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BC road trip: 5 reasons Route 97 rocks

Osoyoos Lake

BC road trip: 5 reasons Route 97 rocks

This post was originally published on the Hello BC blogExternal Link Title.


A road trip around Route 97External Link Title will take you from desert to forest, with a whole lot of adventure in between. Here are five reasons to make Route 97 part of your next British Columbia road trip.


1. Mountains and parks

From the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies to the golden grasslands of the South Okanagan, there's no shortage of mountains to climb or parks to explore around Route 97.


Insider tip: At 1.3 million acres, Wells Gray Provincial ParkExternal Link Title is the third largest park in BC, and a haven of pristine wilderness and uncharted territory. The park is also home to Helmcken Falls, the fourth largest waterfall in Canada. Its dramatic vertical drop provides a snapshot of natural force. Find it on the North Thompson Route from Route 97.


2. Hiking and biking trails

Whether you're an advanced hiker taking on the commanding peaks of Cathedral Provincial ParkExternal Link Title, or seeking the arresting beauty of Berg Lake TrailExternal Link Title at Mount Robson Provincial ParkExternal Link Title, the road trip options from Route 97 are limitless.


Insider tip: The Kettle Valley Rail TrailExternal Link Title (KVR) provides 600 kilometres of connected pathways throughout the region. Once a comprehensive railroad system, the decommissioned tracks are now home to an extensive recreational trail. With a grade that never exceeds 2.2 percent, it's ideal for cycling and hiking.


3. Beaches and lakes

What better way to relax after a ride than with a refreshing dip in the lake? Osoyoos LakeExternal Link Title is one of the warmest freshwater lakes in Canada, with an average temperature of 24?C.


Insider tip: Located 45 kilometres from KelownaExternal Link Title, Kalamalka LakeExternal Link Title is often called The Lake of A Thousand Colours. This unique body of water gets its vibrant hues from limestone deposits left by receding glaciers. When the lake warms, crystals form to reflect the sunlight, creating its distinct colours.


4. Local food

Enjoy fresh, fragrant flavours amidst the backdrop of sun-soaked valleys and lush mountain views. Share in the experience of authentic First Nations food, stop by a fruit stand, or dine in a vineyard under the stars.


Insider tip: There are many ways to go wine touringExternal Link Title beyond self-guided or organized tours. Try a helicopterExternal Link Title, a hot-air balloonExternal Link Title, a kayakExternal Link Title, a bikeExternal Link Title, or a classic carExternal Link Title.


5. So many side-trip options

Allow yourself the freedom to explore the unexpected. Take a side tripExternal Link Title around the North Cascades and the Interior of BC. Discover the trails of Boundary CountryExternal Link Title, the rustic beauty of the SimilkameenExternal Link Title, find paradise in the ShuswapExternal Link Title, and uncover history in Gold CountryExternal Link Title.