Travel

The magical beauty of ice formations

The Okanagan Valley is an outdoor playground for all four seasons, and winter has a special beauty all its own.

Over the past week, temperatures have plummeted and as a result, there is now ice on the shores of Okanagan Lake in Penticton and Summerland.

The mounds are called ice volcanoes. These conical mounds are created by the wave action in the chilly water. 

We noticed these ice mounds at the shore in Summerland and Penticton, but just a short drive north, in Peachland, we didn’t see ice volcanoes.

In addition to the ice volcanoes, the cold weather has resulted in other amazing ice formations, on and near the lake. 

It should be noted that despite our recent cold weather, winter temperatures in the south Okanagan Valley are milder than they were in the past.

“While we’d rather lie on the couch in our nice warm house, once we have our matching sweaters on, we’re all set for winter walks!”

Porter & Merlot

The Summerland Museum has some pictures in its files showing cars crossing the frozen lake in the 1920s and before. However, the last time the lake froze over was in the late 1960s.

In addition, there have been times when significant amounts of ice have formed along the shore of the lake, but in other winters, the shore has been ice-free all winter.

““The ice formations on Okanagan Lake are stunning. Put on your warmest clothing and head outside for some winter exploration.”

Kim

The magical beauty of our present winter landscape will soon be gone, as temperatures are warming up. If you want to see the ice volcanoes, take the time to do so now. The best places to see them are at Peach Orchard Beach and Rotary Beach in Summerland, and at Okanagan Lake, off Lakeshore Drive, in Penticton.

Beginning on Feb. 15, the daytime high temperature is forecast to be above freezing for the rest of this week, so these hidden gems of winter won’t last long.

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