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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Thompson Okanagan > Osoyoos

Osoyoos
Osoyoos is located 60 km (37 miles) south of Penticton on Hwy 3 and along the border with the United States just north of Oroville, Washington. Both Osoyoos and Oroville share the same lakeshore along Osoyoos Lake where the lake crosses the border.

Semi-Arid Conditions
Osoyoos has the notoriety of having Canada's only desert and perhaps its warmest lake; it is reported to have average summer water temperatures of 24 degrees C. (75 degrees F.).

2,000 Hours of Sunshine
If you enjoy nice hot, dry and semi-arid conditions, complete with mild winters similar to California or Arizona, Osoyoos is the place. For sun worshippers an average least 2,000 hours of sunshine annually.

Osoyoos Lake
Osoyoos Lake is divided into half because of the Hwy 3 bridge crossing. At the bridge you can find public beach areas for swimming, sun tanning and picnicking. Downtown Osoyoos is just a short walk west of here along the park.

Hwy 3 Bridge
If you head east from the Hwy 3 bridge crossing you will come to an ornamental water fountain and the start of a very nice walkway along Osoyoos Lake with a view towards the south. During the warmer seasons this walkway features some beautiful flower arrangements along its path.

Tourist Attractions
There is also a great Holiday Inn featuring Shores Restaurant located across from here on Hwy 3. Continuing eastward on Hwy 3 you come to more motels, hotels, campgrounds and tourist attractions along the Hwy 3 road frontage.

Cottonwood Park
If you're looking for a public beach, turn left on Cottonwood Dr., drive past the Sage Pub and Liquor Store and you'll come to Cottonwood Park. This beach is a good spot to hang out and enjoy the lake.

Haynes Point Provincial Park
On the south side of the bridge the lake extends to an enormous spit that almost touches the other side of the lake called Haynes Point. Located on this spit is Haynes Point Provincial Park. Named after Justice of the Peace, Judge John Carmichael Haynes, the park has campground facilities containing small private sandy beaches.

Wildlife Viewing
If you're a bird watcher, Haynes Point Provincial Park also contains a natural marsh very rich in birdlife. There is an interpretive trail present complete with a wildlife viewing platform for taking pictures.

Okanagan People of the Nk'Mip
Osoyoos is also home to the Okanagan People of the Nk'Mip. This proud First Nation heritage is felt throughout Osoyoos with some major businesses operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation prevailing throughout the valley.

Nk'Mip Desert & Heritage Centre
To get a feeling of this culture you can visit the Nk'Mip Desert & Heritage Centre. This is a 'must see' for it is the northern boundary of the Great Basin Desert - part of the larger Sonoran Desert ecosystem stretching from Mexico. There are some self-guided interpretive trails throughout the 50-acre desert centre giving you unbelievable views of Osoyoos Lake.

Nk'Mip Cellars
Make sure you visit the Nk'Mip Cellars situated nearby if you're experiencing Desert Wine Country tours. These are award-winning wines with a great view of the lake resulting in an excellent time.

Fruit Stands
When you visit Osoyoos you will notice a large agricultural presence throughout the land. Fruit growing and vineyards along the sun-drenched hills are quite evident and, along with tourism, supply the main economic stimulus in the region. Make sure you take part in sampling some of the fruit and fine wines available. A good selection of fruit stands is located on Hwy 3 on the east side of the bridge crossing before going up Anarchist Summit.

Desert Wine Country
For wineries there are 11 wineries to choose from between Osoyoos and Oliver in what is called Desert Wine Country. There are several wine tours available for the Oliver-Osoyoos area consisting of wine tasting, local history and sightseeing. Please contact Desert Wine Tours for more information.

Golfing
If you enjoy golfing Osoyoos has three courses within 20 minutes that you can experience. The Osoyoos Golf & Country Club is located on the south-west side and offers year-round golf with a challenging 27-hole championship course. For beginners there is an executive par-3 course called Desert Springs Golf Club. More advanced golfers should try Fairview Mountain Golf Course located in Oliver that is rated one of Canada's top twenty golf courses.

Mt. Baldy
For winter sport enthusiasts Mt Baldy is located 46 km east on Hwy 3 towards Rock Creek. Mt. Baldy is a great destination if you enjoy smaller crowds, a relaxed atmosphere and great snow. The prices for a lift ticket are reasonable offering 1500 vertical feet of exciting terrain. If you're planning to stay awhile, accommodation is also available on Mt. Baldly.

Incredible Views of Osoyoos Lake
You can take some great camera shots of Osoyoos Lake from both the east and west side of Hwy 3 heading into Osoyoos. On the east is the viewpoint coming down the summit of Anarchist Mountain. From here you can see all the way down to the US in the south and, looking north, pretty well the whole of Osoyoos Lake. On the west there is Richter Pass - a very steep incline going into Osoyoos with panoramic views of the desert and lake.

Testalinden Trail
For the more adventurous, another spot for great views of both the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys has to be from the Testalinden Trail. You can either hike in or take your mountain bike along this 5 km (3 miles) trail.

Kobau Lookout Forest Road
To get here drive west by 11 km (7 miles) on Hwy 3 towards Keremeos from Osoyoos up the Richter Pass to the Kobau Lookout Forest Road. Take this road - it is a little rough but if you take your time about 40-45 minutes - any good mechanically operating car should be able to make it to the 1,860 m (6,102 feet) summit. Once at the summit access to the trail becomes apparent.

Mt. Kobau Star Party
Mt. Kobau is also home to the annual Mt. Kobau Star Party. If you're an astronomer try to make this event for a great evening of stargazing.

Osoyoos Museum
Osoyoos is also home to a great little art gallery and museum. The art galley is open all year and takes pride in displaying the works of over 50 artists that call Osoyoos home. The Osoyoos Museum contains various exhibits dealing with the early settlement of Osoyoos and the development of orchard and fruit industry.

Unbelievable Show of Flowers
For a really spectacular time you should visit during blossom time. This usually happens in the second or third week in April. Just an unbelievable show of flowers! The drive down from Oliver on Hwy 97 is quite stunning.

Curling and Hockey
Various events that are hosted in Osoyoos include: the annual midsummer mixed bonspiel for curlers and hockey fans can enjoy the Osoyoos Coyotes Junior 'B' Hockey Club, a member of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).

Osoyoos Information and Links: Includes; Travel, Recreation, Accommodation, Places to Eat and First Nations

 

 

Osoyoos Oliver
click map for larger image

 

Water Fountain
Ornamental Water Fountain

 

Cottonwood Park
Cottonwood Park

 

Osoyoos Beach
near the Holiday Inn

 

Looking South to Oroville
looking south to Oroville, Washington

 

Osoyoos
Osoyoos

 

Mt.Baldy
Mt.Baldy

 
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