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.