Baldy Mountain

June 6, 2021


Osoyoos, BC

Baldy Mountain is the highest peak of a rather large area to the east of the “southern Okanagan” with some decent isolation and prominence, and the peak itself boasts a ski resort because it’s tall enough to accumulate snow in the winter months. From peak-bagging perspective this is an easy drive-and-grab that can be done in 2 hours return from the ski resort village, but such is only possible in summer when the resort isn’t in operation.

This was the third peak that I bagged last weekend when I decided to drive all the way to Osoyoos for just a day-trip. The whole purpose was to drive away from the dreary coastal weather and I did succeed on that. Earlier in the day I had done “Crying Peak” and Mt. Kruger. I finished those two hikes at 9 am in the morning and the weather was still sunny (the forecast called for rain in the afternoon). The original plan was to drive home afterwards but with this sunny weather I just needed to do another hike. I firstly drove to Osoyoos for some food in the A&W and double-checked with the weather forecast. I remembered an easy but prominent peak called “Baldy Mountain” and after some brief research I spontaneously decided to head there even though that meant an extra hour of driving in the opposite direction of home.

Baldy Mountain hike. GPX DL

The switchbacks on Highway 3 immediately to the east of Osoyoos surprisingly offered some fine views so upon reaching the highest switchback I pulled over and took some photos of the valley. The rest of the drive to Baldy Mountain Village was rather boring. The final 15 km or so was on a maintained gravel road. It’s apparent that this resort is a quiet place in the summer months as I even had to search around for a spot to park. I aimed for the highest driveable spot on the map but there was plenty of “no parking” signs, so I backtracked a few hundred meters and parked on the street. I don’t think that’s the correct place to park but I did not see a “no parking” nor “private property” sign within eyesight and that was good enough for me.

Osoyoos Lake with Mt. Kruger directly behind it
This is looking towards the northern end of Osoyoos Lake
Chopaka Mountain behind the U.S. end of Osoyoos Lake

For the ascent there’s nothing rocket science. I sure could have picked a shorter line linking up some ski runs but with the bear encounter I just had on Mt. Kruger I decided to no fuss around with any into-the-grass travel. There’s a road from the village to the summit and I’d use no other option, even though it’s a bit meandering and less direct. There’s still a bit over 500 m elevation gain even though the peak looked to be really close. I would assume there’s a lot of snow at this elevation in early June but it turned out that I did not encounter snow until the last 50 m gain. It took me an hour to hike to the summit. This was a very boring hike but the views weren’t bad.

This is as boring as the road-walk was… The summit behind.
Partway up the road slog, looking back down into the village
Encountering snow in the last 15 minutes
This is looking down into the town of Oliver in Okanagan Valley
As typical as the hills in this general area. Too lazy to figure out the name.
Me on the summit of Baldy Mountain
Another photo of me on the summit of Baldy Mountain

I did not linger too long up there because dark clouds were already building around us and it had turned 100% overcast. After losing a few hundred meters of elevation the precipitation finally came in dumping a good 5+ cm of fresh snow. I thought it was hailing but I did not hear any thunder.

The weather was closing in rapidly
Me in the snow storm. I wore my brand new rain jacket
The fresh snow was accumulating
Back to my truck. Now it’s a long ass way back home…

While driving down the Baldy Mountain Road back towards Highway 3 I became super tired so I pulled over and took a nap. An hour later I got up again and drove back down to Osoyoos. The weather was still cloudy so I decided against in hiking a 4th objective and started the long ass drive back home. My next rest break was just after Priceton and the next break was already in Abbotsford. I eventually got back to White Rock at 9:30 pm. A friend had invited me to show up in a hotpot party so I drove straight there. The hotpot was great but I only stayed there for two hours as they were having too much fun drinking beer. My brain was already not functioning at this time so I drove home.