Okanagan Lake, Beaches and at the Top of Clay Cliffs: Villa Orion
Geological time table BEFORE Okanagan Valley begins (Murray A. Roed, PhD, PEng):
1. Precambrian Time – Vast granitic Continental Crust, Pangaea
2. Paleozoic Time – Oceanic shelf environment, major mountain building
3. Mesozoic Time – Island Arc archipelago, plate tectonic structure, Continental Drift, obduction, Interior Mountain Building, Massive Stream Erosion
4. Cenozoic Time ……..the valley begins
Birth of Glacial Okanagan Lake was a catastrophic failure of ice dam at Okanagan Falls, followed(?) by failure at Gallagher’s Canyon. Erosion of lake basin, remnant silt bluffs, gullies, extensive terraces, alluvial fans. Ice-cored moraine in places such as at the “Bluffs” melted and formed kettles. Salmon migrate into Okanagan Lake. Bedrock relief is 2814 m, nearly twice as much as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.Villa Orion is lying at the clifftops overlooking Lake Okanagan
Lake Okanagan is 120 km long, 3.5 km wide and up to 232 m deep. Its watershed area is 6187 sq km is ¼ the size of Switzerland. Mission Creek, largest tributary, accounts for 15% of input, 900 sq km watershed. The peak flow is in June. Domestic, agriculture and Industrial use of annual water budget amounts to about 1 to 2%. 75% of annual Okanagan water used in evapotranspiration, including unknown infiltration as groundwater. 22% of water inflows from surface drainage to the lake and to the Okanagan River, thence to the Columbia River in the State of Washington.
For daily geological and mineralogical Okanagan excursions you need the fantastic detailed local maps in the book – available in Villa Orion – “Okanagan Geology South: Geologic Highlights of the South Okanagan“, British Columbia. Edited by Murray A. Roed and Robert J. Fulton. Okanagan Geology Committee Sandhill Book Marketing Ltd., Kelowna, BC ISBN: 978-0-9699795-3-1 $24.95 paperback, 238 pages.
Location Villa Orion on Google Maps
Explore on Google Maps the stunning location of Villa Orion (= Orion Consultings Ltd.= the owner).
Penticton has seven public beaches
The Okanagan Valley is located in the rainshadow of the coast mountains and receives westerly air masses that have been modified in two ways to give distinct climatic features. 1. Moist Pacific air masses are forced up and over the Coast and Cascade Mountains, they are cooled and their moisture falls as rain or snow on the windward side of the mountains.
2. These air masses are forced down the leeward side of the mountains they are warmed and become more stable. In turn, the dried, warmer air promotes further evaporation from the surrounding landscape.
The winter climate in most of the Okanagan is dominated by a succession of Maritime Polar air masses, and the valley’s highest precipitation is in December/January. Only occasionally do Continental Polar air masses “break out” over the Rocky Mountains to allow cold air to flow down the valleys and spread out over the Interior Plateau.
In the summer, temperatures rise and precipitation drops as the region comes under the influence of the Hawaiian High. Overall, the temperature range between summer and winter is double that found on the coast of the province, and precipitation is the lowest in souther Canada.
Within the valley, precipitation increases to the north as the valley bends towards the Monasheee Mountains. Precipitation also increases with elevation.
Mean daily temperature in the valley decreases from south to north and upslope, and this pattern is reflected in the precipitation records. The frost-free period varies widely throughout the Okanagan Valley and can fluctuate dramatically from year to year. On the average, harvest-damaging autumn frosts occur on the valley floor once every five years. They can be even more common on the benchlands.
Penticton has seven public beaches: already at a 7 minutes’ walk from villa Orion you can sunbathe, swim, fish, wakeboard, waterski, (para)sail, jet ski, canoe & kayak. Enjoy the average 2000+ hours of sunshine per year higher than on the beaches in Rio de Janeiro and Hawaii. You can also lazily tubing down the Okanagan River Channel from one lake to another with a cooler chock full of refreshments to keep you satiated on a hot summer’s day. For just $10 dollars you can rent a tube and get a ride back with Coyote Cruises.
Penticton’s seven public beaches are:
1. Okanagan Lake Beach, located on Okanagan Lake at Lakeshore Drive. Featuring nearly a kilometre of premium, sandy beach this is one of our most popular and most beautiful beach areas. Okanagan Beach features a swimming area, rest rafts, kiddie slides, shade trees, washrooms nearby, firepits, and free parking.
2. Skaha Lake Beach, located on Skaha Lake at Skaha Lake Road. This beach features over 20 acres of park and beach, and is included in Skaha Lake Park.The Okanagan valley has some of the most beautiful beaches around, but family-friendly Skaha Beach is exceptional. At Skaha beach, on the south end, you’ll see teenagers setting up beach volleyball nets and kids running around the adjoining big grassy park, with picnic tables, tennis and basketball courts, a watersplash park, and a playground marina.
3. Marina Way Beach, on Okanagan Lake at Marina Way, near Okanagan Marina. A small sandy beach, swimming area, limited parking, seasonal toilets, shallow entry into water, and is located adjacent to Marina Way Park.
4. Okanagan Lake Park Beach, located on Okanagan Lake at Lakeshore Drive, just east of the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Featuring a small beach, washrooms, fenced off-leash area for dogs, and day moorage for pleasure boats, this beach is next to Okanagan Lake Park.
5. Sudbury Beach, located on Skaha Lake at Skaha Lake Road, just west of Skaha Beach. This beach features a huge beach area, swimming area, rest rafts and slides, washrooms, concession, limited parking, and a fire pit.
6. Three Mile Beach, located on Okanagan Lake at Three Mile Road, just off Naramata Road. This area features two beaches – one for swimming and one for day-moorage boating. Note that dogs are permitted on the boating beach and there is limited parking available.
7. Just below Villa Orion, down the clay cliffs, look at the photo at the top of this page, a seven minutes’ walk.
Click for a discovery of the Okanagan Valley BC on: www.youtube.com/eyeonthebay-anOkanaganFeatureonCBS