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The Osoyoos Region is located in the southernmost area of British Columbia, right above the Washington, United States border. The region encompasses the only dessert area in all of Canada.[1] Desert hills, vineyards, and mountain ranges cover the land that makes up the region.[2] There are [two] several large lakes in the Osoyoos Region, and the Okanagan Falls are a significant draw for tourists visiting the area from nearby cities and states. Pentiction, a large city known for its vineyards and golf courses, is located in the [northern area] northwestern corner of the region, and Osoyoos, the namesake of the region, is [the region's centermost town] found in the southwestern part of the destination.[1] The region is known to be Canada's wine capital, and the long summers and comfortable temperatures create an ideal vacation area for visitors in colder areas.[6]

What Osoyoos is known for

The Osoyoos Region is famous for being the only desert area in all of Canada. This makes it a popular tourist destination for outdoor activities in the warm weather. The Okanagan Falls are located on the south tip of Skaha Lake as an extension of the Columbia Basin. Here visitors can hike around the falls and spend time at multiple lookout points in the area. Skaha Lake is the warmest lake in Canada and sports sandy beaches and numerous marinas and recreational areas.[1] 

Osoyoos Lake is in the southern corner of the region and is also the namesake of the region. The lake is Canada's warmest freshwater lake, with an average water temperature of seventy-five degrees. Here visitors can fish, jetski, and spend days on the beaches swimming and paddleboarding.[4] The White Lake Grasslands Protected Area spreads across the entire west side of the region. The park extends over fifteen square miles. There are five hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty for families with small children and advanced hikers. The park is landscaped with multiple desert planes and forest-covered mountains.[2] Among other protected areas within the Osoyoos destination belongs the Granby Provincial Park, located in the southern part of the area, and Gladstone Provincial Park found towards the southeastern corner of the destination.

[The Chopaka Mountain is a common attraction for visitors and locals. The two-mile loop weaves through the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and provides miles of mountainous land to explore.] The region has three major cities and towns. Pentiction is the largest at the very northern tip of the Osoyoos Region. The city has a population of around 33,000 and is filled with vineyards and small mountains.[7] Osoyoos is located on the shores of Osoyoos Lake and is primarily desert. The name comes from the Syilx language, meaning where two lakes meet and then break apart. The Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad is located in Osoyoos along with Okanagan Falls. The railroad is over 4000 square feet of mini locomotives, hand-painted people, and tiny homes. There countless activities for children and families to do in this interactive attraction.[1] 

The Osoyoos Region is part of Canada's wine capital. Visitors can also take private wine tours, watersport charters, desert tours, and the Okanagan Sunrise stand-up paddleboard tour. The primary industry within the region is wine production, fruit orchards, and ranching.[1] The region welcomes around 350,000 visitors a year. Most visitors come to spend time in the warm desert areas of the region, spending time on the freshwater lakes or hiking through the White Lake and South Okanagan Protected Areas. The summer months are peak season for visitors from June to August. The warm weather is the biggest draw to visitors, and clear skies make a spending days on the lake and in the mountains.[5] Most visitors come from neighboring states, cities, and provinces. Osoyoos Lake is [partly] located in close proximity to Washington, and many Washington locals come to spend time within the Osoyoos region.[3]


The Osoyoos Region is covered in grasslands, bald hills, and mountain ranges. The Sonora Desert reaches its end in the center of the Osoyoos Region. This creates the only desert climate in all of Canada. The region is positioned in between the Columbia and Cascade Mountain Ranges. The southern area of the region is mostly low hills, vineyards, some tall mountains, and dry areas. Oblong lakes created by glacial activity during Pleistocene Epoch are spread all over the region and connect together in Osoyoos.[4] The region is bordered in the [north] northwest by Penticton City, by Osoyoos to the [south] southwest, the cities of Edgewood and Renata connected by Upper Arrow Lake highlight the northeastern borders of the destination, while to the southeast, the Gladstone Provincial Park serves as an approximate border of the destination. The protected forests occupy part of the western half of the region, as well as central north and southeast [while the east and center of the region are filled with lakes and waterways.][2] 

A variety of wildlife lives in the region due to the area's diverse ranges of geography and weather patterns. Common animals seen throughout the region include Nuttall's cottontail, coyote, mule deer, black bear, hummingbirds, quail, golden eagle, retailed hawk, spadefoot, yellow-bellied racer, rubber boas, black widows, and scorpions. Beyond that, Granby Provincial Park contains protected habitat for mountain goats and is home to a threatened population of grizzly bears.[9] Plant life also varies depending on the geography of the area. Sagebrush buttercup, upland larkspur, and arrow leafed balsamroot all bloom in the dryer areas. Phlox, bitterroot, and some berries grow along with typical forestry and green shrubbery in the colder, more moist areas of the region.[6] 

The Osoyoos Region's summers are very warm, with temperatures averaging around eighty degrees from June through September. The climate is very dry and partly cloudy year round with relatively no precipitation during summer. The winter season is cold, however, with an average temperature of forty-four degrees. The wet season lasts eight months, and the area receives around four inches of rain and a third inch of snow annually. During peak season, the weather is warm, and the vineyards are in full bloom.[5] 


The Aboriginal people were the first to live in the Osoyoos Region and did so for thousands of years before the early European settlers came to the area. Fur traders from the Pacific Fur Company came from the United States and followed the Okanagan River to the Osoyoos Lake, where they stopped to rest and trade.[1] The Okanagan Valley became a major trading route for traders and other suppliers importing and exporting in British Columbia. Large herds of livestock were brought to the area in 1858, and the first custom home was built for John Carmicheal Hanes in 1861.[8] 

When gold was discovered in British Columbia in the 1860's the economy flourished, and many settlers and gold miners brought their families to the area. A railway was built straight through the town and created an even more popular stopping spot for travelers. Osoyoos was incorporated as a village in 1946 and became a town in 1980. Penticton was settled by the Syilx people first, also known as the Okanagan people, after Okosyoos was settled.[7] Osoyoos was named to honor the Syilx people meaning soo-yoos where to splits cross at a lake.[4]


The Cormier's Studio Bed and Breakfast is located in Penticton, British Columbia. This ninety-mile valley is filled with over three hundred wineries and orchards. The bed and breakfast is a two-story building with all of the guest rooms on the entry-level. The building was remodeled in 2019 and features modern architecture. Three rooms are available for reservation at Cormier's Studio Bed and Breakfast. Breakfast is brought to the guest's room every morning with coffee and pastries. There is a two-night minimum at each room in Cormier's Studio Bed and Breakfast.

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Noble House Suites is found against the Granby River at the edge of Grand Forks, British Columbia, close to the Canada-U.S. border. The bed and breakfast is unique for its range of activities as guests can access the above-ground pool or hot tub, use the movie theater, play table tennis, bocce ball, foosball, and about 150 board games. They can hike, swim, or fish around the river next to the property. Noble House Suites is also an hour away from three large ski resorts and 12 miles from Christina Lake, a common boating destination in British Columbia. Grand Forks was formerly a mining area and one of the sites at which the Doukhobors settled upon their arrival from Russia.

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