212 km (132 mi)
Tour dozens of wineries, drive across a bridge that floats, visit a pyramid, take a farm tour, hike or bike trestles high above the valley bottom, or pet a kangaroo. When the day is done, kick back and relax on an outdoor patio or take in an outdoor concert. That’s just some of what you can do in the Okanagan Corridor.
Highway 97 and its many lakes are at the heart of this corridor. Okanagan Lake is 135 km (84 mi) long, and is between 4 and 5 km (2.4 – 3 mi) wide, just the perfect size to shelter the legendary Ogopogo lake monster. To the north is Kalamalka Lake, and Skaha and Osoyoos lakes are in the south Okanagan.
The Okanagan is comprised of the South Okanagan, Central Okanagan and North Okanagan districts. Driving south to north you can connect to several side road trips including Similkameen Valley Loop, the Boundary Monashee Loop, the Monashee Loop, and the Shuswap Loop. Both the Gold Country Loop and the North Thompson / Columbia Icefields Parkway can be accessed from the northern tip of the Okanagan Corridor.
97 km (60 mi)
Several small towns and cities are located on or near lakes and rivers in an area flush with orchards, fruit stands, vineyards and wineries and famous for its year round wine and music festivals. Head up to our mountains and enjoy hiking and mountain biking in spring, summer and fall. When the snow flies get your champagne powder fix at one of the area ski resorts.
Osoyoos — Desert and Culture
Osoyoos, BC, at the southern tip of Route 97, is a major junction for Hwys 97, 3 and 3A. Here you’ll find a First Nation winery, the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre, lakeside resorts, orchards and farms, all combined with the unique ecology of a pocket desert.
Oliver and Okanagan Falls
Oliver is known as the Wine Capital of Canada for its high concentration of wineries. At Vaseux Lake, walk the boardwalk for great bird watching, then follow the wine route to Okanagan Falls. Local parks boast of warm, shallow family friendly beaches. In harvest season stop at one of the many fruit stands that dot the highway. In the winter, take a 45 minutes drive up to Mount Baldy for some family fun on the slopes.
Penticton, Naramata and Summerland
Penticton lies on the north end of Skaha Lake – relax on their sandy beaches or float the river channel. The Skaha Bluffs is one of finest training areas for climbers in North America. Venture up the Naramata bench for vineyards, orchards, wineries and cycling access to the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Then onwards to Summerland for more wineries and orchards, where you might get robbed by outlaws on the historic steam train. In the winter, get your skiing fix in at Apex Mountain, about 40 minutes from Penticton.
64 km (40 mi)
The Central Okanagan is made up of the communities of Peachland, West Kelowna/Westbank, Kelowna and Lake Country. There’s fine dining, golf, wine tasting, shopping, live music, live theatre, hiking, biking, there’s so much to see and do here. In the winter head up to the mountains for some champagne powder.
Peachland and Westside (West Kelowna/Westbank)
At Peachland visit Hardy Falls, zipline through the trees or walk their relaxing lakefront. West Kelowna/Westbank is home to the Westside Wine Trail and dozens of hike and bike trails that run along the lake and into the hills. Take a leisurely walk along the lake near Gellatly Bay and visit the Gellatly Nut Farm. Visit the Sncewips Museum to learn about local First Nations heritage and culture. Snow shoe and cross country skiers love the Telemark Ski area just below Crystal Mountain.
Kelowna and Lake Country
Cross the floating pontoon bridge and you’re in Kelowna, the largest city in the Okanagan. The waterfront is the core of downtown Kelowna where you can rent SUPs, kayaks, boats and pedal boats, take a flight on a float plane, or zip up into the air and parasail above the lake. Downtown is filled with music in the warmer months with festivals, art shows, and celebrations galore. Live theatre is alive and well here as is the symphony and art galleries.
The beaches of Okanagan Lake are true sand beaches that you can walk for miles. Golfing, hiking, biking, boating, flyboarding, ziplining, skiing, snowboarding and x-country skiing are some of the activities available here. Hike up Knox Mountain Park, Kelowna’s largest natural area park with 310 hectares (766 acres) located immediately north of Kelowna’s downtown.
Tastes, Sights and Sounds
Tour the orchards, vineyards and visit a pyramid at an organic winery. Visit the farms of the area with farm to table tours, or head out into the field and pick it yourself. Then end the day with a delightful epicurean dinner as you dine on an outdoor patio with stunning lake views, or visit one of the many fine restaurants in the area. Let the gentle breezes cool you as you enjoy an outdoor concert in a natural amphitheater. Wine’s not the only beverage that’s made here. There are distilleries in Vernon and Kelowna, as well as cideries and meaderies.
While summer is a busy time in the Okanagan corridor, the cooler temperatures of spring and fall are perfect times to enjoy a hike through the Myra Canyon trestles. or play a round of golf on courses from easy going to ego shattering. In the winter head up to the mountains for outdoor fun in champagne powder. Big White is a one hour drive from Kelowna and is open most of the year for all season outdoor fun.
North of Kelowna, Route 97 twists and turns past Lake Country, home to the Kangaroo Creek farm where you can wander among the wallabies, kangaroos, and other animals. Drive the back country roads through rolling green hills, hike the trails, pick fresh fruit from the orchard and finish it off with wine tasting.
58 km (36 mi)
When you spot the marled colours of Kalamalka lake you’re near Vernon, where you can hike and bike trails galore around the three lakes and two large provincial parks. Visit a multi-generational farm that sells everything it grows on site. There’s a meadery and honey shop where you can observe a working hive. Explore area farmers’ markets, hike, swim, fish, kayak, BMX, discover their back country or relax at a spa. Vernon is fast becoming one of the top SUP destinations in Canada and is home to the Kalamalka Classic SUP Festival.
Vernon is a mere 30 minutes from SilverStar Mountain, which is open year round for four season fun.
Armstrong/Spallumcheen and Enderby
Route 97 branches off to 97A towards Armstrong/Spallumcheen, where you can explore the Barn Quilt Trail, the cheese factory and an asparagus farm. The Interior Provincial Exhibition happens here every Labour Day weekend. Take in year round performances put on by the outdoor theatre company. A few minutes up the road is Enderby with the largest Drive-in theatre screen in North America. Hike the Enderby cliffs with stunning views of both the Shuswap and the Okanagan valleys.
Need to Know:
|Loop Distance:||212 km (132 mi)|
|Duration to drive:||3 hours if you drive straight through.
Stop, explore and play awhile. Spend a day or more. You’ll be glad you did.
|Best time to drive:||Year round.
Snow tires recommended in the winter months.
|Watch for:||Hot air balloons overhead, boats on the lakes, (and the Ogogpogo!) wildlife on back roads. .|
British Columbia Visitor Centre at Osoyoos
Armstrong Spallumcheen Visitor Centre
3550 Bridge Street
Armstrong, BC, V0E 1B1
Enderby & District Visitor Centre
700 Railway Street
Enderby, BC, V0E 1V0
Toll free: 1-877-213-6509
Kelowna International Airport Information Booth
1 – 5533 Airport Way
Kelowna Visitor Centre
544 Harvey Avenue (Route 97)
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 6C9
Lake Country Visitor
Information at Gatzke Orchards
15975 Old Mission Road
Lake Country, BC, V4V 2J2
Okanagan Falls Visitor Centre
#2 – 5350 9th Avenue (Hwy 97)
Okanagan Falls, BC
(Next to the IGA Market)
Oliver Visitor Centre
6431 Station Street
Oliver, BC, V0H 1T0
Osoyoos – British Columbia Visitors Centre
Junction of Hwy 3 & 97
Peachland Visitor Centre
5684 Beach Ave
Peachland, BC, V0H 1X6
Penticton & Wine Country Visitor Centre
553 Vees Drive
Penticton, BC, V2A 8S3
Summerland Visitor Centre
15600 Hwy 97
Summerland, BC, V0H 1Z0
Vernon Visitor Centre
3004 39th Avenue
Vernon, BC, V1T 9P7
Toll Free: 1-800-665-0795
West Kelowna Visitor Centre
2376 Dobbin Road
West Kelowna, BC, V4T 1K7