Thompson Okanagan

The Thompson Okanagan is the place to be for every type of camper. Be a cowboy one day and an explorer the next; relax on a beach by one of the many warm lakes; or enjoy a round of golf on one of the challenging courses.

In the south of the Thompson Okanagan region lies the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys boasting more than 2,000 hours of sunshine a year and one of the mildest climates in Canada. Not surprisingly, the valley produces bountiful crops of fruit throughout the growing season and boasts over 40 wineries. Springtime is blossom time when the orchards are in full bloom and the air is sweet with the fragrance of cherry, apricot, peach, plum, pear and apple blossoms. A trip through Keremeos, the "fruit stand capital of Canada" is a must for visitors and residents alike who want to stock up on fresh fruit.
 
Explore the one of a kind "pocket desert" between Osoyoos and Oliver in the southern-most part of the region with its sub tropical flora and fauna such as cactus and sagebrush, horned lizards and burrowing owls.

With more than 600 lakes and streams, the Thompson Okanagan is a fisherman’s paradise. It’s known as one of British Columbia’s hot spots, with some of the lakes accessible only by floatplane. Battle the strength of the famous Kamloops Trout. In the fall, the Nicola and Thompson Rivers are favourite haunts for steelhead trout. Watch the drama of nature unfold in the Adams River as the spawning run of the sockeye salmon head to the creek of their birth.

The Thompson Okanagan is a water recreation paradise. From the Shuswap in the central part of the region offering over 1,000 km (600 mi) of navigable shoreline to Osoyoos Lake in the south offering the warmest swimming in Canada. Rent a houseboat and relax on the water; or water-ski, windsurf, sail or swim in one of the many lakes in the region.

If its adventure you are looking for, the Thompson Okanagan has it! Canoeing, kayaking, rafting, horseback adventures, and back-country hiking or heli-hiking, are just a few of the activities available. Take a trip down the historic Fraser or Thompson Rivers in a raft. Explore the trail once used by those looking for their fortune in the Gold Rush.

Stop at Cache Creek or Ashcroft for a look back at history. Hike amongst the hoodoos in the Deadman’s Creek Valley near Savona. Visit a cattle ranch near Merritt or stop at a guest ranch near the communities of Kamloops, Ashcroft, Little Fort and Clearwater.

Don’t miss Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, or Wells Gray Provincial Parks in the northern part of the Thompson Okanagan for spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation.

Wildlife is plentiful in Thompson Okanagan. Keep an eye out for moose or bighorn sheep and you may see a mountain goat or a black bear when you visit a national or provincial park. Ospreys can be seen often as well as Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles. Visit the Salmon Arm Nature Enhancement that provides valuable nesting grounds for thousands of waterfowl. Also view the wildlife and wetlands of Robert W. Starrat Wildlife Sanctuary near Valemount.

In the south-eastern part of the region take in the Phoenix Interpretive Forest Driving Tour between Greenwood and Grand Forks and when in Grand Forks visit the Mountainview Doukhobor Museum.

If you enjoy a round of golf, there are over fifty golf courses spread throughout the region, from novice to championship, providing one of the longest golfing seasons in Canada.

The arts are not forgotten either. On warm evenings take in a performance under the stars in Penticton or Armstrong. If you prefer indoor comfort, there is live theatre in Kelowna and dinner cabaret in Vernon. Music lovers will appreciate the performances of the Okanagan Symphony who play to audiences throughout the region. Visit some of the numerous craft shops and galleries that dot the area, most containing work by local artists.

Winter is also big business in the Thompson Okanagan. Major destination resorts offer skiers excellent facilities. Choose from Big White near Kelowna, Silver Star Mountain near Vernon, Apex Resort near Penticton or Sun Peaks near Kamloops.

Come visit the Thompson Okanagan - its diversity creates the perfect holiday atmosphere.

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