Some of the most
beautiful scenery in Canada, and possibly the world, can be found
in southeastern British Columbia. Gaze from the highest viewpoint
across an neverending succession of peaks and ridges; discover magnificent
mountain scenery, spectacular landscapes, majestic waterfalls and
view of the
throughout the year, the area comes alive during the hot summer months.
Vineyards and orchards flourish, roadsides are packed with fruit stands
while city parks host musical entertainment, jugglers and open-air
craft galleries. This too is an adventurer's paradise: just about
everyone will appreciate the hiking, camping, trail riding, and canoeing
that is to be had here. Extremists can go hang-gliding, rafting, mountain
climbing, ice-climbing …the list is as endless as the beauty that
The Okanagan Valley, stretching from Osoyoos at the US border
north to Vernon, is laden with orchards, making it especially appealing
in spring, when the fruit trees are in full bloom. The best time to
pick up some of the valley's bounty is mid-August through early September.
However, the fruit starts ripening as early as the end of June. There
are even free Tree Fruit Tours. Fruit aside, winemaking is the hot
ticket in the Okanagan. British Columbians have long taken inordinate
pride in their wines. Nearly three dozen wineries
operate in the Okanagan Valley from Osoyoos to Vernon.
takes full advantage of its dual lakefronts. The south end of town
touches the north shore of Skaha Lake and the north end of town sidles
along the southern tip of Lake Okanagan. Summerland is a theme town;
pick up the pamphlet 'A Walking Tour of Summerland,' available at
the museum or Info Centre. Also of note is the Agricultural Research
Station, the only active agricultural research centre in the Okanagan.
Its interpretive centre, research facilities, and ornamental gardens
have become a draw for thousands of international visitors every year.
There are many festivals in this region, too many to mention here.
For a complete list, contact the Info Centre in the area you're visiting.
Don't forget your golf clubs - the Okanagan boasts some of the finest
golf courses in western Canada.
Perhaps you've heard of Armstrong cheese? Well this is where it comes
from. Presiding over the Spallumcheen valley, where agriculture and
ranching are the traditional economic ventures, Armstrong is
named after a London banker who helped finance local development at
the turn of the century. Interesting spots for visitors to check out
are the Olde School House, one of B.C.'s original educational institutions,
Canoga Carriages, where the art of horse-drawn carriages continues
to thrive, and of course, the Armstrong Cheese Factory.
The history of
Revelstoke is tied to the building of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, which you can delve into at the Revelstoke Railway Museum.
Perched high in the Monashee Mountains, next to two national parks,
Mount Revelstoke National
Park and Glacier
National Park, this town is not to be missed by anyone who appreciates
a view. Hiking in Glacier National Park is more extensive and at a
higher elevation than in Revelstoke. Glaciers cover much of the challenging
terrain in the park, which is dominated by 10 peaks ranging from 2,600
to 3,390 metres in height. Illecillewaet Glacier on the Great Glacier
Trail has been a 'must see' destination for over a century.
Lake at Yoho National Park
of mountain ranges rise dramatically in the Selkirk and Monashee Mountains
between Revelstoke and Golden. Travellers between the two towns must
negotiate Rogers Pass (elevation 4,534 feet/1382m), one of
the great mountain crossings in the province and certainly the Trans-Canada
Highway's crowning glory. The lofty sensation of crossing Rogers Pass
is one of the rewards of travelling here. Bracketed
by Glacier National Park to the west and Yoho
National Park to the east, Golden is right in the heart
of some of the most pristine wilderness to be found in the Rockies.
At the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia River, and with
the Columbia Mountains standing guard overhead, Golden may be the
perfect jump-off point for extreme outdoor adventure: hiking, river
rafting, horseback riding, heliskiing, hang gliding, ice-climbing…its'
From Golden drive south on Highway 95 and spend the night at Radium Hot Springs Resort or Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Radium Hot Springs
makes an ideal soaking stop at the base of the Kootenay Mountain Range.
The hot springs, open to the public year-round, are equipped with
two pools: one heated, the other cooler for more athletic swimming.
The internationally renowned Fairmont springs soothe visitors year-round with the curative powers of the 35 to 45 deg C waters.
Office at Fort Steele Heritage Town
Columbia, diverse historic 19th century forts have been preserved
as reminders of how the west was settled by Europeans. Fort Steele
Heritage Town is undoubtedly the best example and is well worth
a day's visit when travelling through the area in summer months.
Take a side trip to Kimberley, the highest city in Canada
- elevation 1,113m. Nearby North Star Mountain attracts more skiers
each year, and visitors will be charmed by the 'Old Bavaria' feel
of the downtown shopping area. Plenty of cafes and boutiques for
urbanities and hiking, camping and two golf courses for those who
prefer the great outdoors. Kimberley's International Accordion Championship
is here in early July, so bring your lederhosen.
Creston continue northwest along Highway 3A to Kootenay Bay
and take the two-hour (round-trip) Balfour ferry across Kootenay
Lake. It's a pretty trip and happens to be the world's longest free
ferry ride. Take a side trip to Ainsworth Hot Springs, where
you can explore caves of piping-hot waist-deep water, or swim in
the slightly cooler pool. The restaurant here offers a stunning
view of Kootenay Lake. Nestled in a valley on the shore of Kootenay
Lake, Nelson sprang up with the silver and gold mining boom
back in the late 1890s and has retained its Victorian character.
For the best overall view of Nelson, stroll through Gyro Park to
the vista point on the hillside. The park has picturesque gardens
and a nice wading pool for children. An interesting pictorial exhibit
of the region's history can be seen at the Nelson Museum.s
Rossland, a 1892s gold-rush town, has experienced a second
boom recently. This time the gold is not in Red Mountain,
but on it. Red Mountain Ski Area is one of the more challenging
ski areas in British Columbia. In the summer, the colourful turn-of-the-century
main street of tiny Rossland bustles with hikers bound for alpine
lakes, mountain bikers en route to explore the numerous trails,
or visitors seeking scenery. Tour the fascinating Le Roi Gold Mine,
Canada's only hard-rock gold mine open to the public. It's just
another roadside attraction open May through September.
Towns on or near this Route - Click on a town name to learn
more about that town.