Overland Travel: Penticton – Quilchena – Vancouver

The last segment of this trip involved a day at the lake, and a trip back towards Vancouver. We tagged on a pit stop into Quilchena to break up the trip, making for an easier day.

This post is one chapter on our trip through the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada. This trip was booked using Marriott Bonvoy Points. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Overland Travel Penticton – Quilchena – Vancouver

Floating the day away at Skaha Lake:

We spent our last day in Penticton at the hot sand beach on Skaha Lake just south of town. It was a warm experience and desert like in dry heat as we floated on a giant float-ie for most of the day.

Skaha Beach Park
Floating on the Lake
Lake Floating with Forest Fire Views

Overland Travel: Penticton – Quilchena

One hundred and seventy six kilometers travelled

After our 5 day trip, it eventually became time to leave Penticton and head towards home. The route would take us in the reverse of our original route as laid out in our trip introduction. We enjoyed some final views of Okanagan Lake from Highway 97 as we headed in land towards the Okanagan Connector.

Last Views of Okanagan Lake

It was pretty empty during the week day on the Coquihallla connector as we headed back towards Quilchena from Penticton. After being on the beach, we took advantage of the longer day as we aimed to arrive in Quichena by sun down.

Coquihalla Connector Highway 97C
Golden Hues as the Sunset
Eventually made it past Merritt

Pit Stopping at Quilchena Lake for the night:

With a natural halfway distance between Penticton and Vancouver, it was natural to pit stop at Quilchena Lake for the night. We were able to arrive in time for sundowners on the water as the sun slipped behind the mountain for the day.

Nicola Lake
Sunset on Nicola Lake

Overland Travel: Quilchena – Vancouver

Two hundred and seventy two kilometres travelled

The next morning, it was rise and shine to journey our final leg back to Vancouver. This particular portion of the journey is much hillier as we move through mountain passes that start from 605 meters elevation to 1150 meters of elevation right down to 0 meters sea level of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Coquihalla Highway 5
Mountains along side Coquihalla Highway 5
Downhill towards the Avalanche Shed

I was thankful that we rented the Toyota Camry with Hertz, as we had put on 1,278 kilometres of mileage on the car over 5 days and about 1,000 bugs on the front of it that I wouldn’t have to clean.


It’s been years since I’ve taken a proper road trip for personal reasons that has not been a business trip. Part of it is that it’s just easier to hop on a plane and just fly somewhere with less hassle and inconvenience of driving and sitting in traffic. Thanks to this pandemic, this road trip has proven that it is possible to travel locally, take in some beautiful scenery, and have a refreshing change of pace away from your usual routines.

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