Road Trips to the Similkameen
There’s no better way to enjoy an area than taking a road trip. There are some epic road trips within, and outside of, the Similkameen Valley. Make memories on your way here, or on your way home. You’ll find wonderful people, diverse geography, abundant wildlife and interesting places to make memories. Follow the links for more information, length of trip and travel times.
For more information on other regional road trips to the Similkameen via Hwy 97, go to the Road Trips on the Route 97 website. You’ll find maps, videos and more. Happy travels!
Similkameen Valley Loop (Hwy 3)
Explore a land that is as rugged and rustic as it is gentle and nurturing on a Similkameen Valley Road Trip. Play outdoors in and around Princeton. Take a wine tour in the Cawston/Keremeos area where you’ll find an abundance of fresh produce. Explore 360 degree views of mountain and valley at Cathedral Lakes. Learn about our First Nations people at the Snaza’ist Discovery Centre in Hedley.
Pick your season and get in some legendary fishing on the lakes near Tulameen and Coalmont or on the Similkameen river. Hike the Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail) along the Kettle Valley Trail or the Hudson’s Bay Trail. There’s horseback riding at China Ridge. Over at Manning Park you can connect to the northern most tip of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Okanagan Corridor (from Hwy 97)
Travel through all three areas of the Okanagan on Hwy. 97 on the Okanagan Corridor Road Trip. From the desert in Osoyoos near the US border to the ski hills and mountains further north. In between you’ll find over 170 licensed wineries, 200+ vineyards, and hundreds of tree fruit orchards. In the warmer months make sure to pack your bathing suit as there are several large lakes with sandy beaches throughout this road trip.
Hiking and biking are huge here. Explore the Myra Canyon and historic trestles on the Great Trail from Naramata to Kelowna. Golfers can choose from over 15 courses, while skiers can pick from several ski hills from Baldy and Apex in the south to Big White, and Silver Star in the north.
Gold Country Loop (from Princeton – 5A)
Connect to your Gold Country Road Trip from Hwy 5A from Princeton. Make sure you have your camera close by. Diverse landscapes range from scrub brush and hoodoos to thick forests with meadows. Mountains rise up as rivers rush below. You’re following the same path of dreamers and prospectors of days gone by.
This is cowboy country so there’s a good chance you’ll go horseback riding here. It’s also Canada’s largest Geocache area. Catch a fish on a sleepy stream or head down the rapids for some adrenaline pumping fun.
Boundary Monashee (from Cawston/Keremeos)
Give yourself a few days to explore the bounty of the Boundary Monashee Loop. Take Hwy 3 from Keremeos south to Osoyoos and then west into Boundary Country. This is a great place to relax with family, friends, or all by yourself. Hike in the mountains, soak in the hot springs, pan for gold or just relax at the beach. There are some great trails here for hikers and bikers including the iconic Great Trail (formerly the Trans Canada Trail).
In the fall months, enjoy the bounty of the farmers’ markets and when the snow flies, head up to the mountains for some great skiing.
While you’re on the Boundary Monashee Loop, take a side trip on the Big White/Boundary Road Trip. You can get there via Hwy 97 onto Hwy 33 from Kelowna on the Okanagan Corridor or from Cawston/Keremeos, through Osoyoos on Hwy 3. In the winter, get your fill of champagne powder at Big White. In the summer, get a different view as you ride the Bullet chair up for fantastic alpine meadow views.
There’s winter fun when the champagne powder snow falls, and in the summer, you can enjoy an event or ride the Bullet Chair for fantastic views of the alpine wildflowers and picture perfect natural surroundings. Try downhill biking on the mountain and feel the rush as you hurtle down the slopes at their lift-serviced bike park.
Interior Cascades Corridor – USA and Canada
You can connect to the entire Interior Cascades Corridor from Hwy 3 to Hwy 97. It’s a great way to explore on both sides of the border. You’ll find bustling cities, cozy towns, wine, art, history, culture, agriculture and tons of outdoor recreation. Step back in time or watch the future unfold before you. You never know just what you’ll discover on an Interior Cascades road trip.
Three County Corridor – USA
Pack your passport and cross the border at Osoyoos. This Three County Corridor road trip will take you through Okanogan, Douglas and Chelan Counties. Like its Canadian neighbour, this corridor has four seasons of fun and excitement.
Kick back with wine and chocolate pairing, go skiing, or relax at the 19th hole after a day on the golf course. Stunning scenery and geological wonders combine with amazing people and hospitality to make this a road trip worth taking.
Many Lakes Loop (from Cawston/Keremeos)
It’s a 30-minute drive from Keremeos from the border at the Nighthawk/Chopaka crossing. It’s here you’ll find the Many Lakes road trip. If you love history and the great outdoors, you’ll love this day trip. You’ll travel along paved and gravel roads to sites ripe with historical information. Along the way there are wildlife viewing areas, lakes and campgrounds. Take your time and tour the cemetery or go on a hike around the lakes.
Historic Highlands (from Cawston/Keremeos)
Take this friendly but ghostly road trip on the back roads of northern WA state. You can access it from the Nighthawk/Chopaka or Osoyoos/Oroville border crossing. This fun day trip will take you through the Historic Okanogan Highlands through the tiny communities of Oroville, Molson, Chesaw, Curlew, and Republic. It connects back to Hwy 97 at Tonasket, where you can go antiquing or pamper yourself at a spa.
Be sure to stop at Molson, an old ghost town, complete with homes, shops and a bank. This self-guided exploration may put some butterflies in your stomach as the creak of the door closing behind you summons up images of days gone by.