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April 2023

Canyoning in the Okanagan

Guest Authors: Shannon & Tyson Head (@restlesscrusade)

We found a hidden gem in the Okanagan where we could keep cool in this summer heat. Okanagan Canyoning is based out of Kelowna, BC and takes you just a quick 10 minute drive from the edge of town to where an epic canyon is hidden amongst the forest.

We parked our vehicle then got suited up with a wetsuit, harness, helmet and got a safety brief before we hiked the 10 minutes into the trees. From here we descended down into the canyon where we were greeted by a whole other world. Its narrow canyon with mossy trees and water flowing along through cedar forests and gneiss rock walls were quite the sight. Lime green lichen-coloured the rock walls as we walked through the creek bed and shimmied along a large log where we reached our first obstacle.

From here we got clipped into a rope and headed to the edge where we peered off the top of a 20’ waterfall. We were safely lowered down as the water came crashing over us before coming to rest into a big pool of water at the base. One by one we all got our first refreshing shower. From here we continued to walk along through the water, up and over large boulders, sliding down smooth rocks and eventually onto dry land to the second big obstacle, a zip line.

This zip line consisted of a tightly strung rope at a 30° angle spanning not one but two tiers of a waterfall. With our guide controlling our speed we walked out onto the cliff face after being secured in place. As we leaned back and let go we raced down the overhead line and crashed into a pool of water 20’ below.

From here we contorted ourselves around until we were now perched on the lip of the second drop with feet dangling below. As the powerful river current pushed us over the edge we dropped slightly into the cascade before the guided rope caught us and led us into the pool on the other side of the canyon. As we unclipped our line we couldn’t help but look back from where we came from with our eyes beaming and a grin on our face.

Our final obstacle was another zip line. This time you could choose to either be lowered down on a guided rope or zip yourself down with no restraints (beginner vs intermediate). Most everyone in our group chose to zip themselves down.

Once finished in the canyon it was just a quick 5 min hike up the hill back to the vehicles where we exchanged our excitement for the adventure and then parted ways reminiscing of the epic adventure, only to meet up again at the initial starting point (Kelowna Fruit Stand & Cafe) for a complementary ice cream.

If you are looking for a rush of adventure this is it! It offers something for everyone, beginners to intermediate, and there is always an option to walk around any of the obstacles if you don’t feel that particular one is for you. We were super stoked to find this being available so close to home and can’t wait to go again.