Soaring to New Heights
British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley had a lot going for it long before its vineyards began producing premium wines. For generations, outdoor enthusiasts have flocked here from across Canada, and even worldwide, to hike, bike, camp, boat, swim, fish, climb, golf and relax in the Okanagan’s lush landscape.
Just a few miles wide and 120 miles long, the Okanagan Valley owes its existence to a glacier that buried the place in ice a mile and a half thick about 15,000 years ago. The ice melted over the next several millennia, leaving behind deep lakes framed by mountains that rise 4,000 feet and more above the valley floor.
The centerpiece of the valley is Okanagan Lake, which stretches nearly 85 miles from north to south. On the mountains above it grow forests of spruce and fir, bunchgrass and ponderosa pine. On the lower hills, you’ll discover rows of fruit trees and vineyards flourishing on fertile terraces. Along its length are frequent roadside fruit stands, communities such as Peachland and Summerland, and scores of provincial parks that provide lake access from beautiful beaches.
A rift valley surrounded by hanging valleys and glacial features, the Okanagan also features five extinct volcanos, including Mount Boucherie. Located in West Kelowna on the west shore of Okanagan Lake, opposite the city of Kelowna, Mt. Boucherie is the remnants of a former stratovolcano created nearly 60 million years ago. Between four and six different glacial periods over the past 50 million years have eroded the volcano to produce Mount Boucherie. Though it now only rises about 1370 feet above the nearby lake level, it is estimated to once have had an elevation of 6,560 ft or more and is truly a sight to be most appreciated from the air with Air-Hart Aviation’s floatplane sightseeing tours.
Kelowna Panorama Tour
Through Air-Hart Aviation’s 20-minute tour, you’ll fly over Mount Boucherie and be in awe of its magnificence as well as experience the beauty of Gallagher’s Canyon and the city of Kelowna—a perfect introduction to the Kelowna area and floatplane aviation.
Kalamalka Lake & Ogopogo Tour
This sightseeing tour will have you flying north over Lake Okanagan. You will search for the legendary “OGOPOGO” while soaring along the vineyards and orchards around Okanagan Centre. You will continue north to Kalamalka Lake, rated by National Geographic as one of the ten most beautiful lakes in the world. This “lake of many colors,” that changes from dark blue to emerald green, is a sight to behold.
South Okanagan & High Country Sightseeing Tour
The beauty and magnitude of Lake Okanagan and the spectacular Okanagan back country are seen on this sightseeing tour. The tour takes you over the quaint lakeside towns of Peachland and Summerland on the way to Penticton. Penticton, which means A Place to Live Forever, is nestled between Lake Okanagan and Skaha Lake and the view of this area is an absolute spectacle. You’ll also see an abundance of wildlife that gives this area a special flair. Little White Mountain, Idabel Lake and McCullock Lake are seen before the tour begins its trek toward home. This is truly a wonderful look at the Okanagan.
Air-Hart Aviation is located at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort. For more information about Air-Hart’s floatplane sightseeing tours, visit www.air-hart.com or call 250.762.9830.