Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
The drive from Vancouver to Kelowna is a popular and scenic route, as people head to enjoy the beauty, sunshine, fruit, and wine of the Okanagan region. Along with the incredible scenery, there are several provincial parks that make for great stopping off points to stretch your legs and break up the drive. Here are three provincial parks between Vancouver and Kelowna, courtesy of the British Columbia Visitor Centre at Merritt.
Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park is located just north of Hope, about two hours from
Vancouver. The park is home to the iconic Othello Tunnels, built in the early 1900s by the Canadian Pacific Railway to allow a route between the coast and the Kootenay region. Today, there is no longer a track along the route, and visitors can enjoy breathtaking canyon and river views throughout the easy 3.5-km (2-mi) return-trip trail, which is a part of the Trans-Canada Trail.
Insider Tip: Hope is a good place to grab breakfast or snacks for the road.
Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area is nestled in BC’s Cascade Mountains, about 48 km (28 mi) north of Hope. The park comes with beautiful views of the Coast-Cascade dry belt landscape, and is home to hiking trails ranging from a relatively easy 3-km (1.9-mi) up to a more strenuous 18-km (11-mi). The valley was once a part of the Kettle Valley Railway, and remnants of this iconic part of BC history can still be seen. The Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area is a great place to stop for a picnic lunch, or if you have more time, to camp at a hike-in site at Falls Lake.
The 144-ha (356-ac) Kentucky Alleyne Provincial Park is located just past the city of Merritt and is considered a haven for hikers, fishers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Stroll through peaceful rolling grasslands and open forests surrounding by the park’s two large lakes. Fish for rainbow trout straight from the Summerland Trout Hatchery, or if you’re with children, head to the ponds between the lakes for the children’s only fishing area. If you’re in need of a cool-off, there’s a 4-km (2.5-mi) trail that traces the edge of Kentucky Lake and offers access to the lakeshore and swimming.
Insider Tip: If you happen to get hungry around Merritt, Bramble Bakery is worth the stop!
Do you have a favourite BC Park you love to stop at on your way from Vancouver to Kelowna? Share in the comments below.
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