Lately we have been looking for some shorter, but still rewarding view hikes to do so the girls can get their feet on the ground. This is where we took advantage of the locals favourite hike of Mt. Rose Swanson outside of Armstrong. To the unfamiliar ear this sounds like one place but in actuality it is two separate summits mixed into one hike if you choose so. As we wanted to encourage the smalls to be more independent we have started to bringing one Dueter hiking carrier and one soft Boba carrier. This allows us big people to carrier a lighter and less cumbersome load when childless and still have the luxury of storage space for food and water without a separate pack.
Leaving the busy parking lot, the trail was obvious and well used. We meandered through the forest crossing a few bridged creeks and after a short 2.8 kms we found ourself with our first scenic view and the top of Mt. Rose. We also found many other people that had the same weekend plans. Both girls made the 220m elevation change with no complaining, but more than a handful of stops to throw sticks, collect leaves and listen for squirrels. We even stumbled across some excitement of a snake eating a frog. We enjoyed some snacks and relaxed in the sun at the top for a while.
From here you have some spectacular views looking south towards Vernon and overlooking Otter lake, Swan Lake, Okanagan Lake and the Spallumcheen Valley.
Once we were all fueled up we hit the trails once more. Bexley decided she wanted to hitch a ride so into the Boba carrier she went while Lidija pushed forwards on foot. Both girls are really light and it was hard for their little feet to get much traction on the steeper section so Lidija eventually got all settled into the Dueter carrier. Not long after leaving Mt. Rose we passed the saddle and started to climb up Mt. Swanson. Maybe 20 minutes of hiking time separated the two summits. Although the top of Mt. Swanson was about 50 m higher in elevation the view was not quite as dramatic. Here we found ourselves peaking through trees as we looked north east this time over the town of Armstrong.
After a short stay at the top we loaded the girls back in the carriers and returned back to the parking lot. We had full intentions of relaxing on the outdoor patio of Farmstrong Cidery but ended up taking a rain-cheque as we would be no where near the front of the line to get in. When we do this hike again we plan to do it in reverse and save the more appealing views of Mt. Rose for last. The entire loop hike was around 5.5 km of easy terrain and we completed it in a very relaxed and gentle time of two and a half hours. A hike of this degree is perfect for an afterwork outing or an evening stroll to enjoy the sunset, just be sure to bring a flash light for your way back.