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Osoyoos Travel Guide

Osoyoos is a small resort town at the southern end of the Okanagan Valley on British Columbia’s border with Washington. This little town rests on the shores of Osoyoos Lake in the midst of a hot and dry desert full of hills, snakes, and tumbleweeds. The town has purposely built up a Spanish look to match its sunny and arid climate. The surrounding region is a fruitgrowing area much like the rest of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. In times of harvests, townsfolk celebrate with colorful festivals. The lakes in the region with its trout-filled waters and sandy beaches serve as popular places for boaters, anglers, swimmers, sunbathers, windsurfers, and other water sports enthusiasts. Despite there being many fruit-laden orchards clustered near the lakes, the arid hills in the area grow nothing but cacti and sagebrush. This sandy desert stretches north all the way to Skaha Lake and is known as Canada’s “pocket desert”. This region supports rattlesnakes, horned lizards, burrowing owls, and other life forms that thrive in a hot and dry climate. To fully appreciate the varied landscape in the area, you should drive east of Osoyoos along Highway 3 to Anarchist Mountain.[1]

The neighboring Similkameen Valley is located west of Osoyoos along Highway 3. If you’re looking for succulent fruit, take Highway 97 north, which runs parallel to the Okanagan River past Vaseux and Skaha Lakes. This highway is lined with orchards and, in the summertime, stands where locals hawk their fruits. The Okanagan Game Farm is located eight kilometers (five miles) south of Penticton. This large scrubland area overlooks Lake Skaha. There is a five-kilometer (three mile) drive from the farm that takes visitors through some nice lake views as well as through a zoo that boasts over 130 species of animals from around the world.[2]

Carroll, Donald. Insider’s Guide Canada. Edison: Hunter Publishing, Inc, 1996. ISBN: 1556507100.

[1] Carroll, 82-83
[2] Id. at 83

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