Current Travel Info

Planning Your Winter Trip to the Similkameen Valley

So you’re thinking about visiting us this winter? Great! We can’t wait to see you…and we want you to get here safely.

It’s a beautiful drive this time of year, but here are some things you should know about travelling to the Similkameen Valley during our winter months.

Highway 3 near Olalla in Winter
Highway 3 near Olalla in Winter

Be aware of winter road conditions

Whether you’re coming from the west or the east, be prepared for winter road conditions.

Winter tires are mandatory on all major routes in British Columbia between October 1st and March 31st.

If your tires don’t have the M+S (Mud + Snow) or snowflake symbol on them, you might run into difficulty on our high mountain passes…and risk the fines imposed by law enforcement if you get pulled over. Play it safe and be sure your tires are up to snuff…and when renting a car at the airport be sure to insist on M+S tires on your vehicle.

If you’re a seasoned winter traveller, you already have a some water, snacks, blankets and a candle in your car in case you get held up on the highway. It’s a quick and simple precaution that will make your trip more comfortable.

You can find current and reliable information about our highways at DriveBC. They even have live-streaming cameras so you can see conditions for yourself.

Keep in mind that winter weather patterns can turn on a dime in British Columbia, so expect the unexpected!

Be prepared for the weather
Be prepared for the weather

Pack wisely

The Similkameen Valley has a range of climate zones.

During the winter months you can experience cold, dry conditions and mild, wet conditions. Temperatures can drop to -9° celsius (16° fahrenheit) and will rarely be higher than 6° celsius (42° fahrenheit). You can expect cold, snowy mornings, and maybe even some rain depending your elevation.

Channel your inner boy scout and be prepared.

Winter wonderland in Princeton
Winter wonderland in Princeton


Have you made reservations? This is the time of year to make sure your accommodations are secured, as some restaurants, hotels and motels close for the winter months. If you’re usually a spontaneous traveller, now’s the time to become a bit of a planner!

Before you venture out, call ahead and be sure there will be someone at the other end to greet you.