Osoyoos: A Trip to the Okanagan

Osoyoos: A Trip to the Okanagan

A few days ago, I returned from the most perfect trip to Canada’s Okanagan Valley. You might recognise it from a post around a year ago when Jordan and I visited Kelowna in the summer. We were both blown away by the beautiful valley, with its hot beaches, ripe fruit, chilled wines, and icy lakes that entice visitors in for a dip to escape from the relentless sun. This time, we explored across the whole valley, from Penticton and Osoyoos up to Kelowna.

The drive to the Okanagan Valley

With precious time and not a minute to waste, we woke up, stopped off for a quick brunch, and headed off to the valley, all the while trying to tune in to hear England’s score against Croatia (less of that match). It’s around a five hour drive, but absolutely worth it and interesting to watch as the terrain around you changes.

Car views from Abbotsford, BC
A view from the car of Chilliwack, BC

With the sun beating down and the tunes blaring, I barely noticed the hours slip past as we caught up on the drive. We had a couple of quick pitstops to stretch our legs, re-caffeinate, and paddle in the crystal clear streams. We then went back to the car to finish our journey.

Taking in the views on our way to the Okanagan, BC
In front of the mountains en route to the Okanagan Valley, BC

With the landscape drying out and becoming more desert-like, we knew we were fast approaching the Okanagan Valley. For those less familiar with the area, the Okanagan is in British Columbia’s interior, and is most famous for its bountiful fruit orchards and wineries, thanks to the rich soil and mineral content of the ex-volcanic region.

The desert landscapes of the Okanagan Valley
Beautiful landscapes en route to Penticton

Spotted Lake, Osoyoos

As we reached the outskirts of Osoyoos, a town in the Okanagan, we came across an interesting viewpoint – Spotted Lake. The view was a little disappointing for us – perhaps it was the time of year not giving enough time for evaporation. The lake is, however, renowned for its uncanny circles, made up of mineral deposits. Known to the First Nations People of Osoyoos as Kliluk, the lake is sacred for its healing properties.

Spotted Lake, Okanagan

If you look really closely, you can just about make out some rings in the water that make up the mineral ‘spots’.

Spotted Lake, Okanagan

Having nearly melted in the heat and having a slight suspicion of company in the form of a rattlesnake, we hopped back into the car and set off for a dip in the lake.

Osoyoos Lake from Haynes Point Provincial Park

Osoyoos Lake, Haynes Point Provincial Park

Thankfully, we didn’t have to look too hard. We soon stumbled across beautiful Haynes Point Provincial Park right near the Canada/US border, across Osoyoos Lake.

Beautiful Osoyoos Lake, BC
Peach trees in the Okanagan Valley
Haynes Point Provincial Park on Lake Osoyoos
Taking a dip in Lake Okanagan
Ducks on Lake Okanagan, Penticton

Once you brave the icy cold first steps into the lake, it’s a perfectly refreshing dip after being in the hot July sun.

Swimming in Lake Okanagan, BC
Relaxing in the lake at Penticton
Couple at Lake Okanagan, BC

We bundled back into the car to go and find somewhere to stay, stopping off to admire the view across the beautiful valley.

Views across the Okanagan Valley

The sun shines across Osoyoos, BC
Views across the Okanagan

It reminded me a little of Jurassic Park!

A view across Osoyoos
A view across the valley in BC

Cottonwood Park, Osoyoos

We had to make a stop at the most adorable Cottonwood Park, next to the beach.

Gorgeous Cottonwood Park, BC
A small lake in Cottonwood Park
Girl in Osoyoos, BC
Sat on a rock in Osoyoos, BC
Lake Okanagan, BC
The sun shines down over Osoyoos
Sun over the beach next to Lake Osoyoos
The beach at Osoyoos
Cottonwood Park, Osoyoos, British Columbia

After the most wonderful walk along the lake and a quick swim, we went to our hotel and freshened up for dinner. We were staying right next to Nk’Mip Resort. It felt particularly desert-like in this area, and true to its native roots.

Horse in the desert at Nk'Mip Resort
Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre, Okanagan
Sunset across the Okanagan Desert

Spirit Beach

If you’re staying nearby and fancy Mexican food with a view, take a trip to Spirit Beach Cantina. Don’t be misled by the slightly dodgy website. It offers hearty grub and beer with an awesome view.

Colourful stools at Spirit Beach Cantina
Beers at Spirit Beach Cantina, Osoyoos
Burritos and beer at Spirit Beach Cantina, Osoyoos
Sunset at Spirit Beach, BC
Sunset on the jetty at Lake Okanagan, BC
Boats on Lake Okanagan, BC
Spirit Beach Cantina, Osoyoos

Afterwards, we took a quick walk along the jetty to attempt to walk off some of the burritos and nachos. We then headed back to the hotel after the perfect start to our vacation. Feeling sleepy, we were also excited and ready for more adventures over the next few days.

Have you been to Osoyoos in the Okanagan Valley? What are your favourite things to do there?


I’m Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures.

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