the Okanagan Similkameen of British Columbia
for the Okanagan Similkameen. Trails
in this area.
runs from the desert like region of Osoyoos
along Highway 3 to the historic
town of Princeton, some 100 km (60
mi.) away, while the Okanagan Valley stretches some 250 km (155 mi.) starting
at Osoyoos and making its way to Enderby.
Some of the warmest and dries climate in Canada is found here, where history, recreation, working
farms and orchards all make up a very special part of the province. More
than 250 lakes including
Skaha, Okanagan and Kalamalka are in this region, where fishing and water
sports are just part of the life style. Golfing,
skiing, horse back riding,
mountain biking and hiking
are all favourite pastimes of both residents and visitors. This natural
wonderland with alpine meadows, rushing rivers and streams surrounded
by sage covered mountains is orchard country and is home to a number of
wineries. From excellent day
hikes to adventure filled backpacking trips, its all waiting for you in
the Okanagan Similkameen in British Columbia.
Provincial Park: Cathedral
Provincial Park at Keremeos
with 32,384 ha (80,000 acres) of wilderness that includes alpine meadows,
glacier lakes and wildlife
is excellent hiking and becoming very popular because of its extreme beauty.
From Keremeos travel south on the Ashnola River Road to the resort parking
You are now
high in the Cascade
Mountains with 32 km (20 mi.) of hiking trails and wilderness camping.
Most hikers use Cathedral Lake Resort at Lake Quiniscoe as a base, where
they can get information on the hiking and camping from the park warden.
One of the many added attractions in this park is the wildlife, so don't
be surprised when you see bighorn sheep, black bears, mountain goats,
mule deer, porcupines and ground squirrels. The best time to hike in Cathedral
Park is anytime from July to September. Should you decide to do your
hiking in September, you will be pleasantly surprised by the golden alpine
larch growing on the mountain sides. This particular variety of alpine
larch is only found in Cathedral and Manning
Park, as well as in small areas of the Rockies.
Although this is a wilderness park, hiking is not strenuous and the rewards
A great day
hike from Keremeos is to
the Keremeos Columns, a return trip of 12 km (7.5 mi.) which should take
approximately five to six hours. During the summer this area of BC becomes
very hot, so carry drinking water, or else do this hike in early spring.
Take Highway 3A from Keremeos and travel north to the cemetery where you
turn right and go east for a short way. On your way to the columns you will
hike through arid-country wildflowers,
found only in dry areas. The columns are 100 metres (328 feet) wide and
30 metres (98 feet) high and were formed during volcanic activity more than
30 millions years ago.
views and easy summer hiking on Apex Mountain, just south east of Penticton.
Hikers will find themselves in subalpine area and wildflowers galore. This
area offers inspiring views of Manning
and Cathedral parks.
Kettle Valley Railway, easily the most historic rail line in BC can
be seen and hiked from many different areas of the Okanagan Similkameen.
The KVR ran from Vancouver
to Hope, Princeton,
West Summerland, Penticton, Osoyoos, through Naramata along the south
side of Lake Okanagan, and then swung due south to Rock
Creek and finally Midway. There are a number of hikes from the different
cities and town in the region, the most popular and well known is the
Myra Canyon. a 13 km (8 mi.) stretch of the old railway, which can be
reached by heading east of Kelowna
on McCulloch Road to the Myra Forest Service Road, follow it until you
come to where the road and KVR meet.
Mountain Park, a desert like wilderness area, has 24 km (15 mi.) of
hiking and riding trails. To reach the northern access to this park head
south from Kelowna by way of Pandosy Street, down the east side of Okanagan
Lake along Lakeshore Road to the parking lot. The most popular hike in the
Okanagan Mountain Park is to Wild Horse Canyon, a deep and isolated spot.
The southern access, to this park, is north of Penticton
on the Naramata road to Chute Lake and along Gemmill Lake Road to the parking
lot. The hike from one end to the other end of the park is about 25 km (15.5
mi) and will take approximately ten hours, but you can do much short hikes.
Parts here are very dry and it's rattler country, wear sensible hiking boots,
leave rocks and other tempting items alone.
east of Kalamalka Lake offers excellent day hiking. The canyon floor features
small ponds and a wild array of wildlife, from rattlesnakes to mallard ducks
with numerous wildflowers in the spring. From Vernon,
take the Kalamalka Road east, turn right on Coldstream Road, then on Cosen's
Bay Road to the parking lot and the trail head. Canyon Creek trail branches
left after crossing under the power line, follow under the power line to
the canyon. It can be very hot and dry in the summer time, be prepared with
drinking water, sun screen and a hat. There is no camping here, and the
hike is 9 km (5.5 mi.) one way, so pace yourself. Be safe, have fun!
only 30 minutes from Vernon,
best known as a down hill ski resort, is also a very popular hiking region.
Hikers can use the chairlift to reach the mountain alpine meadows, where
you will find wonderful trails offering views that are unbelievable.
There are many other hiking trails and back packing opportunities in the
Okanagan Similkameen, check with local clubs and hiking equipment dealers
for complete trail information. Always consider the terrain, the climate
and your abilities before you take off, and be well prepared. Be safe,