The walk up to Gibraltar Rock is a great little hike near Kamloops, (in BC, Canada) which will reward you with fantastic views of Paul Lake. Paul Lake Provincial Park is a pretty place to visit, less than 30 minutes drive from Kamloops. We treated this as a stop-off to eat lunch and stretch our legs on the drive from Revelstoke to Vancouver.
I think this hike would be looovely on a hot day, as you could go for a swim in Paul Lake to cool down after your walk.
Gibraltar Rock Trail Map (Paul Lake)
Gibraltar Rock Trail – the basics
Distance: 3.2 km
Elevation gain: 182m
Time: Under 1 hour. 30-40 minutes up, only 20 minutes on the way back.
What to bring:
Make sure you have some water as the trail is quite steep near the top.
There is a car park with a pit toilet and park benches.
Dogs are welcome if you keep them on a lead.
How hard is it?
Easy to moderate. Most people will be able to manage this as it’s easy to follow and only gets steep near the end. It’s a great walk for newbie hikers that want fantastic views without having to walk for too long.
Map: There is a simple map of this walk on the Paul Lake Provincial Park website.
Gibraltar Rock Trail – Getting started
The trail starts at the Paul Lake day use area. You’ll have lovely views of the lake, and you can see Gibraltar Rock, where you are about to go. Just follow the path towards those cliffs.
The trail will lead you into a forest, up a not-too-steep trail through the trees. Apparently there are some areas of old growth here, but this area was full of young-ish trees with very little undergrowth. There is pretty, dappled light and you can see Paul Lake the whole way.
The steep section
There is one cross-road on this trail. Take the path to the left and follow the switch-backs up onto Gibraltar Rock. This is the part of the hike that will get your heart pumping. Still, it doesn’t last long, so in no time at all, you can take a break at the first viewpoint.
The last few steps to the top of Gibraltar Rock are pretty steep, with steep cliffs on either side. You can easily do this hike with children, just be careful on this last little section.
Gibraltar Rock Trail – views from the top
The views down to Paul Lake are pretty gorgeous, especially as the hike up will only take about half an hour. It’s a pretty impressive pay-off for so little effort!
There is a bench at the top, so if it’s not busy, this would be a great place for a picnic.
We still had a long way to drive back to Vancouver, so we didn’t spend long at the top of Gibraltar Rock. Still, I think this was a perfect option for a mini hike near Kamloops.
The return to the car park was really fast. The path is not very steep, so we just let gravity do the work and we managed to zoom down the hill in 20 minutes. If you have more time, you can take the other trail and return in a loop via the Paul Lake camp ground.
Paul Lake Provincial Park is a lovely place to visit close to Kamloops. We drove along the Pinantan Pritchard Road (parallel to highway 1) so we didn’t even add much extra time to our road trip. I hope you like the look of it as much as we did.
Do you like to add little stop-offs and mini hikes on your road trips?