Endless photo opportunities in Kelowna

Kelowna is nestled in the Okanagan Valley, stretching out into the mountains and far along the shores of Okanagan Lake.
Photo taken from the peak above West Kelowna Road. — Photo courtesy of Ian Poschenrieder

Kelowna is nestled in the Okanagan Valley, stretching out into the mountains and far along the shores of Okanagan Lake. It is known for its orchards and vineyards, rounded dun mountains and Ponderosa pines—all of which open up a world of possibility for getting the perfect photo.

Knox Mountain

Peaks and mountains surround Kelowna, providing plenty of opportunities to shoot into the fishbowl, said hobby photographer Ian Poschenrieder.

“Knox Mountain, which overlooks the city from the north, is a great, easily accessible vantage,” he said. “Dilworth Mountain and Black Mountain are also on the fringes of the city and can offer some interesting views, especially facing west at sunset.”

How to get there: Turn north on Ellis Street from Harvey Avenue (Highway 97) and drive straight to Knox Mountain Park.

Adventurous photographers can head west over the bridge on Highway 97, take the third right on Westlake Road, drive past Rose Valley Elementary, and take the adjacent left of West Kelowna Road. Drive to the top to a gravel lot and hike to the top of any of the peaks for a spectacular east-facing vantage of the lake and valley.

Photo tip: As always, the best light is an hour before and after sunrise and sunset, in the blue and golden hours, but wait until it gets dark to get the cityscape shot.

Gyro Beach

Poschenrieder does most of his landscape work on the water, where the lake conveniently provides a leading line to the west, which means opportunities to capitalize on sunsets.

“Gyro Beach is a well-used public beach that is good to camp out on in the golden hour, where you are almost guaranteed to get a good sunset over the lake five of seven days of the week,” he said.

How to get there: Turn south on Pandosy from Harvey Avenue. Pandosy turns into Lakeshore, and Gyro Beach is where Lakeshore meets Richter Street.

On the west side, turn south on Gellatly Road from Highway 97 and take your pick of great south-facing lake shots going along the water on Boucherie or Gellatly Road.

Photo tip: The trick is to be there, so remember to look up sunset times before heading out.

Mission Creek Greenway

The Okanagan is rife with wildlife of all stripes: brown bears, rattlers, mountain sheep, raptors, bugs and coyotes are all native to the area. Mission Greenway runs through the southeast of Kelowna and provides plenty of opportunities to photograph birds, bugs and other wildlife.

Folks looking to take the scenic route can take Westside Road north off the west side of the bridge and find mountain sheep and possibly bears—which are notoriously shy most of the time. Try Fintry Park a little further north for the long exposure stream shots.

How to get there: The trail is 26 kilometres long, running from the shore of Okanagan Lake to Mission Creek Falls. For a map of access points, see the Friends of Mission Creek Society website.

Photo tip: Macro shooters will know that bugs can be found anywhere, but black widows like the corners of doorways and other dry wooden structures like sheds.

Related Articles