Visit this valley to find British Columbia’s largest wine country and a breathtaking surrounding landscape of glaciers, massive peaks and five extinct volcanoes.
Choose your own adventure from the wide range of attractions in the Okanagan Valley. Make it a leisurely visit by sampling wines at some of the 170 wineries and playing golf at the 50 courses on offer in the region. Seek out the valley’s extreme activities: Hike around the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, see a massive waterfall and descend deep into an old gold mine.
Originally settled as gold mining territory, the Okanagan Valley has developed into British Columbia’s largest wine-growing region and a highly popular tourist area. At the center is Kelowna, the valley’s largest city. Stay here for easy access to the rest of the valley and to enjoy the town’s beautiful Lake Okanaga shoreline. Fish, kayak or swim in the lake’s warm waters.
Learn the history of the region’s wine-growing industry at the BC Wine Museum in Kelowna. Visit during the evening on the first Thursday of each month for a free tasting of regional wines. Head to Princeton in the southwest part of the valley to see the Mascot Gold Mine and learn about the industry that once ruled the area. Climb up into the mountains, descend a heritage walkway and go deep into the old mine.
Explore the northeast end of the valley to find its most picturesque natural areas. Wells Gray Provincial Park sits among the Cariboo Mountains. Hike the region’s trails to find a volcanic cave or see the majestic Helmcken Falls cascading 463 feet (141 meters). Head farther into the mountains to Mount Robson Provincial Park, centered on the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson. Take the popular Berg Lake Trail to cross paths with Berg Glacier.
Reach the Okanagan Valley by driving 4 hours inland from Vancouver. You can also fly into the Kelowna airport from Vancouver and Seattle. Once there, get around easily by car or make use of the bike paths that traverse the valley and the surrounding hills.