Built in the shadow of K Mountain on the banks of the Similkameen River is the colourful village of Keremeos. Incorporated as a village in 1956, Keremeos derives its name from the Indian word keremeyeus, meaning creek which cuts its way across the flats, or where the valleys meet.
The village took shape in the early 1900's when the railway came through from Hedley. Today, the well-preserved early 1900s buildings give the town a distinctive Old West feel.
Agriculture is the main economy and includes cattle Ranching, hay ranging and fruit growing with cherry, peach, pear, apricot and apple orchards blanketing the landscape. In summer and fall the fruit and vegetable stands in the area display and sell local produce.
Keremeos is located at the junction of Hwy 3 and Hwy 3A, 48 km (30 mi) southwest of Penticton, 48 km (30 mi) northwest of Osoyoos, and 67 km (42 mi) southeast of Princeton.
A Heritage BC site, the Old Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos is a family-fun place to visit. It includes an 1877 waterwheel-powered, all wood construction, flour mill, with orginal equipment, the last in BC. An 1879 White House with exhibits, a turn of the 20th century Apple House, heritage orchard and kitchen garden, and the Victorian Gardens beside the stream. The 12-acre site also features the Tearoom for light lunches and afternoon tea and the Giftshop has a quality selection of locally made arts, crafts, and gifts. Interpretive Tours are available.
A true wilderness experience, Cathedral Park comprises an expanse of jagged mountain peaks, azure lakes and flower-dappled alpine meadows that is definitely for the adventurous. Located between the dense, wet forests of the Cascade Mountains and the desert-like Okanagan Valley, this mountainous park offers a rich variety of terrain, flora and fauna. Fascinating rock formations, including a jumble of columnar-jointed basalt forms and massive, wind-eroded quartz monzonite towers, make this an excellent spot for the experienced hiker. The lakes in the park look like turquoise jewels in a granite setting. Each of the close-knit group of lakes--Quiniscoe, Ladyslipper, Scout, Pyramid, Glacier, and Lake of the Woods--has a unique charm. Equally as beautiful are the tranquil Haystack Lakes, which are within a day's hike of the main lake areas. Cathedral Park offers fishing, camping, wilderness camping, hiking, and mountaineering. Dogs are not permitted.
The Mascot Gold Mine is located in Hedley 29 km (18 mi) west of Keremeos. The mine buildings were built on a cliff almost 1 km off the valley floor - an incredibly difficult place to build a mine. To get there, vsiitors take the same winding, mountain road that was used to access the site during operations.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia