Framed by the River and Mountains
Welcome to Keremeos, the Similkameen’s second largest town (population 1290), located at the crossroads of BC Highway 3 and 3A. It’s a 45-minute drive east from Princeton, 40 minutes west from Penticton and 35 minutes northwest of Osoyoos.
Unique in Many WaysKeremeos is a community you won’t soon forget. It is home to many of the Similkameen’s wineries as well as the historic Grist Mill and Gardens, the last of its kind in Western Canada.
Keremeos is an agricultural community framed by the Similkameen River, mountains, endless orchards, vineyards and farms. It’s known far and wide as the Fruit Stand Capital of Canada. Many a visitor to this area makes a stop at one or more of fruit stands before heading back home. It’s here that you’ll find the freshest Similkameen-grown produce at seasonal fruit stands and markets.
Once you’ve done exploring, get out your inflated inner tube, head over to the Red Bridge, hop in the river and float your way to Pine Park, in Keremeos.
They built the Red Bridge in 1907 as a railway bridge so trains could cross the Similkameen River. It is one of the few covered bridges left in the west. The Old Tower Farm and its unusual water town date back to 1908 when it provided pressure for the home’s plumbing.
Just down the road is the Keremeos Grist Mill and Gardens. This provincial heritage site is home to a water mill built in 1877 to grind wheat into flour for the gold rush miners. It’s still grinding away today, and you can visit and have a taste of their home-made bread. Tour the site and you’ll discover a general store, a heritage garden and a great picnic area. There’s also a campsite.
The people of Keremeos love to celebrate and hold special events. The Grist Mill and Gardens holds several events throughout the year. Canada Day, Kars under the K, the Similkameen Sizzle, and Light Up are just a few of the many reasons to come celebrate here.
Eclectic Eats in Keremeos
You can find a great meal in Keremeos at a number of eclectic restaurants, including the legendary “Thai worth the drive” at Benja Thai. There’s a great Indian restaurant, a bake shop, a bar and grill, and some funky little cafés. Just decide what you’re hungry for, then ask the locals for suggestions and you are on your way to some tasty eats.
Gateway to Cathedral Lakes
Keremeos is also the gateway to the Ashnola recreation area and Cathedral Provincial Park. A jeep (think BIG jeep) service, operated by Cathedral Lakes Resort will get you to the heart of the park, some 16 km (10 mi) in. If you prefer, you can hike, but be aware it is a full day’s hike. It’s here you’ll find mountain vistas that will take your breath away. Ragged peaks of the North Cascades and Okanagan Mountain Ranges, indigo coloured lakes, and alpine meadows are your reward for a climb well done.