Okanagan Falls in the Similkameen. 
Amateur Photographer Contest Entry Ken McAllister photo

Discover BC’s Similkameen

The communities of the Similkameen Valley include Cathedral Lakes, Princeton, Hedley, Keremeos, Cawston Chopaka, Eastgate, Manning Park, Olalla, Twin Lakes, Coalmont and Tulameen. In between these little spots is Bromley Rock Provincial Park, known for its famous swimming hole and the best place to float from down the Similkameen River.

When you feel like getting away from it all… this is the place to do it. Off the beaten path, with ridiculously beautiful scenery as your backdrop, find adventure or just unplug and unwind. The Fruit Stand Capital and Organic Farming Capital of Canada, discover small towns, large ranches and farms, and an award-winning wine region.

You’ll find many places to pull over for photo opportunities on your way to visit the Similkameen. The uninterrupted vista views, the rolling fields of vineyards, the creeks, lakes, the soaring mountains… you’ll see signs of historic prospecting, First Nations and a pioneering past. The open vastness of the sky is perfect to capture the flight of eagles and the steep escapades of mountain goats and big horned sheep.

The Similkameen is really a four-season getaway: snowy adventures in the winter, beachy fun in the summer, the full bloom of spring and fall – filled with the many harvest events or wine samplings.


  • Chopaka was the name of a legendary hunter of the Okanagan people. Coyote turned him to stone and he became Chopaka Mountain
  • This small community of Eastgate, as the name implies, is at the east gate of Manning Park. Several people live here year round in cabins down by the river. For visitors, it’s a four-season recreational paradise with accommodations like cabins, chalets, camping and a motel
  • Manning Park is a four-season playground with endless trails and crystal clear lakes. In the winter, people come from all over the world to snowshoe and cross country ski. Spend the night in a tent under the stars, or in a first-come-first-served hostel. There’s also year-round accommodation at their rustic lodge


The climate here is considered to be a local steppe climate, with little rainfall throughout the year, warm summers and cool winters.

Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.

(Check this website for current details on travel.)

Getting Here

Driving: At359 km (139 mi) from Vancouver, travel time to the Similkameen is just over four hours via Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E & BC-3 E.


Discover more at TheWestCoastTraveller.

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