The Modern Witch’s Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC’s Beautiful Okanagan Valley

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

On the westernmost side of Canada, nestled in South-Central British Columbia, one finds an exceptionally lovely segment of the country.  

While word of the area has certainly spread beyond the shores of Canada itself (especially amongst the oenophilia community), the sun-kissed Okanagan Valley, with its desert-like landscape, abundance of lakes, plentiful orchards, and scores of breathtaking natural settings is still something of a hidden jewel to much of the wider world.

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The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Okanagan though – it is not without its fame and charm, after all. You may even be familiar with tales of the area’s very own version of the Loch Ness Monster: the Ogopogo, who is said to inhabit 135-kilometre-long Okanagan Lake.

Maybe you’ve had the exquisite joy of biting into a perfectly ripe Okanagan peach, pear, apricot, nectarine, plum or apple. You might have caught wind of the excellent amateur hockey teams that abound in the area (not to mention the famous win of the Penticton Vee’s senior men’s team over the Soviets at the World Ice Hockey Championships back in 1955, smackdab in the middle of the Cold War), or you may know about this part of the globe because it has long been a magnet for those looking to retire to a warmer climate within Canada’s borders.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

For me personally, the Okanagan Valley – which spans some 200 kilometres long and a modest 20 or so kilometers wide – has been my home on and off for twenty-five years and counting. Throughout that time, I’ve lived in various parts of the region, ranging from the south to the northernmost tip, and plenty of places in between.

As such, I have long come to see the astounding beauty, diverse natural settings, abundant flora and fauna, and the lovely weather here as parts of my spiritual journey as a Pagan witch who heavily incorporates nature into her practise.

Just about anywhere that one lives or visits has the potential to be spiritually meaningful – especially if we open our hearts and minds up to this happening. It’s fair to say, however, that some parts of the world lend themselves more to resonating with many of us on a deeper, spiritually attuned level.

In today’s post, I’m going to take you on a tour of some of the Okanagan Valley’s key spots that I personally feel are amongst the most beautiful, inspiring and conducive to helping one to have a spiritually centered experience while visiting them.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Like the entirety of Western Canada, the Okanagan has not been inhabited by non-First Nations peoples for very long at this point. The majority of the area’s present-day communities, towns and cities were established between the mid-Victorian area and the early years of the 20th century.

As such, you will not find much in the way of centuries old landmarks and historic ruins, mysterious spots bathed in legend, or ancient sites that are revered the world over in the ways that, say, Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, or the pyramids of Egypt are held in high regard.

The Okanagan Valley has been inhabited by First Nations people, specifically the Sylix (aka, the Okanagan) people for thousands of years, and it is very important to distinguish that I am speaking more in terms of the rich non-Native history and cultural significance of this area. This is, of course, highly important and worthy of both study and personal exploration itself. Doing so in any sort of depth, however, is beyond the scope of today’s post.

While it is sometimes the humblest of seemingly ordinary spots that evoke a strong spiritual response in us, at other times such connections are forged through especially lovely sights and experiences.

The Okanagan is chock-a-block full of incredible locations that are apt to stir something meaningful deep inside of us. There’s so many, in fact, that rather than simply list a few individually, I’ve grouped some of the main highlights of the area together into categories, with specific examples housed within each.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Stunning Vistas and Lookout Points

Whether you’re gazing upon the setting or rising sun, searching for a peaceful spot to meditate or do outdoor yoga, or simply want to take in and savor the wonderous beauty of Mother Nature, the Okanagan’s many elevated locations have you covered!

There are plenty of vistas, lookout points and mountain viewing areas to do so from, with Anarchist’s Mountain Lookout in Osoyoos, Skaha Bluffs and Munson’s Mountain in Penticton, Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland, Knox Mountain and the Myra Canyon Trestles in Kelowna, Kalamalka Lake Lookout in Vernon, and (especially if you’re in the mood for a hike) the Enderby Cliffs in Enderby being just a small handful of options throughout this region.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Wonderful Provincial Parks

British Columbia is jam-packed with provincial parks, more than 25 of which are located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Provincial Parks are an excellent way to quickly immerse yourself in the local landscape, connect with the ancient spirit of a place, camp or engage in various other outdoor activities, and potentially learn more about the history of a given spot in the process, too.

Bromley Rock Provincial Park in Princeton, Vaseux Lake Provincial Park just outside of Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Lake Provincial Park in Summerland, Browne Lake Provincial Park located southeast of Kelowna, Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park and Bear Creek Provincial Park in Kelowna, Kekuli Bay Provincial Park south of Vernon, and Mable Lake Provincial Park on the east side of Mable Lake (an area that straddles the Okanagan and Shuswap Valleys, respective) are but a few of the many diverse and enjoyable parks to be had in this area.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Lakes and Beaches Galore

These idyllic highlights of the Valley are excellent places to rest (or, conversely, be active), engage with the power and magick of sand, air, and water; and as spots for meditation, nature journaling, yoga, watching the sun rise or set, and even star gazing.

While not every lake is set up with a public beach, many are, and all hold their own allure and loveliness that make them a true defining feature of the region. A few in particular that you may wish to connect with include (but are definitely not limited to!) Allison Lake near Princeton, Osoyoos Lake in Osoyoos, Skaha Lake in Okanagan Falls/Penticton, Okanagan Lake which runs all the way from Penticton to Vernon, Shannon Lake in West Kelowna, Oyama Lake in Lake Country, Kalamalka Lake just south of Vernon (which, National Geographic has called one of the Ten Most Beautiful Lakes in the World), and Gardom Lake located near Enderby.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Gorgeous Public Gardens

If you’re more in the mood to stand on terra firma, may I suggest a visit to one of several different publicly accessible flower gardens (with low cost/by donation or free admission) that enhance the attractiveness of this region all the more.

Practitioners of plant, flower and tree magick may find themselves especially at home at any one of the following locations, though they are certainly a welcome spot for all those who enjoy connecting with the enchantment of a breathtaking garden (note: as the Okanagan Valley experiences four seasons annually, and you wish to view local blooms when they’re at their finest, aim for a garden visit sometime between mid-May and early to mid-September).

Triangle Park and Rose Garden in Oliver, Penticton Rose Garden in Penticton, Summerland Ornamental Garden in Summerland, Guisachan Heritage Park, Kasugai Japanese Garden, and the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm each located in Kelowna; and Polson Park in Vernon are each a delight and joy for the senses and spirit alike.

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

Engage with Local History

History buffs, vintage and ancestry engaging witches, and those who enjoy the past in general are apt to adore and connect in a meaningful way with the fascinating local history of the Okanagan.

In addition to some of the aforementioned spots (e.g. Guisachan Heritage Park and Polson Park), as well as numerous museums throughout the Valley, a few of the many Okanagan historical sites that you may wish to brake for as you enjoy your journey through the area include the Hedley Mascot Mine in Hedley, Haynes Ranch near Oliver, the Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos, the SS Sicamous (a now permanently retired paddle wheeler boat) in Penticton, the KVR Trail that winds its way through a good sized length of the Okanagan-Boundary region), both the Laurel Building and Father Pandosy Mission in Kelowna, and the O’Keefe Ranch located near Armstrong.

Situated just a few hours drive north of Vancouver, the Okanagan Valley is easily accessible by both road and air. Its position within Southern British Columbia also makes it an excellent spot to weave into a bigger trip through various other parts of the province – which, as a whole, is so jaw-droppingly gorgeous and rife with stunning natural settings that I feel BC is amongst the most inherently spiritual places in North America (if not, I’d even go so far as to say, the whole world).

The Modern Witch's Travel Guide to Finding Spiritual Inspiration in BC's Beautiful Okanagan Valley | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

If you get a chance to visit or live in the Okanagan, I highly recommend you jump at it. Whether during the mild spring, dry heat of summer, beautiful jewel tone days of fall, or snowy months of winter, this part of the world is an inviting, diverse and deeply lovely area that has an almost uncanny ability to draw one back to it time and time again.

So pack a bag, lace up your hiking boots, get ready to sip some of the finest wines in the world, and prepare to have the Okanagan Valley touch your heart and stir your soul in ways that will stay with you long after you’ve uploaded the many travel snaps you’re bound to capture after coming face-to-face with this resplendent corner of Canada.

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