3 Must see Lakes of the Okanagan Valley
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
The Okanagan Valley is a gorgeous region within British Columbia, during the summer months the population significantly increases with tourists wanting to take advantage of all it has to offer. A popular activity is simply hanging out by a lake to camp, swim or boat. We too did some exploring of the magnificent lakes it has to offer which leads us to our 3 Must see Lakes of the Okanagan Valley.
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2017 was our first and only summer in the Okanagan Valley, the weather definitely ensured it would be a memorable one!
We went from the town bracing for the worst floods on record, to the worst fire season on record in mere months. There were a few months where you weren’t allowed in the Okanagan Lake due to debris and flooded septic tanks followed by dark smokey skies.
However we made the most of it, exploring as much of the region as we could.
NOTE FOR NON-CANADIANS: In Canada beaches are flat (ie. no waves unless a boat is passing by) and fresh water still with a sandy shoreline however is mega weird bring on the salt water and waves!
#1 Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake aka Kal Lake is by far our favourite!
This is our go to lake to take our visiting friends and family out on our stand up paddle boards. The colour changes in the water are magnificent, the blue hues will change with the sunlight reflection earning the lake it’s name ‘lake of a thousand colours’.
The main beach is crazy busy in the afternoons therefore we tend to bypass this stretch and head out to Long Lake Beach just on Tamarack Place, Vernon. It’s much easier to find a car park and there is hardly anyone else, a little slice of heaven.
Size: 3km wide x 16km long
Location: 4km south of Vernon
Activities: Hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, boating, water sports, picnic areas, canoeing, SUP hire – on main beach, camping – at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park
Beaches: Kal Beach, Cosens Bay Beach, Long Lake Beach, Jade Bay Beach, Juniper Bay Beach, Kekuli Bay Beach, Kirkland Park Beach, and on the south end, Kaloya Regional Park Beach
#2 Okanagan Lake
The Okanagan Lake is by far the biggest and most popular lake when it comes to water sports. You will find many wineries, restaurants, resorts, parks and beaches along its shoreline which is perfect after a day on the water. The view of the mountains and the water is just beautiful hence it makes it onto our list.
Size: 5km wide x 135km long
Location: Vernon to Penticton
Activities: Playgrounds at beaches, hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, boating, water sports, picnic areas, canoeing, camping – at Okanagan Lake Provincial Park
Beaches: Vernon: Kin Beach and Paddlewheel Park Beach
Kelowna: Hot Sands Beach, Boyce-Gyro Beach, Rotary Beach, Sarson’s Beach, and Strathcona Park
Penticton: Okanagan Lake Beach, Skaha Lake Beach, Marina Way Beach, Okanagan Lake Park Beach, Sudbury Beach and Three Mile Beach
Highlights: Ogopogo – which is sort of like the legend of the Loch Ness Monster but Canadian eh!
Click here for more information on Okanagan Lake Provincial Park.
#3 Mabel Lake
Ok… so a majority of the lakes in the Okanagan Valley have a beautiful view therefore it’s easy to list this one under that category. This one also has a beautiful scenic drive going for it. In the 37km from Lumby you will see luscious green fields, lots of trees and you can even stop off at the Shuswap Falls for a gander.
We went late in the afternoon for a stand up paddle the scenery was spectacular. The picnic area however was painful due to mother nature… mosquitoes!!! Doh, we had forgotten to pack the Aerogard! Needless to say we bailed as quickly as we could after the paddle.
Size: 35km length
Location: 37km North of Lumby, British Columbia
Activities: Playground, hiking, fishing, wildlife watching, boating, water sports, picnic areas, canoeing, camping – at Mabel Lake Provincial Park. Marina hire – at Mabel Lake Resort and Golf incl boats, SUPs, Kayaks and more!
Click here for more information on Mabel Lake Provincial Park.
Until next time…
John & Renee
What activities do you like to do in summer on the lake?
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