Observation Mountain

Zosia Zgolak and I had made plans to drive to Penticton, British Columbia (BC) from Calgary, Alberta via the Trans Canada Highway on 10 June 2017, but a temporary closure of the highway due to a washout forced us to take a longer but more scenic route via the Crowsnest Highway.  We took numerous rest stops along the way to break up the long drive and stretch out our legs.  For one of our "rest stops", we hiked up Observation Mountain which overlooks the town of Grand Forks, BC.  Although a winding service road leads to the top from the west, we opted to hike up a steeper but more direct trail on the east side of the mountain.  This trail begins at the northern terminus of 2nd Street and has the benefit of not intruding on private land.  The trail was well-maintained, and we had no trouble following it to the top which is adorned with various man-made structures including a string of lights shaped into a star.  After tagging the summit, we promptly descended the trail we came up, and suitably rejuvenated by this short hike, we happily resumed our drive to Penticton.
Google Street View shows an archery range behind Zosia here, but it appears to have disappeared. Zosia stands by an information board at the trailhead.
Unlike Zosia, I have to stop occasionally to catch my breath! Sonny marches up the well-maintained trail.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

This isn't the summit, but it offers a much nicer view without telephone poles and wires.

Sonny arrives at a bench overlooking the east side of Grand Forks.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak


I suppose intrepid scramblers could go straight up from here, but it looks rather "cliffy". The top of Observation Mountain is directly behind Zosia.
And just behind the trees at left is the local landfill!
Zosia walks up the trail just before the summit plateau.  The hill at centre is unofficially known as Elephant Head.
There's much to be explored here... Zosia surveys the west side of Grand Forks.  The mountains at far left are within the state of Washington.
The summit views kinda suck with all the trees and telephone poles/wires... Zosia hikes up to the true summit.
The star is apparently lit at night, but I have yet to find a picture of it on the Internet... On the summit, Zosia presents a string of lights shaped into a star.
Go Seahawks! Go Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!
Sonny and Zosia stand on the summit of Observation Mountain (766 metres).
An easy jaunt if you're passing through the area. Total Distance:  2.5 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  1 hour 2 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  228 metres

GPX Data