People are destroying Penticton’s iconic hoodoos | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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People are destroying Penticton’s iconic hoodoos

The Okanagan Lake hoodoos just north of Penticton alongside Highway 97.

Penticton’s unique hoodoos are a tourist attraction but they might be gone if they aren’t protected.

People travel to see this bizarre looking geological phenomenon and some climb them to get a better view, but they are more delicate than they appear and often pieces break off as people climb them.

“I would say people don’t understand how fragile they are, or maybe they’re not thinking about it in that way. I mean also of course some people don’t care or think beyond their own immediate actions,” Lyndie Hill, CEO of Penticton’s Hoodoo Adventure Company, said.

The hoodoos appear solid but they have been slowly falling apart over time, and people climbing them chips away at what is left.

Hoodoos are formed by erosional action of wind, rain, snow,along with other chemical and physical processes.
Hoodoos are formed by erosional action of wind, rain, snow,along with other chemical and physical processes.

“They kind of feel like clay when you put water on them,” Hill said.

The hoodoos are not only a big tourist attraction, they are also an important habitat.

“They’re easy to dig into which is good for the birds and the bats, so they can easily make homes there, but then enticing for people to dig away at them as well,” Hill said. 

They are also known as a historically significant place for the Penticton Indian Band, which was unavailable for comment at the time of writing this article.

READ MORE: The 'white stilts' of Okanagan Lake

“Traditionally hoodoos were known as a medicinal rock. So that’s the traditional thought behind them when we were doing our research for the company. They were thought to be a healing place,” Hill said.

There are signs telling people not to climb the hoodoos along the Kettle Valley Railway. Hill thinks more barriers and signage would be helpful to preserve the hoodoos.

“You’re going to have people who are going to do stuff regardless of signage and no matter how much red tape you have people are going to climb over it,” Hill said. “But it might make people think twice before they do something. They also might not realize it’s quite dangerous up there too.”

Hill hopes people will make an effort to avoid damaging these landmarks.

“Our hoodoos are really unique to the area and they’re iconic. It's pretty important to make sure they are protected,” Hill said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jesse Tomas or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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