British Columbia’s finest street journey: Winding by wine nation

British Columbia’s best road trip: Winding through wine country

Be part of British Columbia locals, Nat Geo filmmaker Bryan Smith and his spouse Lise-Anne Beyries, on a seven-day tasting tour round their dwelling province’s premier grape-growing area: the sun-splashed Okanagan Valley. Uncover dozens of wineries within the Okanagan and enterprise north to the Thompson Valley. If time permits, add a day to see extra of the Thompson Okanagan on a heli-hiking tour of the Canadian Rockies’ highest peak.

  1. Style a spread of varietals at boutique and world-class wineries.
  2. Discover shimmering lakes and Canada’s solely desert.
  3. Go to Indigenous-owned wineries and uncover Indigenous tradition.
  4. Hike to waterfalls and go paddleboarding and mountain biking.
  5. Soar above the majestic peaks, cascades, and cliffs of 12,972-foot Mount Robson.

Nationwide Geographic filmmaker Bryan Smith and his spouse Lise-Anne Beyries take pleasure in a stroll by the sloping vineyards of Nk’Mip Cellars in Osoyoos, British Columbia. The vineyard is a part of the luxurious Spirit Ridge, The Unbound Assortment by Hyatt resort, which sits on the foothills of Anarchist Mountain above Osoyoos Lake.

{Photograph} by Dan Westergren


Osoyoos, your first cease within the Okanagan Valley, is about 4 hours east of Vancouver. Embrace the leisurely tempo of the Okanagan earlier than you even arrive by meandering from Vancouver to Osoyoos on Freeway 3. Generally known as the Crowsnest Freeway, the drive is among the most scenic in British Columbia. You’ll journey by the Cascade Mountains and E.C. Manning Provincial Park, excellent for a lakeside picnic or a hike by a canyon or to see gorgeous alpine vistas.

Rejoice Indigenous tradition

Osoyoos is surrounded by the Okanagan desert, a novel antelope-brush ecosystem and the one desert in Canada. Study concerning the land and the legends of the Syilx/Okanagan individuals on the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. Afterward, examine into Spirit Ridge, The Unbound Assortment by Hyatt, a luxurious, adobe-style resort situated on Indigenous Okanagan Indian Band land. The resort can also be dwelling to Nk’Mip Cellars, North America’s first Indigenous-owned vineyard.

Feast on native flavors

Style the bounty of the Okanagan by reserving a Chef’s Desk personal eating expertise at Yard Farm. Chef Chris Van Hooydonk can host as much as 20 company for a five-course, wine-paired culinary demonstration. The menu options produce grown at Yard Farm, in addition to different domestically sourced and seasonally recent components. From the desk, you’ll be able to work together with the chef, see every dish being ready, and look out into the encompassing orchard.

INSIDE TIP: Ask Chef Van Hooydonk about particular occasions or tastings going down within the Okanagan throughout your go to.


Hike and bike in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

Drive north to take in the morning gentle and surroundings at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park, dwelling to bighorn sheep and spectacular granite, west-facing bluffs. Go climbing or mountain biking on designated trails to see the colourful fall foliage. Should you’re an skilled rock climber, deliver your gear. Spend time hanging out on Skaha Seaside, named one of many ‘20 Absolute Finest Seashores In Canada’ by Chatelaine in 2018.

Mountain climbing trails in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park supply scenic views of Skaha Lake. Along with climbing, the park is understood for its wildlife viewing and world-class mountaineering alternatives.

{Photograph} by Dan Westergren

Sip across the South Okanagan

About 60 grape varieties are cultivated within the South Okanagan, boasting a number of the valley’s best-known wineries, akin to Mission Hill Household Property Vineyard and Tinhorn Creek, in addition to boutique vineyards. For a well-structured, daring crimson, go to Fairview Cellars, the place veteran Okanagan vintner Invoice Eggert crafts distinctive blends like Bucket O’Blood. Named for the moniker miners bestowed upon an area saloon throughout the space’s Nineteenth-century gold-mining days, the Syrah-Cabernet Franc mix is a giant, tannic, darkish wine with splendid berry and smoky notes. E-book a Winemaker’s Winery Strolling Tour at Maverick Property Vineyard to find the artwork and craft of constructing wine by hand.

INSIDE TIP: Arrive at Painted Rock Property Vineyard, named Vineyard of the Yr by the 2018/2019 InterVin Worldwide Wine Awards, in time to observe the sundown over Skaha Lake.

Cool Okanagan Lake breezes, ample sunshine, and a spread of microclimates alongside the Naramata Bench create ultimate circumstances for producing all kinds of wines, akin to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer.

Video by Bryan Smith


Take a Bench tasting tour

Proceed north to the Naramata Bench, a sub-appellation wine area situated alongside a plateau overlooking Okanagan Lake. Practically 40 wineries sit on the “bench,” which has sweeping sand cliffs under and vineyards rising as much as the mountains behind. Spend the primary of two leisurely days right here, tasting the bounty of the Bench at native wineries, akin to Bench 1775, MOCOJO, Moraine, and Poplar Grove.

Sort out scenic bike trails

On day 4, discover the hillsides above the Bench on two wheels by way of a mountain biking path community known as Three Blind Mice. Dozens of trails, from novice to professional, climb alongside the Bench and downhill in the direction of the lake. Lease a mountain bike at Freedom Bike Store, which additionally may also help prepare shuttles to trailheads.

Bryan Smith and Lise-Anne Beyries discover the Three Blind Mice mountain biking trails on the Naramata Bench close to Penticton, British Columbia.

Video by Bryan Smith

INSIDE TIP: Both day, take a late afternoon tour of Poplar Grove vineyard to observe the sundown whereas eating or sipping wine on the out of doors patio.

Comply with the Kelowna Wine Trails

Drive north alongside the japanese shore of Okanagan Lake—largest within the Okanagan and lifeblood of the valley—to laid-back Kelowna, the most important metropolis on the lake. Kelowna and surrounds supply the right mixture of actions for a leisurely day of touring and tastings. Purchase recent fruit at orchard stands, take part in water sports activities, and discover meandering biking and climbing trails. Use the Kelowna Wine Trails Information to decide on wineries to go to primarily based in your preferences.

The Kettle Valley Rail Path operating by Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park in Kelowna, British Columbia, crosses previous railroad trestles, giving cyclists and walkers elevated views of scenic Myra Canyon.

{Photograph} by Dan Westergren

Discover the good outdoor

For a shocking hike or bike trip, take a scenic, 15-mile drive from downtown Kelowna to Myra Canyon. The historic Kettle Valley Rail Path runs by the canyon, providing a uncommon alternative to pedal or stroll by previous railroad tunnels and throughout trestles. Lease bikes on the trailhead. For a extra lake-focused keep, examine into the Lodge Eldorado, the place you’ll be able to attempt watersports like paddleboarding and be part of a whisky tasting. Make a dinner reservation on the Pink Fox Membership, situated on the Indigenous World Vineyard and that includes an Indigenous-inspired menu.

INSIDE TIP: Sundown is the perfect time for photographs at Myra Canyon. Keep as late as you’ll be able to to seize the long-lasting photographs of golden gentle hitting the trestles.

Stand-up paddleboarders glide throughout the glassy floor of Kalamalka Lake close to Vernon, British Columbia. The lake’s Caribbean-blue hue is brought on by limestone crystals, which kind throughout heat climate and replicate the sunshine in ever-changing methods.

{Photograph} by Dan Westergren

Go apple choosing

Proceed northwest about two hours to the Thompson Valley and Kamloops, dwelling to 4 wineries: Harper’s Path, Privato, Monte Creek Ranch, and Sagewood. If making the journey throughout harvest season, cease at one of many u-pick orchards or farms within the Vernon space (31 miles north of Kelowna) to choose your personal apples.

Take an Indigenous paddling tour

In Kamloops, be part of Moccasin Trails on a standard longboat Canoe Journey down the South Thompson River led by a Shuswap Indigenous information. Look ahead to bald eagles and black bears, hearken to native tales and music, and find out how the First Nations heritage of the areas surrounding Kamloops differs from areas farther south. Again on land, go to Harper’s Path, the primary vineyard established in Kamloops, for a tour and tasting.

INSIDE TIP: Within the night, take pleasure in a craft beer and shared plate (like crispy pickles or ricotta-stuffed mushroom caps) at The Noble Pig Brewhouse earlier than eating at Forno On fifth.


Hike to a waterfall

Get an early begin to make the 90-minute drive north to Wells Grey Provincial Park. Plan to spend a full day enjoying within the wilderness park, finest recognized for its wealth of waterfalls. For a brief hike delivering huge views, stroll to the Shaden Viewing Platform overlooking Spahats Creek Canyon and Spahats Falls. The most effective day hikes within the park is the five-mile, out-and-back Helmcken Falls Rim Path to thundering, 463-foot Helmcken Falls, one of many highest waterfalls in Canada.

Helmcken Falls is the crown jewel of British Columbia’s distant Wells Grey Provincial Park, an enormous wilderness space spanning practically 2,100 sq. miles.

Video by Bryan Smith

Go driving or rafting

Different seasonal actions in Wells Grey Provincial Park embrace biking, guided hikes, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Tour corporations alongside Wells Grey Park Highway supply guided horseback rides, and journey outfitters lead whitewater raft journeys on the Clearwater River and leisurely float excursions on the North Thompson. At no cost details about actions in and across the park, go to or name the Wells Grey Park Info Centre.

The glacier-fed Murtle River cascades by Wells Grey Provincial Park on the best way to Helmcken Falls.

{Photograph} by Dan Westergren

INSIDE TIP: Should you’re persevering with on to Mount Robson within the morning, drive two hours north to the Robson Valley and spend the night time in Valemount.


See the Rockies’ highest peak by helicopter

Valemount is the gateway to Mount Robson Provincial Park, part of the bigger Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage website. Towering 12,972 ft above sea stage, the park’s namesake peak is the very best within the Canadian Rockies. Soar above the huge granite mountain’s waterfalls, glacial lakes, and jagged cliffs and peaks on a heli-tour with Robson HeliMagic.

Mount Robson, highest peak within the Canadian Rockies, majestically rises above Berg Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park close to the border of British Columbia and Alberta.

Video by Bryan Smith

Climb increased by heli-hiking

To dial up the journey stage, go heli-hiking on Mount Robson. Robson HeliMagic can fly hikers throughout the valley and up the mountain to a secure touchdown spot at Berg Lake. From right here, set out for a jaw-droppingly beautiful hike alongside a flat path to the turquoise, glacier-fed lake. At day’s finish, the helicopter will retrieve you.

INSIDE TIP: For a difficult heli-hiking expedition, comply with the 11.5-mile Berg Lake Path from the lake again down the mountain to the Mount Robson Customer Centre. Test path circumstances, put on weather-appropriate footwear and clothes, and pack crucial provides (akin to meals, water, and bear spray) earlier than making an attempt the hike.

Absorb the awe-inspiring views of Mount Robson from the shores of Berg Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia

{Photograph} by Bryan Smith

The drive begins and ends in Vancouver. From right here, take Trans-Canada Freeway 1 and Freeway 3 east about 4 hours to Osoyoos. On the best way again, savor extra extremely scenic British Columbia views by following the winding Freeway 1 from Kamloops by the Fraser Canyon and again to Vancouver.

Spend the primary two nights in Osoyoos at Spirit Ridge, The Unbound Assortment by Hyatt resort. For nights three and 4, select a Naramata Bench mattress and breakfast or keep at a motel or resort in Penticton. In Kelowna, keep subsequent to Okanagan Lake at Lodge Eldorado. Spend the following night time in Kamloops at The Plaza Lodge or get a head begin on the next day’s drive by staying farther north at Solar Peaks Grand Lodge and Convention Centre close to Kamloops. After visiting Wells Grey Provincial Park, in a single day close by at Clearwater Lodge or again at Solar Peaks Grand Lodge in Kamloops. If persevering with to Mount Robson for day eight, proceed north to spend the night time in Valemount.

TRAVEL TIP: Make the journey in fall to rejoice the fruits and actions of harvest season at wineries, eating places, and resorts within the Thompson Okanagan.

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