My elbows are sharp. I’ve beaned opposing players on the basketball court, my girlfriend, and anyone that approaches me while I’m playing any kind of board game. My reflex to throw a ‘bow comes from years of sitting in the back of my parents’ Ford Taurus station wagon with my two brothers on any kind of road trip. One of our time-killing pursuits was a game called Waterfall – if you’re the first one to see one, you shout WATERFALL and enjoy a few brief moments of glory before the next one. Honestly, looking back now, I’m not sure how the elbows came in – but trust me, with three kids across the back seat, they did.
I still get excited about waterfalls. While we all get excited about visiting a huge tower of falling water on a vacation or big trip, you always end up sharing those crazy waterfalls with a hundred or a thousand other people. The best thing, I think, is to find those little hidden gem waterfalls at the end of a good hike (or just off the side of a short hike…).
This past weekend, my girlfriend and I tried to head up to Myra Canyon to hike through some of the first snow of the season. With just a skiff of snow on the dirt road, we thought our winter-tired Honda Civic would be fine. We were incorrect. After some backwards sliding and emergency brake usage, we decided to call it quits and we headed back down to a nearby park below the snow line.
Scenic Canyon Park is out McCullough Road in East Kelowna. It’s theoretically only open until October 31, but there’s lots of space to park outside the gate. Layercake Mountain – a local geologic phenomenon formed by flowing lava many, many moons ago – is visible on the other side of the canyon throughout your hike.
As you head down into the park, follow the main path down the hill. After a few minutes, you’ll see a brown log house on your right – follow the path down and to the right of house. It looks like you’re going to wander through their yard, but the path leads you just outside of the property line. Keep on the path as it takes a few long switchbacks down the hill. As you get closer to the bottom, you’ll hear rushing water. The last zig of the switchback leads to the left, but a smaller path takes off to the right.
Follow the small right hand path (which is also towards a louder rush of water) for only maybe 20 metres, and you pop out into a tiny open area with big mossy stones and a small waterfall. Water pools in shallow whorls below your feet and then flows downstream to your left. There’s an old pumphouse covered in graffiti, too. This place would be bomb in the summer – icy water is always the perfect interlude on a hot July hike.
Anyways, friends – tiny secret waterfalls are the best, and I wish you luck in finding this one and many more of your own. Also, if you have any good ones, please tell me so that I can bust your secret open to the sixteen people that look at my website :).