Southern Interior of British Columbia
Come and explore the Southern Interior of British Columbia!
The Southern Interior region offers a four season playground with a wide range of recreation and outdoor adventure activities including golfing, camping, canoeing, hiking and biking in summer. Winter offers endless snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and both downhill and cross-country skiing.
This region is surrounded by a series of gentle mountain ranges between the Thompson Plateau in the west and the Shuswap Highlands to the east, then rising dramatically in the Selkirk and Monashee Mountains in the Kootenays. Adventure to the British Columbia Rockies to enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife or make it a thrilling adventure of a lifetime by trying wild white-water rafting or kayaking the Kicking Horse River! The Okanagan’s landscape is framed by renowned orchards, vineyards and many sandy lakeside beaches where outdoor enthusiasts come for the golfing, hiking, biking and water-skiing; in the winter, skiing, snowmobiling and snow-shoeing round out an amazing vacation destination. Williams Lake is the hub of the Cariboo, the Chilcotin Plateau where there are thousands of lakes and rivers offering superb freshwater fishing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding. The Chilcotin is known to be the true bastion of the range rider in BC, with vast expanses being worked by cowboys on large ranching outfits.
Discover the many lifestyle activities that our communities offer. Come and experience it for yourself!
Visitors and residents are drawn to the scenic East Kootenay area for the world-class recreational activities, strong cultural presence and the abundance of sunshine. Rated as the sunniest city in Canada, Cranbrook boasts more sunshine hours per year than anywhere else in the country. The outdoor enthusiast can find almost any activity in East Kootenay including hang gliding, river rafting, heli-skiing, hiking, camping, skiing, fishing and snowmobiling - just to name a few.
The East Kootenay region is situated along the Rocky Mountains providing lush green forests, clear glacier-fed lakes, and spectacular alpine meadows. The Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers run through this area providing spectacular sights and experiences. As the Wilderness Capital of BC, this area promises wild animals and the great outdoors will be right at your doorstep.
The East Kootenay Health Service Area has a vibrant and eclectic culture. From rodeos to music festivals to live theatre, there is always a community event extending a warm welcome.
Situated between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges, the Kootenay Boundary area is home to just under 80,000 people. Residents enjoy glacier-fed lakes, majestic vistas, natural hot springs, a temperate climate and vibrant communities.
Recreation is important to life in the Kootenay Boundary. In winter, the ski areas provide downhill, cross-country and heli-skiing. In summer, the area is famous for mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, waterskiing, fishing, boating and golf.
Residents of this area have a strong connection to the community. They value the benefits of smaller rural centres such as safe communities and minimal crime. Residents are glad to enjoy all the amenities, but none of the congestion of the “big-city” lifestyle.
This area is also known for its varied cultural assets. The Kootenay Centre for the Arts is a hub of cultural events, and there are also special events like the Kaslo Jazz Festival and Trail’s Silver City Days that attract hundreds of visitors each year.
Visitors and neighbouring residents alike are drawn to the Okanagan for its beautiful scenery and lifestyle. Awarded with the number two most beautiful beaches in all of Canada (only trailing behind Tofino, BC), this region promises a beautiful area to visit and live year round.
The Okanagan enjoys a moderate winter climate in town with champagne powder in the mountains. World-class ski resorts such as Big White, Silver Star and Apex are within a short driving distance of the main cities. Other activities such as Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are also popular. In the summer, beautiful beaches and hot dry summers lure vacationers from around the globe. Boating, hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, and cycling are all in abundance – just to name a few.
The Central Okanagan is the most populated of Interior Health’s service areas. It has a population of over 313,000 and covers an area over 20,000 square kilometers. There are three major urban centers: Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton. A little more urban than other health service areas, the Okanagan still has rural areas and a strong sense of community.
Thompson Cariboo Shuswap
The largest of the Health Service Areas, Thompson Cariboo Shuswap covers the largest geographical area and services a population of 220,000. A region of spectacular beauty, agricultural abundance, and historic richness, the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap offers all the amenities of an urban centre without the hurried pace.
There are year round sports and recreational activities, including ice fishing, curling, cross-country, downhill and heli-skiing, and snowmobiling in the winter. In the summer, outdoor pursuits include mountain biking, hiking, golfing, and all forms of water sports.
The Thompson Cariboo Shuswap region is a well-developed arts and cultural environment, with special events like the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, the Salmon Arm Jazz Festival, the Cariboo Fall Fair and Kamloops Music in the Park. In addition, there are the Kamloops Symphony, the Western Canada Theatre Group and the Cariboo Art Gallery and Music Society.