This series will take you along on adventures as we head out to find all of the different activities and opportunities to truly experience the Okanagan.
This episode of Experience the Okanagan we spent the weekend up at Big White checking out all of the summer activities that the mountain has to offer!
We started off our first afternoon by getting our chairlift tickets so we could head up the mountain to check out a few of the hiking trails. The ride up was so quiet and calm. We saw lots of wildlife as we climbed the mountain, and saw lots of people taking their mountain bikes up to hit the trails as well.
Once at the top, we looked at the trail map and decided to walk over to the view point of Rhonda Lake which was absolutely stunning. Then we hiked all the way up the Peak trail to the top of the mountain, which was very well maintained trail with these bright orange inukshuk's leading the way. The view from the top was incredible, it was overlooking the valley and we could barely see the village way down below.
After hiking back down from the peak we walked their newest trail, Alpine Meadows, which showed off all of the beautiful wildflowers that are in bloom. This trail was a lot greener than the peak trail, and not as steep.
Coming from the prairies, I am very comfortable with riding my bike on flat terrain, so I was a bit nervous for this. However, once I picked up my pass and got all geared up, I started pumping myself up because I knew this was going to be a very cool experience. To get up the the trails you have to get on the same scenic chairlift, except they have these special holders where you can load your bike onto the back, and then you jump on the next chair.
Once at the top, there are trail maps to show the different routes to get down the mountain based on experience. I took a green trail, The Bumblebee, which was the "easiest way to the bottom", where Eric took one of the more experienced trails which was very steep and had a lot of jumps on it.
Though we both had very different experiences on the mountain, we both had a blast! My route allowed me to get used to the stance of riding plus feathering the brake pedal. I saw some beautiful scenery along the way as I sped through the forest down the hill. Eric's route had him doing all sorts of tricks and turns - he spent most of the afternoon going up and down the hill!
Wow, was the food ever good. We had lunch the first day at The Woods which had an awesome outdoor eating area with wooden stumps for tables and some amazing food. We all ordered different meals, and they were bursting with flavour. If you go, you have to get the deep-fried brie arancini's with relish as a side to one of their delicious burgers.
For dinner we went to the Blarney Stone Tavern for some hearty Irish-inspired cuisine, which has one of the best patio views on the mountain. Cozy up on one of their outdoor couches by a fire pit and have a drink, and whatever you order to eat you will not be disappointed. They also have a vegetarian and vegan menu to choose from!
For lunch the next day we quickly stopped at Sessions after our mountain bike ride, for some epic burgers. They had an outdoor grill making all of our dishes, and even though they have more beer on tap than they do menu items, our portabella mushroom burgers were delicious! And, they opened Escape Rooms in the basement that will be open during the winter months!
It was Nick and I's first time on a horse, so we were both a bit nervous about jumping on and going for a trail ride, but the family that runs Horseback Adventures, which is just down in Happy Valley, were incredible at what they do and made us feel extremely comfortable. This is the second summer that they have been running trail rides for anyone who wants to get in the saddle, and their horses are so tame, and perfect for first time riders.
They took us through the forest down some beautiful trails at a slow pace, teaching us how to turn, stop and control our horses. As we rode longer, I learned about posting when trotting, and got the hang of it super quick!
There are many ride choices to choose from, ranging from one to three hour guided rides, a sunset experience and even a cowboy for a day package.
We had such an amazing weekend up at Big White exploring all there is to do up there during the summer months. I even ticked off a few 'firsts' from my list, on a mountain bike and on a horse, and I am so glad that I did!!
As far as accommodations go, there is SO many options. We stayed at Trappers Crossing which was was located just across the street from the main Village Centre, and it had all of the amenities that we needed. Comfortable bed, big kitchen to prepare food in, and an outdoor hot tub looking out at the mountains as the sun set.
If you're looking for a mini weekend getaway this summer, or even a day trip from the city, Big White has so many activities to choose from. And, it's about ten degrees cooler, too! Whether you're into biking, hiking, riding or relaxing, there is something fun for everyone.
☑ Helicopter to a snowy peak
☑ Snowmobiling in the Graystokes
☑ Parasail over lake Okanagan
☑ Visit the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm
☑ A day at Predator Ridge
☑ Hydro-Fly at Downtown Marina
☑ Weekend at Big White in the summer
□ Smile Cycle Tour through Kelowna
□ Sommelier-guided experience at Mission Hill Winery