Plan for Mild and Wild Adventures
You’ll find adventures both mild and wild here as you make your vacation plan. Whatever your speed is, we’ve got you covered. You’ll also meet locals going about their day-to-day lives. They are more than happy to share their views of the Similkameen with you and recommendations on what they think you might enjoy. It’s the kind of laidback place where unique and unforgettable experiences often surprise you, despite your best-laid plans!
Where We Are
The Similkameen Valley is the gateway to the Okanagan Valley and the Kootenay Rockies. You’ll find it in the southwestern area of the Thompson-Okanagan Region in the BC Interior. The Similkameen Valley is a vast and varied landscape of deserts and mountains, rolling ranchlands and lakes. End to end, it’s almost 200 kilometres long. This is nature’s playground, carved from the mountains by the Similkameen River. The valley is dotted with eclectic small towns, sizeable ranches, acre upon acre of farmland, and rows and rows of orchards.
Plan with a Guide
Let’s face it, not everyone’s comfortable exploring on their own and that’s okay. There are a number of ways to experience the Similkameen with professional tour guides. They just love to share their insights of the Similkameen Valley!
Plan on Your Own
If you’re looking for self-exploration, this website is the perfect place start planning your adventure. Get your bearings before you arrive so the only surprises you’ll have once you get here are the ones you’ll want to remember.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Fishing is one of our favourite pastimes in the Similkameen. You get get your fishing licenses online, at Service BC in Princeton, or at select retail outlets in Princeton and Keremeos. Visit BC Provincial Fishing website for more information.
RULES OF THE ROAD
Seat belt use is mandatory for all drivers and passengers in Canada. The Distracted Driving Law is in effect in British Columbia. This prohibits drivers from talking, texting or emailing on any electronic devices while behind the wheel. That shouldn’t be a problem here, as cell reception is limited to areas surrounding our towns and along the Hope/Princeton corridor in Manning Park.
CLIMATE & WHAT TO PACK
The diversity of the Similkameen’s landscape calls for shrewd packing. If you’re heading into the mountains for any sort of outdoor adventure, it’s best to dress in layers. Our restaurant scene is pretty laid-back. So casual attire is the order of the day. The Similkameen is in BC’s southern interior and on the north end of the Columbia Plateau. This makes our summers exceptionally hot. Plan to wear sunglasses and a hat and a water-soaked bandana around your neck to provide extra protection from our scorching temperatures.
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES
If you are getting here in the summer, please note we have a complete fire ban from mid- June to mid-September. We do this to help reduce the risk of forest fire. If you’re planning on camping, or even just picnicking, come prepared with propane BBQs or small camp stoves. Help light your way in the dark with light sticks, flashlights or enclosed lanterns.
Wildlife viewing is easy throughout the Similkameen Valley. There are deer, moose, coyotes, badgers, mountain sheep, and mountain goats, usually near the roads. Look up and you’ll see bald eagles, osprey and ravens ready to have their photo taken. Highway 3 follows the Similkameen River, which is also an important source of water for our wildlife. They usually cross here unexpectedly, especially at dawn & dusk. So keep your eyes peeled for animals dashing from the shadows. It’s important that we keep our wildlife wild by not feeding them and keeping food caches out of reach when camping.