Osoyoos Desert Centre (ODC) is a 67-acre nature interpretive facility where visitors explore the extraordinary habitat of the South Okanagan “pocket desert.”
Visitors are invited to take either a guided or self-guided tour along our 1.5 km elevated wooden boardwalk trail. In addition, ODC features an interpretive building with hands-on, interactive exhibits and a native plant demonstration garden showcasing our desert plants. Visitors can also browse through our gift shop, enjoy a snack in our outdoor picnic area, or relax at one of our boardwalk trail kiosks and take in the spectacular surroundings.
Should I take a guided or self-guided tour?
Admission to the Osoyoos Desert Centre (ODC) is the same price whether you take a guided or self-guided tour – choose the option that works best for you. Guided tours last approximately one hour; self-guided tours vary depending upon your pace. Most visitors spend approximately 1 to 1.5 hours on the boardwalk. We do encourage you to take a guided tour. Our trained interpretive guides are very knowledgeable and there is much to see that might be missed with an untrained eye! Guides have insights about the land and know where to look for interesting insects, mammals and birds.
How much time should I allocate at the Osoyoos Desert Centre?
Visitors spend approximately 2 to 3 hours at ODC on average.
What should I bring?
Please check the forecast and be prepared for all sorts of weather – hot, sunny, windy, cold and rain too! The desert can get very hot so please bring sunscreen, a sun hat and WATER. The wooden boardwalk trail is 1.5 km so sturdy comfortable footwear is recommended. There is a picnic area with picnic tables so please bring a snack or bagged lunch to enjoy while visiting. Cameras, walking sticks and binoculars may also add to your enjoyment.
Are you open if it's raining?
Yes, we are open rain or shine! Complimentary umbrellas and hats
are available from our Interpretive building.
Is the Osoyoos Desert Centre wheelchair accessible?
The Interpretive Building and boardwalk trail are wheelchair accessible. One wheelchair is available at the Desert Centre. Please call ahead to book.
Are strollers or bicycles permitted on the boardwalk trail?
Yes, strollers are permitted. No, bicycles are not permitted.
Am I allowed to go off the boardwalk trail?
No, our desert habitat is very fragile and visitors are required to stay on the
boardwalk trail at all times for your own safety, the safety of the animals that
live at the ODC and to prevent damage to the soils and the ecosystems.
Are dogs allowed at ODC?
Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk trail; however, while you tour our facility they are permitted to hang out on our doggy deck – a lovely shaded area with plenty of water provided, as well as lots of love and attention from our ODC volunteers and staff.
Are there washrooms at ODC?
Yes, washroom facilities are available at ODC.
What kind of wildlife lives at the ODC and what do I do if I encounter an animal?
You can find all sorts of information about animals that live in our desert environment on our Flora Gallery and Fauna Gallery pages on our website or at the ODC interpretive building. Encounters with dangerous animals are very rare though there is a chance you will see a bear, badger, deer or coyote. If so, make some noise and leave the area.
Is there parking for my motorhome?
Yes, the ODC has ample parking for vehicles of all sizes.
There is a turn around loop off the parking area for large vehicles.
Is the ODC appropriate for young children?
The interpretive building provides lots of hands on, adult-supervised activities young children can participate in. The boardwalk trail is very fun for children. Please be sure to stay on the boardwalk at all times.
Where can I find more information about the flora and fauna at the ODC?
You can learn more about the plants and animals at the ODC on our Flora Gallery and Fauna Gallery pages on our website or inside our interpretive building.
Can I hike on the boardwalk trail in winter?
No, the Osoyoos Desert Centre is closed from October to April. Visitors are not permitted on site when the ODC is closed.
I saw an animal/flower/etc. at the ODC today. What could it be?
If you see something interesting at the ODC, we encourage you to
take a picture and show our staff or volunteer in the interpretive building
when you return from your walk. We will do our best to identify it.