The best place to start a trip to divide lake or CN Trail without a doubt is at the gate just off timberline rd. We left the gate and it was a bit of an uphill start and continued to the divide lake-old cntrail intersection then proceeded down about 4km to the main parking lot then back along the road back up to where we parked. In all we traveled about 9km for about 3hours including lunch. Half the trip down from the divide – oldcntrail intersection was real nice, single track, easy, 3rd quarter was a bit more technical and the last quarter we mostly walked the bikes down, very steep and beyond our abilities. Over all it was a nice round trip.
Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park entrances and parking lots.
– In Kelowna, B.C., head south on Lakeshore Road. After you pass both Bertram Creek
Regional Park parking spots on the right, watch for another large unpaved pull out to your rigt. You will see the Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park Trail Head and Information Gazebo on your left.
-travel south on Lakeshore Rd. past the main parking lot, to park on the side of the road and enter the Wild Horse Canyon Trail. GPS UTM point for the Gated entrance (the gate that shows on the map where Wild Horse Canyon Trail meets Lakeshore Road) to the Wild Horse Canyon Trail is; 11u 0311970E 5517284N
-Timberline Rd – park near the gate and walk up the forest service road to Okanagan Mountain Summit.
-To get to the South parking lot. Drive to Naramata, take Chute Lake Rd. North and watch for the Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park entrance on your left.
-Travel by boat in the Okanagan Lake until you reach the backcountry camping areas and marine sites.
– Campfires are prohibited in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park.
– only backcountry campsites are available at Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. Backcountry campsites do not include pit toilets. From the north parking lot, follow Golden Mile-Boulder Trail (moderate; 2 miles/3.5 km) to the Wildhorse Canyon Trail (moderate; 3 miles/5 km) and finally the Buchan Bay Trail (easy; 1 mile/1.6 km) to reach the wilderness campsites at Buchan Bay.
Wilderness campsites are located near the south parking lot. More sites are located at Divide Lake on Okanagan Mountain, reached via the
Divide Lake North Trail (10 miles/16 km return) from the Timberline / Rimrock Rd parking lot, or via the Mountain Goat Trail (6 miles/10 km return) from the south parking lot. The campsites at Baker and Victor Lakes can reached by following the Baker Lake Trail (moderate; 2.5 miles/4 km return) from Divide Lake.
Hiking trails provide an excellent opportunity to ramble around and see unique plants and animal life in this semidesert wilderness region. The lake and mountain views are good from the top of Okanagan Mountain, but wear sturdy footwear (this park is in rattlesnake country) and carry water between camping areas – specially in summer! In addition to the backcountry campsites, facilities also include horse-loading ramps in the north and south parking lots, as well as marine campsites and mooring buoys on Okanagan Lake. Hike to the top of Okanagan Mountain on the Divide Lake
North Trail (moderate; 10 miles/16 km return) from the Rimrock Rd parking lot for beautiful views of the lake to the west and the Monashees to the east, and check out the four archaeological sites in the park.
The park is good for mountain biking. Remember that motorised vehicles are prohibited. Almost all the trails are open to mountain bikers. Popular trails include Commando Bay Trail (lengthy, moderate) and Bounder Trail (short, technical).
Okanagan Mountain suffered a wildfire in 2003
Memories of the Kelowna Okanagan Mountain Park Fire
(2003 first Grade Six Language Arts assignment of the year)
When I think about the Kelowna fire of 2003 I think about the smoke,
water bombers, helicopters, trestles, firestorm, incredible power, evacuations, neighbours, seeing the flames, wow, cool, scary, thankfulness, hiking, hot dry summer, renewing.
On the first day of the fire I was hiking at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park, behind Crawford Estates, where many of the homes were lost. It was a great hike to Fraggle rock
and by the time we got home the smoke was really thick over the valley. Eventually Mom suggested that there might be a forest fire around Kelowna.
Smoke, the irritating thing from the fire that goes everywhere, you can’t get arid of it.
The smoke makes my throat hurt, eyes red, it makes the earth dark, and you can’t see the mountains. On the day of the firestorm the smoke was so bad it made me feel sick, it was so dark. I found ashes, leaves, pine needles, and other things from the fire.
The flames seemed so close to our house. The flames were, Wow cool but scary. I was amazed by the speed of the flames going across the mountain side. The flames were so scary and looked so close that everybody thought we were on alert and were packing up. The first time we saw the fire it was several whole mountains away and I could see it from my bedroom window, now the fire was only about 6km away and we had to look at it from the other side of the house!
Renewing, it’s a great thing the fire can do, how it can triple the deer population, and maybe because of the fire the bighorn sheep will move in. The ash works like fertilizer, the grass will be really good. The fire burns out the dead trees and mess, letting seeds work. With one tree if there isn’t a fire in 25 years the seeds won’t work. The fire will make the land fresh and new, more like a grassland.
I hope nobody plants trees there because that would wreck it. Okanagan Mountain Park was a class A Park, that means that it is ready for a fire and people want a fire there. I can’t wait to go hiking where the fire was.
(Dad’s addendum) We did go for a hike where the fire burned behind the Kettle Valley Development.
The first evidence of new Life after the fire was not a… Phoenix. No, it was a Squirrel, spreading the seeds from a fallen pine cone as she ate her hard earned dinner.
Between Divide Lake on the Divide Lake Trail and the Okanagan Mountain Summit, you will pass the 1950 DC3 crash site. The DC3 that crashed carried 18 individuals.
Divide Lake Trail Info
The 16 passengers survived but the pilot and co-pilot died. The Plane is said to have clipped some trees very close to the tower and hit the ground north east of Divide Lake. The survivors were rescued by a local Search and Rescue Team via the Kettle Valley Railway from Naramata and taken to Penticton. There is no trail to access the site.
In 2005 I looked for the crash site on Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park but could not find a trace of it. I think the 2003 firestorm cleared any remains of it out.
*******Update, read throught the dozens of comments below to find gps latitude and longitude for the crash site and information like this, ”
Comment: Hi everybody:
Here’s an update that some of you may be looking for as to whether the wreckage still exists.
Yes it does. I went up there on the 29th of July, 2013 and found it after many grouling hours of hiking. Some of the GPS coordinates above are not correct, which caused me to hike more then I had hoped for in order to find it, however I did continue on and using the coordinates from another web site, I was able to find it. The correct coordinates are: (I stood in the middle of the wreckage site and marked a waypoint with my GPS so I knew it would be unmistakable) N 49°43.553′ x W 119°35.130′
The best way to get to the wreckage (in my opinion) is to go to the first right hand corner on the road after the 7KM marker (its about 2-300 feet past the marker). You can’t miss it as someone has piled up a little pile of rocks on the east side of the road to mark the corner. From there start heading south-east following your GPS to the coordinates listed.
It will take you about an hour and a half of hiking (from the rock pile) to get there. Also, as a warning, the hiking is VERY hard, and if you are not a strong hiker I recommend you don’t tackle this hike. If you do, at least be with a few other persons for safety, and leave yourself plenty of rest time. This is a forest that has many downed trees from the fire, and much new growth which is about 8 to 10 feet tall. Not to mention that you will be going through 2 or 3 valleys depending on what path you take which all consist of large rocks and boulders. There is absolutely no path into it so you just have to keep heading in the direction of the coordinates until you get there. Also, be aware that this area is very active with wildlife. On my hike I came across an 8 point buck (his rack was huge!), a doe, a moose, and her baby. All of which caught me off guard and scared the hell out of me each time. Make sure you wear good boots and long pants as you be rubbing up against muc h undergrowth and downed branches. And make sure you bring lots of water, you’ll be needing it.
As for the crash site, I found one engine, one wing section, one propellor, and a bunch of other debris strewn all over the place. Most of it looks as though it has been untouched by the forest fire. I did take a bunch of pictures, and agree with others about not posting them, however I also don’t think everyone could do this hike so I will probably send them to whoever asks me and I may post them elsewhere on the internet and provide a link later.
I did not try to get to the tail section, so if you want to see that you’ll have to reference the other posts above and find it yourself.
Hope that helps some of you wondering if it still exists. Good luck if you tackle the hike yourself. 🙂
” “A few of us went today and found the crash site. Nothing has changed at the site except that it is a lot more open and you can see in all directions for a long way. It is still tough slugging to get there. The fire did very little, if any, damage to the components that are there. We were thrilled to find the fuselage/tail section on our way back out. We had never seen this before on any of our previous trips.”