Summer days in Penticton are the best kind of difficult. There are simply too many things to do. Visitors know it too, with thousands of people heading to the town to swim, hike, float, wine tour, paddle, sunbathe and climb over the warmer months. As the sun disappears, the crowds dispense. What they miss, however, are all the awesome experiences Penticton has to offer during the winter.
Go wine tasting
Though the majority of Naramata Bench wineries close up shop after harvest in October, there are still a few that offer tastings year-round. Run by a lovely down to earth Canadian British couple (sounds familiar!), Upper Bench Winery and Creamery is one of our top spots to visit for their bold wines and rich cheeses. They are open daily, which leaves no excuses not to get your winter wine and cheese fix!
Skate through the trees
A short drive from Penticton into the mountains will bring you to a skating experience like few others. A world away from any ordinary rink, Apex Ski Resort’s Skating Loop offers a bit of old fashioned winter magic. The loop route winds through a cathedral of snowy trees for a distance of 1km. Located close to the main entrance to Apex’s parking lot, a small cabin (perfect for changing shoes) signifies the start of the loop. Tickets to skate the loop are only $4.
Boulder and beer
While some hardy locals do climb at the world famous Skaha Bluffs all year long, most take a break over the winter months when the rock is too frigid to touch. Thanks to the enterprising folks at Hoodoo Adventures, it is now possible to winter climb in Penticton with the opening of their new climbing gym on Ellis Street.
Small but challenging and fun, the gym happens to be right across the street from Cannery Brewing’s taproom. I doubt this is a coincidence but it is an unbeatable winter afternoon combination. Hoodoo also put on loads of great winter events, such as the Santa Rec Run.
Take a hike
Snow doesn’t have to mean a hiking break; some of our favourite Penticton hikes are still perfectly accessible in winter. The Kettle Valley Railway trail, with its easy grades and well packed down pathways, makes for a perfect short winter walk. Just above, the summit of Munson Mountain offers epic views across both lakes and the town centre. If snowshoeing is more your hiking style in winter, there are opportunities in the local hills or visit Nickel Plate Nordic Centre near Apex.
Slide down a mountain
For those needing a winter adrenaline hit, Penticton has a couple of great options. A hidden gem of BC resorts, Apex is just a 50-minute drive from town. You’ll be welcomed by near non-existent lift lines, challenging runs, plentiful powder and incredible summit views.
A little further away is Baldy Mountain Resort. While Apex already offers a fantastic skiing to lift wait ratio, Baldy is a whole other level. It’s a bit like having your very own ski resort. The exceptionally friendly welcome, truly local vibe and proliferation of blue runs are the icing on the top.
Have you been to Penticton in the winter?
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