Summer at Big White: No Skiing, but Just About Everything Else
Located just over 50 kilometres southeast of Kelowna is Big White ski resort. The mountain is a popular destination for tourists and locals year round. Big White ski resort is open November through April, but there are plenty of fun summer adventures to discover nearby. The mountain is a great place to escape to and enjoy a variety of fun-filled outdoor activities.
Get Out to Graystokes Protected Area
Graystokes Protected area lies 45 kilometres from the city of Kelowna. The 11,000-hectare protected area encompasses an extensive complex of swamps, meandering streams and meadows. Although there is little in the way of facilities here, the natural setting makes the perfect place for an outdoor family adventure. Pack a picnic and plenty of water for your outing, as there is no access to drinking water at Graystokes. There are however, beautiful walking trails and fishing sites scattered throughout the area for visitors to enjoy. The Graystokes Protected area is a great place to teach children about wildlife preservation and take in some natural Okanagan beauty.
Lake Shores for Leisure at Okanagan Mountain
Okanagan Provincial Park was established in 1973, and has been a popular destination for locals ever since. Although there are no public roads leading to the park, visitors from the city of Kelowna can access the park from Lakeshore Road. Beyond the lakeshore are over 100,000 hectares of grasslands, mountain lakes and spruce fir forests that are perfect for a day of discovery with family or friends. Six marine campgrounds are placed along the 33 kilometres of undeveloped shoreline that is filled with sandy beaches and secluded bays. Stay and play while you enjoy the vast natural beauty of the Okanagan. The Summerland Trout Hatchery stocks Baker, Norman and Divide lakes for visitors that are looking to cast a line. If you're planning to fish, make sure you have obtained the proper licenses before heading to the shores. If you're looking for a hiking adventure, there are plenty of routes to choose from, and lots of history to discover. The park is home to provincially significant First Nation pictographs that can be found on rock outcrops and canyon walls.
Biking Through Myra-Bellevue
Although wildfires in 2003 caused significant damage to Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, much has been done to revive the natural beauty of the park. Many parts of the park have been deemed safe and are open for exploration. However, there are still hazards visitors should take into account when visiting the park, and it's important to keep children under adult supervision. The historic Kettle Valley Railway makes for a great family bike adventure, and the trails here cater to a variety of skill levels. Bike rentals, concessions and tours can be found at the Myra Station parking lot. Rental services are provided by Myra Bicycle Rentals, and Monashee Adventure Tours provide shuttle service and bicycle tours. Remember to wear your helmet, and yield to horses and hikers when travelling through the various trails that run through the park.
Although there is no skiing when summer hits Big White, there are plenty of other exciting activities that visitors can enjoy. Summer in the Okanagan is a beautiful time, where residents and tourists enjoy the many natural wonders of the great outdoors. With so many events and festivals happening in the city of Kelowna, it is easy to forget about the wonderful parks and trails outside of town. Take some time to enjoy the abundance of adventure that awaits you beyond Kelowna's borders.