Translated from local Inkaneep native dialect, Osoyoos means, where the water narrows, or sand bar across, an apt description for the way this town spans a narrow part of Osoyoos Lake in the Southern Okanagan. Originally named “Soo-Yoos”, an O is believed to have been added to lend a more dignified sound to the name.
For nearly half a century, Osoyoos was on the north-south fur trade route. Then, after a lull, it gained importance as a border entry point for cattle drives to the gold miners of the Cariboo.
Commercial fruit growing started in the early 1900s, but Osoyoos grew slowly until the railway reached it from the north in 1944. Today, the dry, sunny climate and long growing season make the South Okanagan the fruit basket of Canada, with Osoyoos as its capital city. Cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, apples, grapes… even bananas.
Osoyoos is surrounded by an abundance of orchards and vineyards. Most will sell fruit or wine. The vineyards offer tastings, and some of the specialty orchards offer wine tours as well.
Nine kilometers west of Osoyoos on Highway 3 is Klikuk, the Spotted Lake, containing one of the world’s highest concentrations of minerals, including Epsom salts, calcium, magnesium, and many other trace minerals. The healing mud and waters were used to alleviate aches and pains. In the summer the water evaporates and crystallizes, making the white-ringed spots visible. The lake is on private land and is therefore not accessible, but you can get a good view from the highway.
According to britishcolumbia.com