The Must Do Summer Activity in the Okanagan
Want the full Okanagan experience?
Whether you’re a tourist or a local, the one activity I do every single summer is go FLOATING!!!
There are two different locations you can check out. One in Penticton and one in Enderby, both roughly an hour outside of Kelowna.
First off, the activity is FREE! You can just hop on the river and be good to go. All you need is a device to float on!
My brother and his friends own some of those awesome 10 person floaties that you can purchase from Costco – it is so awesome! Cup holders and everything. I can’t find the exact floatie but this one below is very similar to the one they have.
What is the difference between the two channels?
Penticton channel: The Penticton channel is a man-made channel between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. Because of its popularity, it isn’t super clean but a super easy ride with a clear-cut path. It’s located 215 Riverside Drive on the north end of Penticton.
Enderby channel: The Enderby Channel is more intense than Penticton, and is actually called the Shuswap River. The Shuswap River is a river, not a channel so it can be unpredictable with logs and rocks sticking out of the water. It’s also a lot cleaner than Penticton. There are many different enter and exit points, but the most common float is from Belvidere Park to Tuey Park.
Let me give you some tips on what to bring for floating:
–Floatie: Don’t own a floatie? You can head to Canadian Tire, the Dollar Store, or even a gas station and buy ones for super cheap. It’s incredibly fun to tie each others floaties together OR pile on to a big person floatie like we do! Make sure you check your floatie for holes before you hop onto the river. I’ve definitely been on the river when my floatie has started to deflate – not a good time! If floating the Penticton channel, you can actually rent a floatie at the launch site.
–Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a MUST for tubing down the river. Depending on how high the river is going, sometimes it can be super quick or super slow. If it’s the latter, you can end up being on the river for hours – which is a long time in the sun! It’s super important to lather up, and lather up everywhere! Every time I go tubing I always get sun burnt in the weirdest places.
–Beverages: I love bringing along some of my favorite bevvies! However, I always limit myself to only bringing a couple. You don’t want to be getting intoxicated to the point where you’re unsafe on the river. *It’s super important to drink responsibly on the river.*
–Hydrate: Speaking of drinking, it is also crucial to stay hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after. You get so much sun on the river to the point where you can risk getting sun stroke. So drinking lots of water will definitely keep you in check.
–Headgear: A hat is also a great way to protect yourself from the sun along with a pair of sunglasses. Just simply covering your face makes a huge difference with protecting yourself from the sun. I personally do not go floating without wearing some headgear.
–Arrange rides: It is important to organize your driving situation prior to getting on the river. You need at least one vehicle at the start and one vehicle at the end. And if you’re drinking, somebody who is a designated driver.
If you don’t have enough vehicles, the Penticton Channel offers an affordable shuttle service that drives you back to the beginning of the river.
And that’s it! If you’re looking for an awesome summer activity this summer, be sure to check out these two bodies of water! Just be mindful that water possesses dangers so make sure you are safe and smart about floating down these rivers.