Summer vacation is here, and people in British Columbia are hitting the road.
Where are you going to take your family this summer?
You should think about visiting the Similkameen Valley and having a stress-free, simple adventure in one of the province’s most scenic and welcoming spots.
Leave your laptop, turn off your cellphone, and experience summer in the Similkameen Valley…
Steps away yet miles apart…
Something is unique about arriving in the Similkameen Valley any time of year, but summertime is special.
Grapes are ripening on the vine at wineries up and down the valley; organic farms are bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables…it’s a chef’s dream.
The rivers are cool and refreshing, the sun is warm and inviting.
Folks often say they’re surprised at how quickly they find themselves in our backyard. It’s a quick and scenic drive from Vancouver, a hop-skip-and-jump from the Okanagan, and a beautiful, leisurely trip from points north.
What do you do when you get here? Everything, or next to nothing. It’s your choice…
5 great ways to spend summer in the Similkameen
Here are five great activities you can try while you’re here. Whether you want to kick back or kick it into high gear, we’ve got something for you…
1. Play in the wilderness
The Similkameen Valley has some of the most pristine wilderness you’ll find anywhere.
Pitch a tent or bring your RV into E.C. Manning provincial campground – or stay at the Manning Park Resort if roughing it isn’t your style – and take in 83,671 hectares of wilderness. Head out for an hour, head out for days. There are miles of trails to explore on foot, on wheels, or on horseback.
Are you looking for something a little more rugged? Book a ride with Cathedral Lakes Lodge up their private road, then hike, bike or ride from your doorstep to stunning panoramic views. We call it the Shangri-La of the Similkameen. You’ll probably just call it your happy place.
You’ll encounter wildlife wherever you go. The valley is home to over 200 species of birds – some migrating, some calling the area their home. You’ll encounter California Bighorn sheep, mule deer, and Arctic Ptarmigan if the timing is right.
2. Go fishing
There are literally hundreds of places to start your next fishing story…here are just a few to consider. So, grab your Fishing License and get your line in the water!
- Chain, Osprey, and Link Lakes along the Princeton-Summerland backroad. Remote and pristine.
- Otter Lake in Tulameen.
- Ashnola, Tulameen, and Similkameen Rivers. Fast currents carrying rainbow trout and mountain whitefish.
- McKenzie, McCaffrey, and Dry lakes. The fish are always biting in cattle country.
- Yellow Lake boasts rainbow trout, kokanee, and brook trout.
With nearly 50 lakes just within reach of Princeton, you’re guaranteed to find your spot on the water.
3. Try your hand at gold panning
Want to try your luck at finding gold or platinum? The Princeton Gold Pan Reserve runs right through town, and the Visitors Centre in Princeton can loan you a pan. So wade into the river and see if you can find a nugget or two. Are you travelling with kids? They’ll love the challenge.
Just be sure to follow the Mineral Titles Rules – they can fill you in at the Visitors Centre.
4. Float, Paddle & Splash
Dip your feet in the Ashnola, Similkameen, or Tulameen rivers…or go for a leisurely float from the Red Bridge in Keremeos all the way to Kobau Park in Cawston if you want to unplug for a day. Of course, you’ll need to plan for a shuttle ride back to your starting point, but it will be worth the effort.
Jump into Otter Lake in Tulameen, or leap into the river off the famous Bromley Rock.
Drop your kayak in the water and spend a day paddling down the Similkameen River, stopping along the way at Pine Lake Park to sit in the shade and listen to the river rolling by.
Want to let the kids cool off? Visit the water park beside the Visitor Centre in Keremeos and let your little ones have some good, wet fun.
5. Sip & Savour
The Similkameen Valley is home to a thriving wine and food culture.
Spend a day cycling from winery to winery, or book a tour and meet farming families who have been here for generations and have a passion for their terroir.
If you’re feeling peckish, pull up a chair at Crowsnest Vineyards and have lunch on their patio, or stop in at Row 14 at Klippers for a farm-to-table meal. Are you looking for a quick snack? Visit one of the many fruit stands along the way…check out Harker’s Organics and The Farm Store for a fast, healthy boost before your next adventure.
Summertime is easy in the Similkameen
You can stay busy if you want, or you can lay back and enjoy the river, the sunshine, and the sights. Nobody here is going to rush you…
Join us this summer and take in all the Similkameen Valley has to offer. It’s rugged, rustic, and real.