Okanagan Falls is a community of about 2200 people (2016) in the Okanagan region of British Columbia on the shore of Skaha Lake, which provides many recreational opportunities. It is also close to Okanagan Falls Provincial Park.
The namesake Okanagan Falls have long been submerged by the waters of Skaha Lake, which rose as a result of the construction of this small dam. The dam is just south of the bridge along Highway 97.
The only way to get in (by land) is by car (or perhaps bike). There is no rail service, and the nearest airport is in Penticton about 15 minutes north. If you have your own boat, or want to rent one you can ride the length of Skaha Lake from Penticton.
Highway 97 runs through the town, from Penticton to the north and Oliver to the south. A nice alternative route is to take Eastside Road on the east side of Skaha Lake of Penticton.
Okanagan Falls is a very small town. Riding a bike or walking around is sufficient.
- Peach Cliff is a dominant landmark to the east of Okanagan Falls. It consists of trachyte of Eocene age. Peach Cliff is home to herds of mule deer and a sizeable herd of California bighorn sheep. Perched high on a spur of Peach Cliff is Balancing Rock, a large glacial erratic supported by a couple of granitic cobbles.
- Indian Head, southwest of Okanagan Falls, are the ragged cliffs of Indian Head, one of the most unusual rock formations in the Okanagan. Consisting of dark volcanic rocks overlying a lighter conglomerate. This formation contains spectacular megabreccia, volcanic and plutonic rocks up to 70 m (230 ft) across and metamorphic rocks of up to 500 m (1,600 ft) across.
- Mahoney Lake, south of Okanagan Falls, is home to spectacular blooms of purple sulphur bacteria. This purple is contrasted by nearby Green Lake, which is coloured by the precipitation of calcium carbonates in the water column.
- The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory is a research facility founded in 1960 southwest of Okanagan Falls and Penticton. The site houses three instruments – an interferometric radio telescope, a 26 m (85 ft) single-dish antenna, and a solar flux monitor – and supports engineering laboratories. The DRAO is operated by the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics of the National Research Council of the Canadian government. The observatory was named an IEEE Milestone for first radio astronomical observations using VLBI. There is a self-guided tour available at the facility during daylight hours.
- 1 Christie Memorial Park (on 7th Avenue on the south shore of Skaha Lake). Beach park with over an acre of soft sand. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches throughout the park. On the west side of the beach there are two full size beach volleyball courts. Lush grassy areas and large shade trees offer visitors a place to relax and enjoy the views. The Heritage Walkway runs along the entire waterfront. Public washrooms and change rooms are available. There is a dog beach, and pets on leash are allowed inside the park.
- 2 Okanagan Falls Provincial Park (officially named sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Provincial Park). It is within the traditional territory of the Osoyoos Indian Band, whose ancestors have inhabited the lands and waters in their traditional territory. The park protects the area around the Okanagan Falls, which lie below the outlet of Skaha Lake in the course of the Okanagan River. The park occupies an area of two hectares. The park has deciduous trees and is an important site for the conservation of riparian vegetation. In the 1950s, non-native tree species like Chinese elm, Norway maple, red ash and Lombardy poplar were planted in the park. There is superb bird watching in the park. Rare species such as western wood pewees, American yellow warblers, northern orioles and least flycatchers are often spotted in the park. The park offers numerous nature-related activities such as wildlife viewing, nature study, and photography. The park also supports an astounding 18 species of bats, one of the highest concentrations in Canada. The park offers several activities, such as cycling and fishing, though for the latter permits are required. There are many trails in the park for hiking. There are also camping sites within the park.
- Tickleberry's, 1279 Main Street (just off Hwy 97 near the end of OK Falls), ☏ . Summer: daily 10AM-5PM. This place has great ice cream. It has over 60 flavours. They have a gift shop, sell fudge and candy, and there is also a mini-restaurant inside. Also, lots of picnic tables outside.
- Liquidity Bistro, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Summer: M-F noon-8PM; Sa Su 11AM-8PM. Seasonal, sustainable food at the Liquidity Winery
- Falls Restaurant, 1030 Main St, ☏ . Chinese and Canadian food.
- Peachcliff B&B, 945 Peachcliff Dr, ☏ , email@example.com. Cliffside home featuring direct access to nature trails. Non-smoking, no pets. $115 per night.
There are hotels 15 km away in Penticton.
|Routes through Okanagan Falls|
|Kelowna ← Penticton ←||N S||→ Oliver → Osoyoos|