One day road trip from Kelowna
What do you do when the temperature is above 30C in Kelowna? Drive further south, of course! The first two weeks of July were scorching hot so a nice drive in an air conditioned car, perhaps a swim in a cool lake or river, and some good views were appealing.
Rock Creek and Osoyoos, along Highway 3 near the US border looked intriguing and there is a nice loop along Highway 33 south from Kelowna, west across Highway 3 to Osoyoos and back up on Highway 97 through wine country.
If you have time, pull off Highway 33 and visit McCulloch (known also as Hydraulic) Lake, part of nine highland lakes in the area. McCulloch Lake is along the Kettle Valley Trail and looks like a perfect place for biking or paddle boarding.
Make sure you bring a comfortable chair and a floatie as your next stop should be the Kettle River Recreation Area. Chester and I cooled off in the river, while people floated by and kids jumped off the bridge. This area is also part of the Kettle Valley Trail.
Dreams of finding gold between my toes were mingled with the sounds of laughing families and birds calling from the forest behind. Rock Creek was a booming gold rush town for a short time in the 1800’s and was even the site of a war over gold licenses according to Wikipedia. British Columbia Magazine has a great article on BC’s gold rush towns if you are interested.
The wildflowers on the road leading into the park were beautiful. There was a bad wildfire here in 2015 and it was nice to see the regrowth.
Go west on Highway 3 toward Osoyoos and make sure you stop at Anarchist Summit. The views south were gorgeous.
Down at the bottom of the hill, a doe and fawn were munching on the grass.
Look for an old farmhouse on the south side of the highway. According to Michael Luckner, locals call this the Lawless place. Mr. Luckner, with help from others, has compiled information about the families who settled here and also a wealth of detail and beautiful watercolour paintings of other historical areas in British Columbia.
The drive into Osoyoos was quite pretty as the road descends through hairpin turns to the lake below. For those who like spirited driving, this would be a fun one!
The heat was getting to me by this time as it was 38C (100F) so I made a mental note of the places to visit on a cooler day:
- Spotted Lake
- Anarchist Mountain
- NK’Mip Desert Cultural Centre
- Mt Kobau in South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area
Between Osoyoos and Penticton are probably 100’s of wineries and fruit markets. We’ve explored a few wineries with friends and it is a fun way to spend the afternoon. Most were closed by the time I got there but I did manage to find apricots, yum.
I bypassed Penticton as it can be busy, but stopped at Peachland as I love the main street. It was good to see that the restaurants were crowded and folks were enjoying the waterfront despite the flooding. The marina was closed, some docks destroyed, and sandbags were everywhere, but people were still on the beach, taking in the last light of the day.
Peachland has a small museum at the south end of Beach Avenue. There is an amazing model of the Kettle Valley Railway that runs through the second floor. Worth the visit to learn more about the history of the area.
One last stop along Westside Road to take in the view.
Thank you for stopping by!!
PS For those using Pinterest, here is a pinnable shot from Anarchist Summit.