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Authentic Similkameen

As an Authentic Experiencer, you like to experience the “real deal” when you travel! You like to take in the natural beauty and cultural experiences of a destination. Getting to know the locals is right up your alley. Personal risks and challenges don’t daunt you, and you’re quick to adapt to changing situations. You also like to just go with the flow. Not one to follow the masses, you prefer to strike out on your own. Enjoy your time here as you travel to the beat of your own drum, letting the days unfold as they should.

Top 10 Experiences for the Authentic Experiencer

  1. Share your hiking, fishing and canoeing adventures with fellow travellers you’re sure to meet along the way at Cathedral Lakes Park
  2. Sniff, swirl and sip your way across the Similkameen on a self-guided winery tour, tasting new vintages and chatting up the winemakers
  3. Uncover hidden treasures and discover the connection between the Snaza’ist First Nation and our gold mining past
  4. Challenge yourself to a glute-burning hike along the historic HBC 1849 Trail and imagine the life of those intrepid fur traders who first walked the land
  5. Meet the folks who grow your food and learn why the Similkameen is the Organic Farming Capital of Canada at harvest festivals and winery events each summer
  6. Test your mettle against the Similkameen River, kayaking class II and II rapids from Bromley Rock to Stemwinder Park during the spring run-off
  7. Take part in the annual Bird Blitz at Manning Park and see just how many species of birdlife you can identify
  8. Bring your rod, reel and fishing license and cast off from the banks of the Similkameen, fishing for elusive west slope cutthroat
  9. Pitch a tent under the stars. Six Provincial Parks offer plenty of options to make camp under the stars, experiencing the Similkameen the way Hudson Bay Brigade did so many years ago
  10. Watch the show unfold at Doug’s Homestead Sausage every Saturday morning, where some lucky shopper may just win his order for free by bidding on its price by weight
Fly fish the rivers and lakes
Fly fish the rivers and lakes

Similkameen – Authentic Explorer Style

Take a big breath of fresh mountain air and feast your eyes on the valley splayed out before you. The Similkameen Valley is a great place for you to embark on an awesome mountain adventure. As an Authentic Experiencer you will appreciate the soaring peaks, free flowing rivers, ranch lands and orchards. You’re also in the fastest growing wine region in British Columbia.

Explore new horizons, hike heritage trails and uncover the link between our First Nations and mining heritage. Later on you can raise a glass with a winemaker. While you’re here, immerse yourself in Canada’s most rugged, rustic and real welcoming destinations.

Choose a different experience each time you come to the Similkameen. We have plenty of them. Get acquainted with our culture and lifestyle first-hand, rubbing shoulders with the locals. Get up close and personal to our mountains, rivers and lakes. Come harvest time, give your tastebuds a treat and taste the distinct flavours of the Similkameen valley.

Canoe our waters, Similkameen River
Canoe our waters

For the Authentic Experiencer We Suggest…

Best places to meet fellow travellers — The dining room tables or around the campfire at Cathedral Lakes Lodge. Ride a rugged Unimog along a winding mountain road, 6800 feet up to the core of Cathedral Provincial Park and check-in for a stay at the highest altitude hiking and fishing lodge in all of Canada. Hike more than 100 km of trails, fish and canoe glacier fed lakes, watch wondering wildlife and photograph views that stretch on forever, then gather round the dinner table or campfire and share your adventures in the heart of the park with fellow travellers you’ll meet along the way.

Hike into Cathedral Park
Hike into Cathedral Park

Discover new vintages

Sniff, swirl and sip your way across the Similkameen on a self-guided tour to wineries and tasting rooms centred between Keremeos and Cawston. Our winemakers are turning out bottles bursting with flavour and they’re happy to share it all with you in tasting rooms that double as the wine-maker’s living room; on sun-drenched patios while cowboys wrangle horses in paddocks below; beneath the shade of a 100-year old apple tree and on the shores of the river while eagles circle above.

Uncover our hidden treasures

The history, culture and language of the Similkameen First Nation is tightly linked to our gold mining past. Learn about it all in the historic hamlet of Hedley where you’ll uncover the secrets of the Similkameen Nation at Snaza’ist Discovery Centre. Interpretive exhibits tell the story of turning ochre into gold, but it’s the mountainside hike down 589 steps one kilometre above town to the face of Mascot Mine where you really get a bird’s eye view of a gold miner’s life.

Photograph the countryside
Photograph the countryside

Taste the Similkameen

It’s both Canada’s Organic Farming and Fruit Stand Capital, so you’re in for a treat if tree-ripened, fresh from the fields food is what you’re after! While away the afternoon roaming and grazing, from fruit stand to farm gate and back again, collecting the perfect ingredients for a riverside picnic.