Posted by: cherylyoung | March 5, 2012

Southwestern British Columbia has some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada and Possibly the world

 

Some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada, and possibly

the world, can be found in southeastern British Columbia.

Gaze from the highest viewpoint across an neverending

succession of peaks and ridges; discover magnificent

mountain scenery,  spectacular landscapes, majestic waterfalls

and azure-blue lakes.

 

Beautiful throughout the year, the area comes alive during the

hot summer months.

Vineyards and orchards flourish, roadsides are packed with

fruit stands while city parks host musical entertainment

jugglers and open-air craft galleries.

 

This too is an adventurer’s paradise: just about everyone will

appreciate the hiking, camping, trail riding, and canoeing that

is to be had here.

 

Extremists can go hang-gliding, rafting, mountain climbing,

ice-climbing …the list is as endless as the beauty that

surrounds you.

 

The Okanagan Valley, stretching from Osoyoos at the US border

north to Vernon, is laden with orchards, making it especially

appealing in spring, when the fruit trees are in full bloom.

 

The best time to pick up some of the valley’s bounty is mid-

August through early September.

However, the fruit starts ripening as early as the end of June.

 

There are even free Tree Fruit Tours. Fruit aside,

winemaking is the hot ticket in the Okanagan.

 

 

British Columbians have long taken inordinate pride in

their wines.

 

Nearly three dozen wineries operate in the Okanagan Valley

from Osoyoos to Vernon.

 

Penticton takes full advantage of its dual lakefronts

The south end of town touches the north shore of Skaha Lake

and the north end of town sidles along the southern tip of

Lake Okanagan.

 

Summerland is a theme town; pick up the pamphlet

’A Walking Tour of Summerland,’ available at the museum

or Info Centre.

 

Also of note is the Agricultural Research Station, the only active

agricultural research centre in the Okanagan.

 

Its interpretive centre, research facilities, and ornamental

gardens have become a draw for thousands of international

visitors every year.

There are many festivals in this region, too many to mention

here.

 

For a complete list, contact the Info Centre in the area you’re

visiting.

 

Don’t forget your golf clubs – the Okanagan boasts some of the

finest golf courses in western Canada.

 

Perhaps you’ve heard of Armstrong cheese?

 

Well this is where it comes from.

 

Presiding over the Spallumcheen valley, where agriculture

and  ranching are the traditional economic ventures,

Armstrong is named after a London banker who helped finance

local development at the turn of the century.

 

Interesting spots for visitors to check out are the Olde School

House, one of B.C.’s original educational institutions, Canoga

Carriages,  where the art of horse-drawn carriages continues

to thrive, and of course, the Armstrong Cheese Factory.

 

The history of Revelstoke is tied to the building of the

Canadian Pacific Railway, which you can delve into at the

Revelstoke Railway Museum.

 

Perched high in the Monashee Mountains, next to two national

parks, Mount Revelstoke National Park and

Glacier National Park, this town is not to be missed by

anyone who appreciates a view.

Hiking in Glacier National Park is more extensive and at a

higher elevation than in Revelstoke. Glaciers cover much

of the challenging terrain in the park, which is dominated

by 10 peaks ranging from 2,600 to 3,390 metres in height.

 

Illecillewaet Glacier on the Great Glacier Trail has been a ‘must

see’ destination for over a century.

A series of mountain ranges rise dramatically in the Selkirk and

Monashee Mountains between Revelstoke and Golden.

 

Travellers between the two towns must negotiate Rogers Pass

(elevation 4,534 feet/1382m), one of the great mountain

crossings in the province and certainly the Trans-Canada

Highway’s crowning glory.

The lofty sensation of crossing Rogers Pass is one of the

rewards of  travelling here.

 

Bracketed by Glacier National Park to the west and

Yoho National Park to the east, Golden is right in the heart

of some of the most pristine wilderness to be found in

the Rockies.

 

At the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia River,

and with the Columbia Mountains standing guard overhead,

Golden may be the perfect jump-off point for extreme outdoor

adventure: hiking, river rafting, horseback riding, heliskiing,

hang gliding, ice-climbing…its’ all here.

From Golden drive south on Highway 95 and spend the night

at Radium Hot Springs Resort or Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.

 

Radium Hot Springs makes an ideal soaking stop at the base

of the Kootenay Mountain Range.

 

The hot springs, open to the public year-round, are equipped

with  two pools: one heated, the other cooler for more

athletic swimming.

 

The internationally renowned Fairmont springs soothe

visitors

year-round with the curative powers of the 35 to 45

deg C waters.

 

Throughout British Columbia, diverse historic 19th

century forts have been preserved as reminders of how the

west was settled by Europeans.

 

Fort Steele Heritage Town is undoubtedly the best example

and is worth a day’s visit when travelling through the area

in  summer months.

 

Take a side trip to Kimberley, the highest city in Canada

– elevation 1,113m.

 

Nearby North Star Mountain attracts more skiers each year,

and visitors will be charmed by the ‘Old Bavaria’ feel of the

downtown shopping area.

Plenty of cafes and boutiques for urbanities and hiking,

camping and two golf courses for those who prefer the great

outdoors.

 

Kimberley’s International Accordion Championship is here in

early July, so bring your lederhosen.

From Creston continue northwest along Highway 3A to

Kootenay Bay and take the two-hour (round-trip) Balfour

ferry across Kootenay Lake.

 

It’s a pretty trip and happens to be the world’s longest

free ferry ride.

 

Take a side trip to Ainsworth Hot Springs, where you can

explore  caves of piping-hot waist-deep water, or swim in the

slightly cooler pool.

 

The restaurant here offers a stunning view of Kootenay Lake.

 

Nestled in a valley on the shore of Kootenay Lake, Nelson

sprang up with the silver and gold mining boom back in the

late 1890s and has retained its Victorian character.

 

For the best overall view of Nelson, stroll through Gyro Park

to the vista point on the hillside.

 

The park has picturesque gardens and a nice wading pool

for children.

 

An interesting pictorial exhibit of the region’s history can be

seen at the Nelson Museum.

Rossland, a 1892s gold-rush town, has experienced a second

boom recently.

 

This time the gold is not in Red Mountain, but on it.

Red Mountain Ski Area is one of the more challenging ski areas

in British Columbia.

 

In the summer, the colourful turn-of-the-century main

street of tiny Rossland bustles with hikers bound for alpine

lakes, mountain bikers en route to explore the numerous

trails,  or visitors seeking scenery.

 

Tour the fascinating Le Roi Gold Mine, Canada’s only hard-rock

gold mine open to the public.

 

It’s just another roadside attraction open May through September

CHERYL C YOUNG,REALTOR

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C  www.cherylyoung.ca

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