Shorts Creek Canyon Falls
1.5 km round trip
127mElevation Gain (m)
This is a day of exploring and wonder, as this trip offers two outstanding adventures. As the name suggests, Shorts Creek Canyon Falls is the main attraction, but a lengthy trail leaves the falls walk and meanders on a hillside slope providing spectacular views of Okanagan Lake and of Ellison Ridge across the lake. History is evident throughout the area and is certainly worth investigating. Captain James Cameron Dun-Waters was a wealthy young Scot who inherited a fortune at the age of 22. His love for travel and hunting brought him to Shorts’ Point in 1908, and within a year he purchased the land and renamed it “Fintry” after his Scotland home. Dun-Waters returned to Fintry after the First World War and created an extraordinary estate there. Many of the structures are still standing and several have been restored.

A backside view of Shorts Creek Canyon Falls from the uppermost platform.

The falls are easy to find, as the trailhead exits the parking lot with adequate signage. Just follow the WATERFALLS signs and within a couple of minutes you will be greeted by approximately 400 wooden stairs. The views of the falls are accessed by a construction of beams, braces and steps to prevent human erosion of the canyon walls and of course to prevent people from falling into the canyon. There are three viewing platforms, evenly spaced to pace the climb. A total of 87 m is gained rather quickly. I urge you to go to the top platform for the rear view of the falls – and for a spectacular panorama of Okanagan Lake and the ridges and hills above the lake’s eastern shore.

Although this is a short hike, there is more to see and explore. On the way up the staircase, you will notice a gap in the railing on the right. This is an exit to the hills above the campground. There are a couple of routes to take, allowing for a leisurely walk on this hillside.

The main trail, called the Old Access Road Trail, loops back down to the parking lot. There is a short branch on the left side about 500 m along that allows you to venture higher up for even more magnificent viewing.

There are also access trails to the campground that will bypass the parking lot altogether, so pay attention to your exit strategy. There’s much to see up here and the grade is relatively level once you have conquered the staircase.


From Vernon, drive north on Highway 97, and at the north end of Swan Lake continue on Highway 97, following the road signs for Kamloops. Travel 5.6 km, driving past the Spallumcheen golf course and Historic O’Keefe Ranch, and highway signs will direct you down Westside Rd. toward Fintry and Killiney. Drive south for about 34 km to Fintry Delta Rd. off the right side of Westside Rd. You are now entering Fintry Provincial Park. Travel 2.1 km to the parking lot on the left side of the road.

Hike Map
Gerry Shea

Gerry Shea

Gerry Shea lives in Kamloops with his wife and children and he is also the author of The Aspiring Hiker’s Guide 2: Mountain Treks in British Columbia.

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