Today we drove about 1/2 hour north to the town of Summerland to hike up the Giants Head. It is a bump of rock in the middle of town.
To get to the top you have three choice. First you can drive up to the park gate. From there you can drive a narrow zigzagging road to almost the top and then hike 1/2 km to the very top. You can also walk/bike up the road or you can climb up what they call the Giants Head grind, which runs a straight line up the hill from the gate to the top cutting out all the zigzags.
We walked the road on the way up and took the Grind Trail on the way down. The very peak is at 820 m so we climbed up 270m (890 feet) in elevation. As you can see from the elevation profile in the picture above the road is a pretty steady climb with very few flat spots. We took a few breaks (for pictures of course) and it took us about an hour to get to the very top vs their suggested 44 minutes.
The first section was quite open with good views down to town.
A band of dark clouds was moving in. Fingers crossed for no rain. We never did get any.
We got into the trees for a while until we got this view down the west side.
Looking south towards Penticton. The square pipes on the fence poles point at local landmarks.
Looking east at Naramata, where we hiked to the falls yesterday.
I walked along the edge to some other viewpoints.
Looking back at Jennie at the top.
While we had lunch it started to get sunny again, as the dark clouds move on.
There were two times when it seemed perfectly calm and then all of a sudden a whirlwind would blow across the top. We could watch the debris swirling around and being sucked up. I almost lost my hat the first time.
There weren’t many people here but we had a long talk with a retired geologist. He had worked and travelled to many places in the world so it was an interesting chat.
Heading back down The Giants Head Grind. The pictures always make it look flat. It was not. The knees got a workout as well as your toes being jammed into the front of your shoes.
Jennie got quite a bit ahead of me while I stopped for pictures. You can just see a black dot a third in from the left.
Almost back to the car.
Here is the start of the trail. It really discouraged us from using it on the way up, rather than the nice paved road.
While we were in Summerland I wanted to check out the picturesque Trout Creek Railroad Bridge, that is now part of the Trans Canada Trail. We could see it from the top.
There also happened to be a very good ice cream shop near it. We got a two scoop bowl that had 5 scoops of ice cream in it. Our friend from the top had beat us here and was working his way through a huge waffle cone.
Then the short walk to the trestle.
Jennie noticed that you could see through the ties so it was a no go for her.
Looking upstream on Trout Creek.
On the far side of the bridge it was possible to get an underneath view.
Looking back toward Jennie with Giants Head in the background.
And back to the car at Summerland Sweets.
A final look at Giants Head. I can sort of see a face in profile.
We could even see the flag pole at the top.