Oyama Lookout Hike
Use of this information is entirely at your own risk and the VOC accepts no liability whatsoever for your use of any trail information on this website. VOC clears and flags trails to facilitate group hikes lead by a VOC member. Hazards may exist on the trails and route finding skills and navigation aids such as a GPS and/or map and compass may be required. You must assess your own ability and readiness to hike any trail mentioned on this website.
Oyama Lookout Hike Description
© Vernon Outdoors Club 2021
Hike distance 10 km round trip Altitude gain 413 m
Hiking time 4 hrs round trip Max altitude 1450 m
Oyama Lookout is an easy hike located 35 km from Vernon. It is a 3.5 to 4 hr hike with a 413 metre total elevation gain. The hike is a segment of the High Rim Trail and accessed from Oyama in Lake Country.
Oyama Lookout is a forest walk up and back on the same trail, with short side trails to lookouts. The trail begins on a wide, grassed-over logging road. Follow green arrows and ribbons as you move through the forest. The trail traverses ponds and wetlands. Note that the trail can be quite buggy during rainy periods. There are signs of wildlife ranging from elk to garter snakes. At km 1.5, take the short side trail to Garter Snake Bluff. In 2020, a VOC group saw a garter snake basking on a rock, directly under the sign “Garter Snake Bluff.” These species, once widespread across North America, is in decline due to the destruction of wetlands by human activity.
Further up the trail, a second short side trail is a lookout to Damer Lake. Back on the main trail, you wind through timber and intermittently under the powerline. Follow the green arrows and the summit tower comes into view. The balance of the hike is a steeper uphill section that takes about 15 minutes. The Repeater Tower at the summit is the logical spot for a lunch break. It provides dramatic views northwards to Cousens Bay, Rattlesnake Point, Vernon, Swan Lake and the valley that contains Armstrong. Silver Star shows up on the horizon with the ski runs clearly visible in their summer garb. This repeater tower is the same tower that is visible on the ridge to the south of Vernon, on the east side of the valley.
After lunch, take a short side trail to ‘Geoff’s Lookout.’ The entry is just downslope of the summit on the west side of the Repeater Tower. There is some windfall going out and back to Geoff’s Lookout, but it’s only about 400 metres return. The view there is to Predator Ridge and Okanagan Lake. After returning from Geoff’s Lookout, take the forest road down until it reconnects to the trail you came up on. Follow the green trail signs back to the trail head.
Note: use of these directions is entirely at the risk of the user.
Driving Directions to the Oyama Lookout Trailhead
© Vernon Outdoors Club 2021
Note: Use these directions at your own risk
The trail head is a 35 km drive from Vernon. The last 10 kms is gravel, with the final 3 kms being a rough forestry road. An SUV or truck is preferable, but any vehicle with decent clearance can make the trip in dry summer conditions. Directions to Trail Head from Vernon are:
0.0 km: Vernon City Hall – south on Hwy 97
19.3 km: Pelmewash Pkwy turnoff (take the Gatzke Rd underpass and down Pelmewash)
21.0: km Left onto Oyama Road. Cross the isthmus. (follow the signs to Oyama Lake Lodge).
Oyama Rd. swings right. Left on Middle Bench Road.
23.3 km: Left on Todd Rd.
24.0 km: Right onto Oyama Lake Rd (start of gravel)
31.6 km: Oyama View Point (stop here on the drive home).
33.4 km: Stay left at the junction of Oyama Lake Resort.
34.4 km: Left on Towgood Lake Rd.
34.7 km: Drive across the North Oyama Creek crossing and park around the next corner.
Reset your odometer before leaving the trailhead on your return. At the 3.1 km mark, there is another lookout to the side of the road which is well worth a visit. It presents a panorama of Lake Country and the south end of Kalamalka Lake.