Nestled amongst valleys and rich farmland is the quaint and friendly little town of Lumby, known as the Gateway to the Monashee, the Mountains of Peace.
The view from Lumby is wonderful, as the picturesque Coldstream, Trinity and Creighton valleys all converge here. The awe-inspiring Monashee Mountain range and the varied landscape of streams and lakes beckons the avid outdoor enthusiast to go hiking, canoeing and fishing. In winter, this is a popular spot for cross-country skiing. The Lumby area offers visitors unlimited wilderness adventures by car, bike or trail into some of the most pristine countryside in the northern interior of British Columbia.
Although the village of Lumby was incorporated in 1956, its history dates back to 1893, when the forty-acre town site was surveyed. Prior to that, the small settlement of pioneer farmers and gold miners lived in White Valley, whose beginning commenced with the Cherry Creek gold strike in 1862.
The gold fever in British Columbia in the early 1860s brought men seeking an instant fortune. Some made their fortune. Others made and quickly squandered their riches. Some were disappointed and disappeared. Some realized the real potential was in the lush valleys of the Okanagan Valley. They became the first settlers.
For years, farming and logging were the main source of revenue for the region, and so it is today, but on a much grander scale. Lumby is now considered to be the wood products and logging capital of the North Okanagan.
The Lumby & District Museum has many displays detailing the community’s colourful past.
Arts & Crafts: There is a sizable artist and artisan community in Lumby, so be sure to explore the many galleries and studios.
Fish Hatchery: Take a Hatchery Tour of the fish incubation and rearing facilities for salmon near Shuswap Falls. Information at the Visitor Centre.
Northeast of Lumby, in the Monashee Mountains, Monashee Provincial Park is a wilderness area of mountains, lakes, and forests. It comprises several small untouched watersheds supporting substantial old-growth cedar, hemlock, and spruce forests and important habitat for grizzly bears. The area also features some of the oldest rocks in the province, a small threatened herd of caribou, and some rare specimens of coastal plant species. The park is intersected by switchback trails, necessary in this steep terrain. The feelings of early explorers are manifested in the local place names Belly-Up Canyon and S.O.B. Gulch, and a large area at an elevation of 8,000 feet (2439 m) named Valley of the Moon. There are a number of trails for exploring this wonderful park. Climb up Fosthal Mountain for beautiful views of the Monashees and Okanagan Highlands, or go to the Fawn Lakes, an interesting area of more than 100 ‘little puddles.’ Hikers can use the 10 wilderness campsites at Spectrum Lake to take day or longer trips. There is no road access to Monashee Provincial Park, which is located 40 km northeast of Lumby. Go east on Hwy 6 to Cherryville and northeast up Sugar Lake Road to Spectrum Creek, where there is a parking lot. The climb to the park is a fairly stiff 12 km.
Golf: There are three golf courses in the Lumby area: Lumby Golf Course is a public 9-hole course boasting a leisurely pace and a view that few golf courses can match. The course operates without irrigation, as the greens are sand greens that are oiled. River Ridge Golf Course is a 9-hole, 2,650-yard golf course near the Shuswap River, between Lumby and Cherryville. The course doubles up for a par-70 game. Coldstream Golf Course, on Dure Meadow Road between Vernon and Lumby, is a “scottish style” par-36, 2,420-yard, 9-hole course with a 250-yard driving range. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Silver Star Provincial Park in the Shuswap Highlands is home to Silver Star Mountain Resort, the most northerly winter playground in the Okanagan Valley. Skiers and snowboarders will find a year-round resort here, with hotels, restaurants, a saloon, lounges, and a grocery store all clustered at the base of the resort’s chairlifts. There’s no need for a vehicle once you arrive here, as everything is within easy walking or skiing distance. Skiers and snowboarders here have 2,500 feet (760 m) of vertical drop in which to defy gravity. There are 115 designed trails serviced by 12 lifts. The park and resort are located north of Vernon on Hwy 97, then east on well-marked Silver Star Road, for a total distance of 22 km. Skiing & Winter Activities in the Okanagan Valley.
Silver Star Provincial Park is also a great place to visit in summer for hiking and nature rambling. In summer, Silver Star Mountain operates a chairlift for visitors to ascend to hiking trails in the subalpine zone with fabulous views of the Monashees in the north and east, the Shuswap Highlands in the north and west, and the Okanagan Plateau in the south.
Snowmobiling: Seldom is there a shortage of snow in the mountains in the Lumby and Monashee area, guaranteeing excellent snowmobiling conditions. The Pinnacle and Monashee Mountains, along with Silver Star provide great snowmobiling areas, but almost any side road will lead you into open areas of cut blocks.
Canoeing & Kayaking in the Monashee can be a real adventure. Mabel Lake and Sugar Lake offer canoeists many beaches that are secluded and off the beaten path. If it is white water you are after, BC Hydro operates a canoe launch on the Shuswap River, complete with a maintained parking area, picnic tables and a large map of the canoe route, from midway between Sugar Lake and Shuswap River.
Hanggliding & Paragliding: Lumby offers a public hang gliding launch site in the Trinity Valley at Defies Creek, known locally as Coopers Launch. Saddle Mountain is also a great launch site, but is restricted to those accompanied by a local pilot. The 1995 Canadian Nationals were held in Lumby, and at least one major competition is held annually, featuring the top hang gliders in Canada.
Birdwatching: Birders are sure to enjoy great birdwatching in the Monashees. During the summer months Mabel Lake Provincial Park allows excellent viewing of Swainson’s Thrush, Western Flycatchers, Osprey and Bald Eagles. Rawlings Lake is a nesting area for Ruddy Ducks, Black Terns and Sandhill Cranes, and many other species of birds can be seen along Creighton Valley Road (Thrush, Dippers and Loons), at Sugar Lake (Barred Owls, Bobolink and Mountain Bluebird), and Ptarmigan and plenty of Marmots in the amazing Monashee Provincial Park.
Cross-country skiers receive just as much welcome at Silver Star as do other winter enthusiasts. Beginning from the trailhead at the entrance to the resort, the 37 kilometres of tracked and groomed trails fan out through the park. An additional 50 km of groomed trails lead through the adjacent Sovereign Lake area. The trailhead for the Sovereign Lake cross-country area is located just west of the entrance to the resort and has its own parking area. A fee is charged for cross-country skiing here and at the resort.
The National Altitude Training Centre, a world-class sport and recreation facility, is also located at Silver Star. The centre, in addition to being a professionally equipped facility with a weight room and a wax room (bring your own waxing equipment), has been host to a number of downhill and cross-country ski and mountain-bike competitions, and is the year-round training base for several ski, bike, and luge teams. A connector bus service is available to Silver Star Mountain Resort from the Kelowna airport, about 100 km south of Vernon.
A popular and scenic spot is Echo Lake Provincial Park east of Lumby, with its large group campground, boat rentals, cabins, and campsites. Anglers will find a cheery welcome, information on rainbow trout fishing, licence, boat rental, bait, and tackle from the folk at the park.
Located northeast of Vernon at the southeast end of Mabel Lake, Mabel Lake Provincial Park is situated in a valley formed by the glaciers of the last ice age. The Shuswap Highlands to the east grade into the impressive Monashee Mountains. The park’s sandy shoreline is backed by a forest of hemlock, red cedar, and birch, in sharp contrast to the drier ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests of the Thompson Plateau to the west. Summer camping here is ideal for those who prefer a cooler locale than the Okanagan Valley. You might spot a deer or black bear; you’ll definitely see a variety of waterfowl and other birdlife. The lake offers good rainbow trout fishing. There is an archaeological site here, as well as a campground, a swimming beach, a family playground and nature trails. From Vernon, take Hwy 6 east to Lumby, and then go northeast. It’s 76 km to the park; the last 35 km are gravel.
Visit nearby Cherryville, east of Lumby on Highway 6, an old gold mining camp founded in the 1860s by prospectors from the California gold rush. The remains of Chinese workings and water canals are still visible.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through the Southern Okanagan, starting and ending your sun-drenched voyage in Osoyoos, the place where two lakes come together. Circle Tours in British Columbia.