Skaha Bluffs is known around the world as one of the best climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Skaha Bluffs is known around the world as one of the best climbing spots. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

New parking lot and picnic area coming to Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

The city will turn the access point at Crow Place into a parking and picnic area

Skaha Bluffs will be getting new parking.

The lot will be located on Crow Place, and will have space for 90 parking spots near the access point to Skaha Bluffs.

City council was unanimous in their support of the proposal.

Staff had recommended constructing 40 spots initially, at a cost of $134,000. The 90 spots will cost the city $179,000, to come out of the city’s capital reserve.

Council called for all of the spots to be built to satisfy the demand for the park, which has exploded over COVID-19 and seen neighbouring streets occupied by vehicles parked while their occupants head into the bluffs.

“I’ve been in this community for over 30 years, and one of the best kept secrets from locals in this community are those climbing bluffs,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “I really believe the international community knows more about this than our local climbers do.”

That demand is only expected to grow as vaccinations progress and travel restrictions ease.

“This is something we need to get ahead of. Skaha Bluffs is one of five major international climbing areas. I think that as locals we don’t always appreciate that,” said coun. Katie Robinson.

Robinson pointed to support from local climbing associations, groups, the Penticton Access Society and the Penticton and Area Cycling Association for the 90 spots at Crow Place.

Council also approved additional amenities that staff noted could go into the area in the future, with $4,000 for a picnic area and $10,000 for a water bottle refilling station.

READ ALSO: 5-storey Front Street building rejected by council

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