A few days ago, I returned from the most perfect trip to Canada’s Okanagan Valley. You might recognize 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 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 and stopped off for a quick brunch. We then headed off to the valley, all the while trying to tune in to hear England’s World Cup score against Croatia. The less said of that match, the better. It’s around a five hour drive from Vancouver, but absolutely worth it and interesting to watch as the terrain around changes.
With the sun beating down and the tunes blaring, I barely noticed the hours slip past as we caught up along 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.
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. This is thanks to the rich soil and mineral content of the ex-volcanic region. It allows for beautiful terrain and a true vacation hotspot from British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.
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.
If you look really closely, you can just about make out some rings in the water that make up the mineral ‘spots’.
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, Haynes Point Provincial Park
Thankfully, we didn’t have to look too hard for somewhere to swim. We soon stumbled across beautiful Haynes Point Provincial Park right near the Canada/US border, across Osoyoos Lake.
Once you brave the icy cold first steps into the lake, it’s a perfectly refreshing dip after being in the hot July sun.
We bundled back into the car to go and find somewhere to stay in Osoyoos, stopping off to admire the view across the beautiful valley.
Views across the Okanagan Valley
From this viewpoint, we could see all the way across Osoyoos towards the lake and beyond. The scenery reminded me a little of Jurassic Park!
Cottonwood Park, Osoyoos
We had to make a stop at the most adorable Cottonwood Park, next to the beach. It’s well manicured and has benches overlooking the stunning lake.
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 the Nk’Mip Resort. It felt particularly desert-like in this area, and true to its native roots.
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.
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?