We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.” What if you could savour both? These top five Similkameen lookouts await you.
Whether you’re driving through the Rockies from points east or through the Cascades from points west, you’ll enjoy a beautiful journey and a welcoming destination when you travel to the Similkameen Valley.
You might be heading to one of British Columbia’s gems – Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park – with some of the best Similkameen lookouts you can imagine…
Or, you might be looking for the wide-open spaces of the valley’s floor, framed by rocky crags, threaded with meandering rivers, sprawling orchards and vineyards, and peppered with desert plants.
No matter your motivation, you’ll find a view that’s worth the drive.
Top 5 places to enjoy the view
There are so many beautiful viewpoints along the way, but here are the top five:
1. Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park and Protected Area
A short drive from the Lower Mainland and hop-skip-and-jump from the Okanagan Valley, you’ll find 33,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. The unique geological composition of this area provides a backdrop of unique rock formations that contrast with turquoise lakes nestled among granite.
It’s a photographer’s delight—and a favourite for weekend warriors, daytrippers and back-country campers.
Book yourself into the Cathedral Lakes Lodge and stay for a while, or make it part of your trip through the Similkameen.
Every path leads to a new, spectacular view, and we’re ready for you to enjoy the terrain on foot, horseback or bicycle.
2. The Cascade Lookout
Not keen on a hike or a bike ride? You can still take in this stellar Similkameen lookout with a leisurely drive into E.C. Manning Provincial Park.
Enjoy the panoramic views from both sides of the Canada-US border.
Watch the sunset over the Cascade Mountains and gaze at the stars from this pristine part of British Columbia.
Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife while you’re there—you might spy moose, bears, Columbian ground squirrels, coyotes, beavers, otters and more.
3. Coalmont Road
This beautiful, winding road is a favourite for those touring on a motorcycle and offers up stellar views of the winding Tulameen River at every turn.
If you’re using Princeton as your home base, it’s a pleasant 30-minute drive northwest to Tulameen on Coalmont Road. Once you arrive in this picturesque small town, you can sit on the shores of the Similkameen’s largest body of water, Otter Lake, and breathe in the views and the fresh air.
4. Upper Bench Road
Great views don’t just come at elevation.
Take a drive or a bike ride down Upper Bench Road just outside Keremeos and feast your eyes on the rolling hills covered in vines and fruit trees. Then, take time to sample the wines, ciders and fruits that abound in this organic produce oasis.
You’ll meet farmers who are passionate about their land and have deep roots.
5. At the river’s edge
The Similkameen Valley is home to three beautiful and bountiful rivers – the Ashnola, Similkameen and Tulameen.
Whether you come to sit on the banks with a fishing rod, watch for birds of prey to snatch their lunch from the river, have a dip in the cool refreshing water, or just enjoy the stark contrast of the sparkling clear water and the rocky valley walls, you’ll find serenity and beauty.
The Similkameen Valley has a view for all
Here’s the magic of the valley. You don’t have to be a mountain goat to enjoy one of the many Similkameen lookouts scattered throughout the region.
Whether you want to take a leisurely drive, a gentle walk, or challenge yourself with a hike through the alpine meadows to get elevation, you’re sure to find a breathtaking view.
And, when you’ve soaked in all the valley has to offer with your eyes, you can delight your tastebuds with the flavours that define this fertile region.
Contact us, and we’ll get you started. We’d love to welcome you to the Similkameen Valley.