike to hoodoos and a volcanic crater

Trail / Hike

Beginner-friendly

Half day

Whether you call Layer Cake a mountain or a hill (it can be a heated debate) this Kelowna area hike is sure to drum up conversation. What hikers and travellers can agree on is that this 16.5km hike with minimal elevation takes you to views you’ve never quite seen before.

Scenic Canyon Regional Park

The Greenway, Kelowna, BC V1W 4G1, Canada

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Planning your hike

Good things to know for the trail

Starting out

While hiking to Layer Cake Mountain isn’t very strenuous, the trail does traverse everything from active creeks and lakes to the highway and dry canyon areas. There are a couple of options for hikes once you arrive at Scenic Ridge, all offering views of the mountain. Try the Mission Creek Greenway for a comprehensive route, but be aware that it’s not a loop, so you’ll need to park a car at either end or arrange for transportation.   

To get the best views, try this hike in October or November, since this time of year will highlight the impressive mix of geography. Whichever month you choose, make sure you’re well prepared for the current climate, as the temperature can vary from quite hot to quite cold and change very quickly. Pack your 10 essentials, including some food and water, and have your camera at the ready.

Hitting the water

The awesome thing about this trail – aside from the once-in-a-lifetime views – is the variety of terrain you’ll pass through. While the first section will seem like any regular path, you’ll soon find yourself hopping between logs to pass small bodies of water trying to maintain your path. (Not to mention the dryness of your feet.)  

Like nothing else

It doesn’t take long to get what you came here for, as there are many spots along the hike that will give you a glimpse of the natural wonder that is Layer Cake. A volcanic formation carved out its unique face, and it’s quite unlike anything else in the area. (Don’t worry, the volcano isn’t active.)

A quick geology lesson

The hill itself isn’t the only cool geological formation you can find along the way. You’ll also happen across hoodoos, which are tall, thin silos of rock that protrude straight up. They go by a few different names, such as tent rocks, fairy chimneys and earth pyramids.

These unique geological formations are a result of centuries of sediment erosion by way of water and wind. They are usually found in dry hot areas, which makes their appearance in BC a bit of an anomaly. There are also ancient rock ovens hidden around the trail – see if you can find them.

Essential Gear

Be comfortable and prepared when you head out.

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