Destination Okanagan: Places to Snowshoe in the Okanagan Valley

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Stephen, Day Hiking Ambassador

The scenic Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia is well known for it’s sunny beaches, sprawling fruit orchards and world famous wines, but did you know, it’s also a snowshoer’s paradise? Resting on the 49th parallel with the US, in south central, BC, the Okanagan shares in the outdoor adventure heritage of the Pacific Northwest.

Bordered by mountain ranges on all sides, summers are hot and dry, while winters are cool but not cold, with snow in the hills starting to fall at the end of October and sticking around until the middle of April. The temperatures can vary greatly from the valley bottom to the height of land. Also, snow levels can be drastically different from valley bottom to the tip-top of the ridges. Outdoor enthusiasts, in the middle of spring, can go snowshoeing on a mountain in the morning, and then paddle the Okanagan Lake in the afternoon.

With varied terrain from long stretches of flatland to rolling hills to sky-scraping peaks, the opportunities for winter activities in the Valley are almost limitless. The hills are littered with logging roads and old skidder trails, and there are virtually an infinite number of stunning locations to explore on snowshoes. There are also many forest service recreation sites and private resorts that offer an abundance or potential places for winter fun! The Okanagan boasts over 60 Provincial Parks, a total of 5 Nordic clubs and no less than 3 world class ski hills!

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Following is a list of the nordic clubs and ski resorts with snowshoeing options in the Okanagan and some detail about them.

NORDIC CLUBS

Kelowna Nordic Ski Club
http://www.kelownanordic.com/index.php/trail-info/snowshoeing/
Elevation: 4500 ft
Trails: 75 km
Dog Friendly: Yes, no leash
Day Use Fee: $5
Snowshoe Rentals: No
Where: 20 minutes east of Kelowna BC, on highway 33

Telemark Nordic Club
http://telemarknordic.com/snowshoeing/
Elevation: 3500 ft
Trails: 50 km
Day Use Fee: $7
Snowshoe Rentals: $10
Dog Friendly: on K9 Trail only
Where: 9 kilometers from West Kelowna on Glenrosa Rd

Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre
http://www.sovereignlake.com/snowshoe/
Elevation: 5500 ft
Trails: 14 km
Day Use Fee: $7
Snowshoe Rentals: $10.00-17.50, kids/seniors/adult, half/full day
*rental note: rents Tubbs Snowshoes exclusively
Dog Friendly: Montezuma complex only, day pass $5
Where: 22km north east of Vernon on Silver Star Rd

Nickel Plate Nordic Centre
http://nickelplatenordic.org/programs/snowshoeing/
Elevation: 6000 ft
Trails: 16 km
Day Use Fee: $5/$10/$25 child/adult/family
Snowshoe Rentals: $15/$20/$35, child/adult/family
Dog Friendly: K9 Trail Only, $5/$10, single/family
Where: 45 minutes east of Penticton on Apex Mountain Rd

McKinney Nordic Club
http://www.mckinneynordicskiclub.com/
Elevation: 6000 ft
Trails: 14 km
Day Use Fee: $5
Snowshoe Rentals: No
Dog Friendly: No
Where: 27 km south east of Oliver on McKinney Rd

SKI RESORTS

Big White Ski Resort
http://www.bigwhite.com/events-and-activities/on-the-mountain/snowshoeing
Elevation: 5700
Trails: 12km
Day Use Fee: $11, Various tours also available
Snowshoe Rentals: $25
Dog Friendly: Yes, Wilderness Trails only, on leash
Where: 63km south east of Kelowna on Hwy 33

Silver Star Mountain Resort
http://www.skisilverstar.com/snowshoeing
Elevation: 5500
Trails: 16km
Day Use Fee: $8/$8/$9/$10 child/youth/senior/adult
Snowshoe Rentals: $13.95 / $14.95 senior/child youth/adult
Dog Friendly: Yes, leash on hand
Where: 22km north east of Vernon on Silver Star Rd

Apex Mountain Resort
https://www.apexresort.com/activities-events/activities/
Tours and rentals available via Hoodoo Adventures
http://hoodooadventures.adventureengine.com/portals/tripListing/tripListing.php?&agent_id=6727

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