Winter Travel in the Thompson Okanagan
Stunning views and slim crowds are just two reasons to make winter travel in the Thompson Okanagan a priority this season. In this article, I’ll go through seven winter tours to connect with this season.
Explore Winter in Wells Gray with Clearwater Lake Tours
Wells Gray Provincial Park is an incredible set for winter exploration. In the summer, the team at Clearwater Lake Tours offer boat rentals, lake tours and delectable food at their cafe/restaurant. In the winter, they offer fully-catered multi-day trips to their huts within the park. You’ll be picked up by ‘snow taxi’ (snowmobile) and taken to their home base beside Clearwater Lake. I took this tour 2 winters ago and I still cherish the memories. Our guide Ray ensured that we ate like royalty, explored to our hearts content and were kept comfortable with log fires and cozy cabin accommodation. The only worry was having enough memory on our cameras. During the daytime we explored the frozen waterfalls, snowshoed the trails and paddled on the frosty lakes. In the evenings we ate and drank, played cards and enjoyed the company of our fellow winter explorers.
2. Snowshoe or hike the Myra Canyon Trestles
3. Relax with a Fireside Dinner at Apex Mountain Resort with Hoodoo Adventure Tours
If the amazing staff at Hoodoo Adventures aren’t enough to convince you to head on an adventure with them, the chocolate fondue and wine will do the trick. On this tour, you’ll head to Apex Mountain Resort for a sunset snowshoe followed by a 3-course bonfire dinner catered by the fantastic Lakebreeze Winery.
4. Take a Horse-Drawn Sleigh Dining Tour at Big White Ski Resort OR Silverstar Mountain Resort
Choose between classic Canadian brunch or a candle-lit dinner. This tour starts at Big White’s Happy Valley Day Lodge where you’ll become acquainted with your transportation for the evening - the stunning Big White Clydesdale horses. These fuzzy locals will transport you via horse-drawn sleigh to a quiet cabin in the woods where you’ll enjoy your multi-course meal.
5. Embrace Outdoor Theatre at Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong
I had lived in the Okanagan for quite a few years before I heard of Caravan Farm Theatre. If we’re talking about best-kept secrets in the Thompson Okanagan – this is definitely one of them. This Armstrong-based outdoor theatre puts on small but high-caliber shows throughout the year. Books early, as tickets can be competitive, especially for their Winter Sleigh Ride Show. In 2018, the show took place December 11th - 30th and features the retelling of the Inuit legend of the Goddess of the Arctic, told with music, mask and magnificent large-scale puppets.
6. Guided Ice Fishing at Sun Peaks Resort
Join local guide Campbell of Elevated Fishing Adventures for a unique day out on the ice. Thanks to convenient transportation, a heated tent and hot beverages - ice fishing is surprisingly comfortable. Try your hand at catching tasty wild Rainbow Trout in one of the many picturesque mountain lakes surrounding Sun Peaks Resort.
7. Wells Gray Adventures - Ski Hut Trips
In Wells Gray Provincial Park, you’re among giants. Whether they be old growth forests, untouched mountain ridges or the famous wildflower meadows - this is a vast playground. There are three huts that exist within this set: Trophy Mountain Lodge, Fight Meadow Lodge and Discovery Cabin. If you’re new to the back country, let Wells Gray Adventures take care of the details. Their packages include guiding, accommodations, catering and transportation to and from the trail head.
These huts are available year-round. In the winter, this area has one of the most consistent snowfalls in British Columbia - and terrain exists at a variety levels. Access via helicopter and snowcat are available.
Winter adds a layer of complexity to travel - however, you shouldn’t let this stop you from exploring. To ensure you’re well-informed and prepared, visit Adventure Smart for safety resources.
Travel safe and as always.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghan Reading is a Canadian travel photographer. She grew up in the rocky mountains of Alberta but now calls British Columbia home. While she looks forward to continuing to explore the world with her camera, her favourite destination will always be her own backyard.