Be Curious

VIneyard dining - The Story of Route 97 - Our Story

This is our story and we want to share it with you. Let your curiosity fuel you as you embark on carefree road trips in and around Route 97. The Columbia Cascades region has some of the most diverse outdoor and cultural experiences in North America. Route 97 is at the core of your journey. From here, venture off on numerous side trips and detours that indulge your sense of adventure. You’ll come home with a fabulous story or two to tell.

Take a Road Trip

Your journeys in and around Route 97 can be a day trip, a week’s holiday, a month long exploration or more! This expansive land is perfect for four seasons of fantastic memory making. You will marvel at the majestic mountains, wild rivers, fertile valleys and relaxing lakes. Follow your inquisitive nature as you venture forth into a diverse geographical area that rewards you with wildlife, beauty, power, majesty, history, friendly folk and unique experiences.

The roads, loops, byways, and towns of North Central Washington and the Thompson Okanagan in British Columbia have thousands of places to explore. Wind your way through this breathtakingly diverse corridor from the foothills of the Wenatchee National Forest through Washington’s Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan Counties and across the border in the Thompson Okanagan region of BC and beyond. It’s easy to connect to and from Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary, from major interstates and highways. Choose the route that intrigues you and head out on a road trip to remember. When heading north on Route 97 venture through the Gold Rush Trail en route to Alaska.

Discover Our Culture

Our region’s culture is formed from three nations that call this place home: Indigenous Nations, Canada, and the United States. Throughout the Columbia Cascades of Route 97, you’ll find three Indigenous Nations: Nlaka’pamux, Okanagan *Syilx), and Secwepemc, each with their own unique dialect, traditions, history, and story. The history and culture of the indigenous people are deeply interwoven into the fabric of both countries. Celebrate with us at Pow Wows and feasts.

Step into the past and appreciate a simpler life at our interpretation centres and museums. In cowboy country, you can stay and relax at a ranch or work alongside ranch hands, tour heritage ranches and attend rodeos, festivals, and fairs. You’ll find the people friendly, welcoming, and happy to share their stories.

Many of our celebrations are about music. Blues, jazz, country, and rock ‘n’ roll festivals can be found throughout the Columbia Cascades on both side of the border.

Explore Our Diversity

Our diverse ecosystems provide a natural backdrop for abundant outdoor recreation with internationally acclaimed trails systems, one of a kind wildlife viewing and North America’s only inland rainforest. Take a guided tour or explore by bike, foot, horseback, skis or snowshoes. Our rivers offer you everything from gentle floats to Class IV rapids, depending on the season. Foothills rise into mountain ranges where you can hang glide on the updrafts or have a once in a lifetime world class heli-skiing experience on fresh champagne powder. Our lakes go on for miles, as do the number of ways to enjoy them.

Taste Our Creations

Our lush valleys are home to rich agricultural diversity, from international award winning wines to multi generational organic farms. Food, wine, and craft beer are celebrated with events year round. Take in an outdoor concert at a vineyard, try a new wine release, or watch chefs compete in national culinary championships. Our gastronomic fare ranges from gourmet food truck treats to chef-prepared, long table dinners under the stars.

Let your curiosity guide you as you explore what’s around the corner on your journey throughout Route 97.

Route 97 Experiences to Brag About

  • Visit Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
  • Explore Wells Gray Provincial Park. Over 40 waterfalls and the largest non-motorized lake in North America
  • Experience the Adams River Sockeye Salmon Run, the largest Salmon run in BC
  • Learn about and experience Nlaka’pamux, Okanagan (Syilx), and Secwepemc Indigenous culture
  • Attend rodeos, county fairs, festivals that celebrate cowboy culture
  • Tackle champagne powder in the winter by downhill, cross country skiing, snowboarding, Cat and heli-skiing
  • Taste our bounty at world-class wineries, fruit stands and farmers’ markets
  • Eat, sleep, swim, fish, and relax on a houseboat in the Shuswap
  • Step back in time and explore historic towns and ghost towns
  • Visit the mystical Spirit Bear at the BC Wildlife Park
  • Marvel at our geological wonders: high mountain peaks, waterfalls, a pocket desert, and a gorge 4 times the size of Niagara Falls
  • Hike-bike or snowshoe our scenic rail trails and epic mountain and valley trails
  • Enjoy the hundreds of rivers, lakes and dams in the area including Grand Coulee Dam with a laser light show

Route 97 — Satisfy Your Curiosity

Route 97 Road Trips map