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“1st class guided tours”
Review of Desert Centre

Desert Centre
Ranked #14 of 49 things to do in Osoyoos
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Osoyoos Desert Centre is a 67 acre nature interpretive facility where visitors can learn about desert ecology, habitat restoration and conservation of endangered ecosystems in the South Okanagan. Guests are invited to explore Canada’s desert by taking a guided or self-guided tour along a 1.5 km elevated wooden boardwalk. In addition, the Centre features an interpretive facility with hands-on exhibits and a native plant demonstration garden. Visitors can also browse through our Gift Shop, enjoy a snack in the outdoor picnic area, or relax at one of the kiosks and take in the spectacular views.
Reviewed 28 July 2017 via mobile

We arrived just after 9:30 and greeted by Lauren who would at 10am be our Desert tour guide. For a very reasonable $7 each, Lauren, a Geography Graduate, expertly guided us around Canada's only desert. Lauren's is very knowledgeable and passionate about the area, this being her home too. Her delivery style was excellent, with added humour and relevant stories. Open to further questions, Lauren and her colleague, Skye were on hand to give us advice about local eateries and attractions. The message about human impact is obvious and clear there are pragmatic steps being taken to assist the biodiversity.

2  Thank Alan M Samuel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"guided tour"
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"flora and fauna"
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"black widow"
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"eco system"
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"south okanagan"
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"burrowing owl"
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"creatures"
in 7 reviews
"canada"
in 17 reviews
"habitat"
in 6 reviews
"badger"
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"endangered"
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10 - 14 of 131 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2017

Located between the two highways entering into Osoyoos from the north is this preserved area of the natural grasslands of the south Okanagan Valley. We learnt that this was the only patch of so called desert in Canada and it ran into a much larger region south towards California. At first it did not look sandy but we discovered there was a layer of mossy growth on the top that absorbed the water and avoided the sand from being fully exposed.
There is a boardwalk which runs for one and a half kilometres and had been built to protect the environment. Apparently less than 9% of the original grasslands now remained and various species that used to live there such as badgers were now highly endangered because of the loss of habitat and man's development. We were hoping to see wildlife here and were lucky enough to see a deer, a bright yellow bird which we believe was a Bullock's Oriole and three bald eagles.
The trail was quite informative and the staff were friendly and knowledgeable. They run guided tours on the hour but we found the self guided leaflet sufficient.

1  Thank TassieTravellers99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2017

We were kinda pushed into going by our parents (I thought it was going to be boring to be honest) but my partner and I were actually blown away. Our tour guide was great and taught me so much about this unique eco system that I had no idea. I wasn't expecting to see any wildlife but did see a gopher snake which was pretty cool. I learned about the invasive wheat species (weeds) which were introduced by man for cattle but are now taking over the surrounding area in the South Okanagan and killing indigenous species. We learned about the endangered badger (only 150 left in BC) and why this has devastating effects on the burrowing owl. We learned about snakes and contrasted them with the ones in Arizona. All in all, it was pretty cool and I have a much deeper understanding and respect for this area. Also, bring water. If you forget, they sell little squeeze bottles you can fill up. They also have a cool exhibit of animals inside for kids (and adults) to enjoy and learn.

2  Thank Carmen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2017

We went to the Desert Centre but is isn't very good. There was a 1.5 km self-guided walk but it was rather monotonous. Nothing much new to see after the first 10 minutes. A bit of a waste of time, really.

1  Thank ron d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 June 2017

I went with my three year old. No hat, no sunscreen, no water. Not a brilliant plan. However, there were hats to borrow and water available, by donation. It was HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!- like a desert. We walked along the boardwalk to the first shade station and got a real sense of desert. Back at the small visitor centre, my granddaughter spent a lot of time intereacting with the various displays. It's hard to have displays that are interesting to all generations and I think they did that well. Looking forward to going back with her again.

2  Thank 84reidave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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