Excuse us while we brag a little…
Route 97 is the longest continuous north-south highway in North America, stretching from Weed, CA to Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek, BC. The Interior Cascades is a cross-border section of the highway that starts in Wenatchee, WA and extends up to Cache Creek, BC. This central corridor is full of beauty and adventure, and these are a few reasons why the Route 97 region is so remarkable.
Highest Mountain in the Canadian Rockies
Mount Robson is a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts the title of the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Home to Berg Lake Trail which crosses three biogeoclimatic zones with access to over 217,000 ha (536,219 ac) of pristine wilderness and wildlife habitat of black bear, grizzly bear, deer, and mountain goats. Hike the trail or take a helicopter in and enjoy the turquoise waters from above.
The great American road trip is alive and well on the Cascade Loop. National Geographic Traveler calls it “One of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives.” You can join the loop at Douglas, Chelan, or Okanogan County. With mountainous scenery, fertile valleys, and gorgeous open roads – it’s a tangible display of both beauty and bounty.
Wine & Culinary Country
Enjoy the best of local flavours amidst the stunning backdrop of our sun-soaked valleys. From internationally-acclaimed wineries to long-table dinners under the stars, delight your senses along Route 97. Exceptional wine regions include the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, North Central Washington wine region and the burgeoning Kamloops vineyards.
Historic Rail Trails
The Kettle Valley Railway opened in 1915 servicing both passenger and freight trains, eventually subduing to its final abandonment in 1990. Since then, the trail corridor has been transformed into a recreational trail, ideal for cycling and hiking through a variety of diverse landscapes and communities.
Take a jeep or boat safari in the world’s only inland temperate rainforest at Blue River and watch as bears and their cubs roam the banks right in front of you. Stand in awe at the mystical Spirit Bear at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops, where you can also meet grizzly and black bears up close.
Route 97 boasts several parks that you don’t want to miss. The regional and national parks of the Interior Cascades region offer visitors a chance to explore the wilds in every season. Many offer overnight camping. There are dozens and dozens of state and provincial parks throughout the route in Washington and British Columbia. If you like to get off the beaten path, try Wells Gray Park, Manning Park, or Cathedral Park. For a more relaxed adventure (with plenty of wineries to visit after your excursion) wander the trestles and tunnels of Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park located along the historic Kettle Valley Railway.
Route 97 is home to three nations each with their own traditions, history, and stories. Embrace the culture and history of Canada with a variety of experiences including one of Western Canada’s largest Powwows, or by visiting interpretive centres such as the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos.
Canada’s Only Desert
Feel the warmth of the sunshine as you roll down the windows and blast your road trip playlist. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the sun, whether it be by wandering Canada’s only desert in Osoyoos, or taking a comfortable dip in Canada’s warmest freshwater: Osoyoos Lake, and Christina Lake.
Houseboat Capital of Canada
Explore Sicamous and the lakes of the Shuswap region via houseboat surrounded by hundreds of km (miles) of waterfront, sunshine and scenery. No need to go ashore, you can eat, sleep, swim, boat, fish, or simply relax in the sun from the deck of your houseboat.
Whether you want to shred first tracks through powder, or capture snow-capped peaks on film, the mountains throughout Route 97 will not disappoint. Home to the world famous champagne powder, the region’s dry, fluffy snow will have you wishing every day was a pow day. Take a horse drawn sleigh ride dining tour or snowshoe the iconic Kettle Valley Railway, there are many unique winter experiences to be had.
Just a one-hour flight from Seattle (SEA –> YLW), the Route 97 region is an accessible and affordable Spring getaway. $100USD equals approximately $131 Canadian Dollars, so up here, your money goes further.
Be Curious about British Columbia.