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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

Canada's Desert in Osoyoos, British Columbia

Canada is home to a wide range of spectacular ecosystems from its rocky ocean coastlines, glaciers, temperate forests, mountains and to its prairies - however, its most rare and stunning ecosystem is the small arid pocket desert which lies in its Okanagan region in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Home to dozens of rare species of flora and fauna, this desert offers an amazing learning opportunity through its two desert centres and offers visitors the chance to see this awe-inspiring ecosystem first hand. Come visit Osoyoos, British Columbia and its beautiful (and rare!) desert!

If in British Columbia's beautiful Okanagan region, take the opportunity to visit Osoyoos, home to Canada's desert.British Columbia is one of Canada's most beautiful regions - renowned for its stunning coastline and temperate rain forests - however, it is its smallest and rarest ecosystem which is its most interesting: the Osoyoos Desert.

Located in the most southern section of British Columbia's Okanagan region, the town of Osoyoos (which in the Nk'mip language is translated to where the water narrows, or sand bar across) is home to Canada's only [arid] desert with the lowest rainfall, the highest temperatures, and the warmest lakes in the country. One of North America's most fragile and endangered ecosystems, the Osoyoos desert provides a unique learning environment and is home to over 100 species of rare flora and over 300 species of rare fauna such as the Badger, Burrowing Owl and Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

There are two places visitors should visit to see this amazing ecosystem:

  • OSOYOOS DESERT CENTRE
  • Rare and beautiful animals such as this Osprey are some of the many elusive creatures which live in the desert in Osoyoos, British Columbia.HOURS: April 26 - May 15: 10:00am - 2:00pm / May 16 - September 15: 9:30am - 4:30pm / September 16 - early October: 10:00am - 2:00pm
  • ADMISSION: Adult: $7; Senior/Student: $6; Child: $5
  • The Osoyoos Desert Centre (map) encompasses 67 acres of desert where visitors can explore Canada's desert by taking a guided or self-guided tour along a 1.5 km elevated wooden boardwalk and visit the interpretive facility which offers exhibits and a native plant demonstration garden.

  • NK'MIP DESERT CULTURAL CENTRE
  • HOURS: March 21 - July 1: 9:30am - 4:30pm / July 5 - August 31: 9:30am - 8:00pm / September 1 - October 10: 9:30am - 6:00pm / October 12 - October 31: Tues-Fri: 9:30am - 4:00pm
  • ADMISSION: Adult: $12; Senior/Student: $11; Child: $8
  • Explore the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre (map): Meet the Nk'mip people and explore their history, learn about the Canadian desert, see some of its rare creatures (including George the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake) and take a scenic hike along the trail which winds through this rare ecosystem.

Visitors can spot a wide range of flora and fauna - look carefully below your feet as well - many insects also call the Desert in Osoyoos, British Columbia home.

The pocket desert in Osoyoos, British Columbia is Canada's only desert region.

Keep an eye out for Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes around the Osoyoos, British Columbia pocket desert.

Visitors can meet George the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake at the Nk'mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia.

The unique desert vegetation throughout Osoyoos, British Columbia is interesting to see such as this green Prickly Pear Cactus.

Keep a lookout for interesting insects such as these ants on a sage bush in the Osoyoos desert in British Columbia.

The Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia offers a unique opportunity to learn about both the local native tribes as well as the surrounding desert.

Be sure to follow the trails along the Osoyoos Desert in British Columbia as it is a very rare and sensitive ecosystem.






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