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The Ultimate Osoyoos Fall Bucket List

While Osoyoos is widely known as one of the best places to spend summer vacation in British Columbia, the South Okanagan is also a spectacular spot to visit in the fall.

The busier days of July and August are gone and the atmosphere has settled down, bringing a much quieter and more peaceful time of year.

Osoyoos’ fall weather is mild and sunny, making it perfect to still enjoy outdoor activities and the changing leaves in the vineyards blanket the surrounding valley in gold and amber colours.

With fall fast approaching, we’ve pulled together the ultimate Osoyoos bucket list to help you make the most of your season!

✔️Go for a Sunrise Paddle

Although the lake temperature isn’t quite at summer levels, it is still fantastic to get out on and enjoy. One of the best ways to do that is by renting a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard and going out for a paddle.

In the fall powerboat traffic is reduced to a minimum and the lake is more peaceful and calm, making it optimal conditions to wake up with the sun during a morning paddle.

In addition to renting boats on your own, you can take a lesson with an experienced guide, participate in a group tour or join a SUP yoga session.

✔️Look Wildlife in the Eyes in the Desert

Stay with us here — while we don’t want you to come face to face with wildlife exactly, we do encourage you to explore our desert and there are safe ways to do this that allow you to observe species in their natural habitat!

Learn about the desert when you visit the spectacular Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. This state-of-the-art interpretive centre is an architectural marvel sensitively constructed into a hillside.

Discover the fascinating stories of this desert and share in the rich living culture of the Okanagan people. There is also an opportunity to see a western rattlesnake up close as part of an exhibit at the centre.

You can also immerse yourself in the landscape when you visit the Osoyoos Desert Centre, a 67-acre interpretive facility. Enjoy a guided or self-guided tour along the centre’s brand new 1.5 km boardwalk, explore hands-on displays in the interpretive building, and stroll through the native plant demonstration garden. There is also a good chance you spot one of the many wildlife species that inhabit the South Okanagan and, so to speak, “look it in the eyes.”

✔️Kick Up Dust on the Golden Mile Stamp Mill Trail

Throw on your hiking shoes and savour the mild weather by getting out for a hike this autumn!

Starting at the incredibly scenic property of Tinhorn Creek Estate winery, the 4km Golden Mile trail will take you on a journey through their vineyard to a view. As you pass the gates taking you off the property, you will be able to walk up a moderate incline to a point where you can look over the valley below.

In the fall, the vantage point from the top of this hike will give hikers a stunning bird’s-eye view of the seasonal tapestry of reds, oranges and yellows below.

✔️Shred the Desert Dirt

Among the hills surrounding the Osoyoos area sits a network of rugged desert trails — including over 30+ marked and graded trails — waiting to be explored by mountain biking enthusiasts.

Offering beautiful vistas while transporting riders between desert landscapes and boreal forests, the trails of the South Okanagan are unlike anywhere else in British Columbia.

The climate in Osoyoos also allows for an extremely long riding season, enabling mountain bikers to hit the trails for over half the year from early spring into late fall.

✔️Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

Pumpkins are plentiful this time of year in Osoyoos! From decorative gourds to pretty porch decor, you can take a scenic fall drive and stop at one of the dozens of local fruit stands to pick that perfect pumpkin!

Covert Farms will also have their Discovery Garden Pumpkin Patch! The Discovery Garden Pumpkin Patch is open the all wine lounge guests who book a tasting experience or tour. Pumpkins are also available for purchase at the Secrest Organics fruit stand on property.

✔️Sip Your Way Through the Beer List at North Basin Brewing Co.

Those looking for something to drink that doesn’t come from a grape should slate in a trip to North Basin Brewing Co. this fall.

The first and only brewery in Osoyoos offers a selection of seasonal beers that are worth sampling via a flight or simply buying by the pint.

And why not make an effort to try them all?

✔️Capture a Stunning Photo amid the Fall Foliage

Your next best Instagram post awaits this season!

The fall colours — and the awe-inspiring beauty that comes with them — will captivate any traveller who arrives in Osoyoos. British Columbia’s interior landscape of vineyards, orchards, forests, ranch country, and desert hills becomes a rich portrait of colours, only seen at this time of year.

Our vineyards and orchards showcase vibrant oranges, crimson reds, and golden yellow hues across the entire valley. It is worth exploring the fall foliage with your camera or cell phone as the colourful backdrop will make your Instagram or TikTok feed pop! The valley truly becomes a photographer’s dream.

Tips on finding the best places to see fall foliage can be found here.

✔️Saddle Up and Hit the Trails on Horseback

We already mentioned that exploring the desert is a good idea this fall, but why not do it on horseback?

Experience nature firsthand on safe, guided tours through this desert paradise with spectacular views and breathtaking trails.

There are two options for trail riding in Osoyoos: Indian Grove Riding Stables and Sun Hills Riding Centre.

✔️Score a Personal Best on the Golf Course

Why not challenge yourself to set a new personal best out on the greens this season?

Stunning surroundings and a temperate climate make the Osoyoos region ideal for golf practically all year round. Scenic and beautifully-designed courses for novice and experienced golfers, at two distinct golf destinations, complement the area’s unique desert habitat.

And Fall is a perfect time for a round!!

Osoyoos boasts 2 courses to explore, both within just 5 minutes of the downtown core: The Osoyoos Golf Club and Sonora Dunes Golf Course at Spirit Ridge Resort. Another two 18-hole courses await just a short drive north, in the neighbouring community of Oliver.

✔️Go Back in Time at the Osoyoos & District Museum

As much as we wish it was, not every fall day in Osoyoos is perfectly sunny, so why not on one of the more gloomy days, turn back the clock at the Osoyoos & District Museum and Archives?

Get a chance to view archival photos of the town and see what Osoyoos looked like in the past and how it changed over the years. A great fall activity for both locals and visitors alike!

✔️Try Apple Picking

Buckle up, because September and October is apple season.

The orchards will be producing a bounty of delicious BC apples and you need to add apple picking to your bucket list this season — a somewhat whimsical way of spending a fall afternoon.

The Okanagan-Similkameen Valleys are the main hub of B.C.’s apple production so you can’t go wrong when out this way! Visit one of the many orchards that offer a U-Pick option and give it a go.

Pro Apple Tip: Another thing to keep your eye out for during apple picking season is apple juice being sold at some of the fruit stands. It is absolutely a must-try.

✔️Shop the Harvest at Fruit Stands

You won’t have to look very hard to find one of the multitudes of fruit stands in Osoyoos and there isn’t a better way to get a full taste of the season.

With fresh ingredients from the harvest in the bunches, these stands will be loaded with locally-produced fruits and vegetables that will make any meal a smash hit.

✔️Savour a Farm-to-Table Dinner in Harvest Season

You can’t go to the South Okanagan in the fall and not indulge in a terroir-to-table experience. Many South Okanagan wineries have on-site restaurants serving up tasty gourmet cuisine, and most meals come with a side of awesome scenery. 

A fall-favourite dining experience awaits you up at Spirit Ridge’s The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry, The restaurant is in tune with the harvest and will utilize seasonal ingredients to serve you modern vineyard cuisine inspired by Indigenous roots.

✔️Find Your New Favourite Wine at a Tasting

Our warm and dry desert climate makes Osoyoos ideal for growing grape varietals of all sorts.

Osoyoos is surrounded by over 50 wineries within a 20-minute drive in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys.

Take a day or two to tour the many wineries, sample the wines and take in the beautiful views of the vineyards as the colours change and the grape harvest is in full swing. You can find tips for planning your weekend.

✔️Warm Up with a Hot Drink at JoJo’s Café

JoJo’s Cafe

Osoyoos is a foodie paradise and is home to multiple cafes that appease the coffee and tea aficionados.

On one of the colder autumn days, it is highly recommended to take a moment to warm up with a hot drink from JoJo’s Café.

JoJo’s is a family-run business that has been a staple in Osoyoos for years. Along with making a spot-on cup of coffee, it is a great atmosphere for taking a load off, having a breakfast sandwich and observing the work of local artists.

✔️Get a Sweet Treat from one of the Bakeries

Sugar Quail Bakeshop / Instagram

Pastry Pundits unite!

Fall isn’t complete without fuelling up with a tasty treat from one of Osoyoos’ delicious bakeries.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of the mouthwatering creations from places like Sugar Quail Bakeshop or Lake Village Bakery. It is guaranteed you will not be disappointed.

✔️Hit the Road for a Scenic Drive

As the leaves change colour, the surrounding area of Osoyoos becomes visually stunning and the fall season is the perfect time to take a scenic drive.

Highway 3 offers some lovely views in both directions from Osoyoos, whether you travel east up Anarchist Mountain or west towards Richter Pass.

To really take in the fall colours, we recommend driving up past the Fairview Mountain Golf Club outside of Oliver and riding Willowbrook Road. The windy drive will take you through a backwoods area, full of golden and amber vegetation, and past a handful of beautiful lakes and wineries. You can wind your way all the way to OK Falls along this route.

✔️Go Fish

Whether you are just starting out, or you consider yourself to be an expert angler, fishing in Osoyoos can be fun yet challenging for those who choose to take the bait.

Osoyoos Lake has a wide variety of fish and close to 20kms of parameter shoreline to fish from! Get out there first thing in the morning, take advantage of great fishing, and enjoy the calm and quiet before the beaches get busier!

We’ve compiled a great overview here on the types of fish and where to find them, so you can have a successful day on the water!

Just be sure to review all BC Freshwater Fishing info first, and ensure you have your license up to date.

✔️Wield Binoculars and Track Species of Birds

Osoyoos is one of British Columbia’s birding capitals. With our unique desert landscape, warmer temperatures, and rural setting, we have many species of birds that you can find on or off the beaten path and fall is a fantastic time of year to try and spot them!

What kinds of birds are in Osoyoos? Hummingbirds, Osprey, California Quail, White-throated swifts, Great Horned Owls, Western Bluebirds, Red-Tailed Hawks, and Golden Eagles are just a couple of the unique birds that you can find throughout the South Okanagan.

For some of the best spots to go bird-watching, click here.

✔️Gaze into the Cosmos from Mount Kobau

Sindre Strøm / Pexels

Did you know that Osoyoos is one of the best places in Canada for observing our galaxy? This was determined by testing done to identify the possible site for the Queen Elizabeth Telescope, which would have been placed on Mt. Kobau, and house Canada’s National Observatory.

It was an exceptional location because of the number of clear nights, the moderate climate and its location, which is at the crossroads of Highway 97 and Highway 3. Read more about the history here.

✔️Paddleboard With Witches at the first-ever All Hallow’s Festival

Witches on Paddleboards. Do I really need to say more?

The third annual Witches on Water event is being rolled into a brand new Halloween festival that will be held in Osoyoos this October.

The event will include acrobatics, fire performers, dance troupes, live theatre, live music and a marketplace.

The event will run on Sunday, October 30th, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

More information can be found online here ➡️