Best of British Columbia’s Southern Interior
Desert Centre: You’ll forget everything you’ve heard about Canada, the cold, and igloos when you visit the Desert Centre.
Okanagan Wineries: Spring and fall are particularly good times for touring valley wineries such as the grand Mission Hill Family Estate.
Kalamalka Lake: Choosing a favorite Okanagan lake is difficult, but my nod goes to this beauty for its stunning hue, sandy beaches, and warm clear water.
Silver Star Mountain Resort: It’s more than just great skiing and boarding; the gold-rush style buildings and packed summer activity program make this resort a worthwhile destination at any time of year.
Sandon: In the late 1800s, Sandon was home to more than 5,000 miners. Today, you could fit the entire population in the back of a pick-up truck — not that they’d want to leave western Canada’s most authentic ghost town.
Fort Steele Heritage Town: This living museum brings the gold rush era to life through costumed interpreters and musical theater. You can even try your hand at panning for gold.
Yoho National Park Scenic Drive: You don’t need to hike into the backcountry to see some of Yoho National Park’s most spectacular features. Many of the best sights are visible from the roadside.
Lake O’Hara: In a word — magical. Access is limited by a quota system, so take heed of the reservation information and be prepared for a day of hiking you will always remember.
Burgess Shale: Visiting this site isn’t for everyone — it’s a strenuous hike along a restricted access trail — but as one of the world’s most important paleontological sites, the trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort: I’ve ridden all the gondolas in western Canada, and my favorite for unbeatable top-of-the-world views is at this four-season resort near Golden.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition