Okanagan Falls, British Columbia Canada

Discover Okanagan Falls, British Columbia: A Blend of History, Geology, and Tourism

The Rich History of Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Okanagan Falls, also known as OK Falls, is a charming community nestled on the southern end of Skaha Lake in British Columbia. Founded in 1893 under the name Dogtown, the community's current name is derived from a small set of falls that once graced the Okanagan River at the outlet of Skaha Lake. These falls, however, have been submerged beneath the lake due to the construction of a dam on the river. In 2012, Okanagan Falls expressed interest in becoming a municipality, and in December 2020, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen approved a study on incorporating the community as a municipality.

Geological Wonders of Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Okanagan Falls is situated at the head of a giant spillway, formed as the discharge of Glacial Lake Penticton was constrained between Mount McLellan to the west and Peach Cliff to the east. This unique location has resulted in a diverse assemblage of geological attractions.

Peach Cliff: A Landmark of Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Peach Cliff, a dominant landmark to the east of Okanagan Falls, is a trachyte of Eocene age. This geological marvel is home to herds of mule deer and a sizeable herd of California bighorn sheep. One of its most notable features is the Balancing Rock, a large glacial erratic supported by a couple of granitic cobbles.

Indian Head: A Unique Formation in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Southwest of Okanagan Falls lie the ragged cliffs of Indian Head, one of the most unusual rock formations in the Okanagan. This formation consists of dark volcanic rocks overlying a lighter conglomerate and contains spectacular megabreccia, volcanic and plutonic rocks up to 70 m (230 ft) across, and metamorphic rocks of up to 500 m (1,600 ft) across.

Mahoney Lake: A Colorful Attraction in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

South of Okanagan Falls lies meromictic Mahoney Lake, home to spectacular blooms of purple sulphur bacteria. This purple is contrasted by nearby Green Lake, which is colored by the precipitation of calcium carbonates in the water column.

Tourism in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, a research facility founded in 1960, is located southwest of Okanagan Falls and Penticton. The site houses three instruments – an interferometric radio telescope, a 26 m (85 ft) single-dish antenna, and a solar flux monitor – and supports engineering laboratories. Operated by the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics of the National Research Council of the Canadian government, the observatory was named an IEEE Milestone for first radio astronomical observations using VLBI. A self-guided tour is available at the facility during daylight hours.

Parks in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Christie Memorial Provincial Park, located on the south shoreline of Skaha Lake, and Okanagan Falls Provincial Park are two of the area's most popular outdoor destinations. These parks offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Okanagan Falls, British Columbia.