Depart Vernon and head south on Route 97. Kalamalka Lake is an ideal stop for a photo. This unique body of water gets its vibrant hues from limestone deposits left by receding glaciers. When the lake warms, crystals form to reflect the sunlight, creating its distinct colours. As you continue south to Kelowna, enjoy the landscape of Lake Country and stop for fresh fruit along the way.
Take McCulloch Road down to Myra Canyon Station. From there, hike, rent a bike, or take a guided tour through this scenic portion of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Highlights include the two tunnels and 18 trestle bridges running along Myra Canyon. You will see mountain wilderness, canyon views, and experience a piece of Canadian history.
Cross the bridge that spans Okanagan Lake and continue south on Route 97. The drive between West Kelowna and Penticton winds through wineries and along the Okanagan Lake shore. As you pass through the charismatic towns of Peachland and Summerland, you’ll find numerous beaches and parks where you can stop and enjoy the Okanagan lifestyle. Allow yourself enough time to get outside and explore, or enjoy a wine tasting.
The Naramata Bench is a must for food and wine enthusiasts. Naramata Bench Road winds through vineyards perched on sun-soaked hills. Start at Hillside Winery near Penticton for a short bike ride on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. For a longer route, start at the Smithurst parking lot and bike through the Little Tunnel and down through the Naramata vineyards to Penticton.
On the east side of Skaha Lake near Penticton lies Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, home to more than 650 rock climbing routes with terrain towering over 80 m (262 ft). These ancient gneiss cliffs are home to protected wildlife and offer an array of hiking trails. Continue south on Route 97 and stop to birdwatch at Vaseux Lake, or visit one of the many wineries. Once you reach Osoyoos and Canada’s only desert, make sure to visit the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre for an authentic Indigenous experience.
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