The Okanagan Similkameen in the southern interior of British Columbia,
is truly a beautiful part of the province. The scenery is unsurpassed.
Summers are hot and sunny and winters are moderate. Great sandy beaches,
good swimming, boating and excellent fishing makes summer days carefree
and fun. Winter brings exciting skiing and ice fishing. The Okanagan Similkameen
is a region for all seasons. Helping to preserve this vacation wonderland
are thirty-one provincial parks, fourteen different eco reserves and three
large wilderness parks.
Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park:
A wilderness park in the Okanagan Similkameen is Okanagan Mountain Provincial
Park, on the east side of Okanagan Lake, in the Kelowna area. Overlooking
the lake is 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of wilderness that is accessible
only on foot, bikes or horseback. Landscape features mountain lakes, grassland
plus fir and spruce forests. A climb to the top means wonderful views
of the lake and the Monashee Mountains. Facilities include trails and
rustic campsites. Between the cities of Kelowna and Penticton, are six
marine campgrounds, many bays and sandy beaches along the undeveloped
33 km (20 mi.) of shoreline. Water exploring this region is truly a fun
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From the south, reach the park trailhead from Penticton. Take the Naramata
Road to Chute Lake, from here take the right fork along Gemmill Lake Road
to the parking lot.
To reach the park from the north, drive 17 km (11 mi.) south of Kelowna
on Pandosy Street, then go down the east side of Okanagan Lake along Lakeshore
Road. Stay on this road till the northeast parking lot for the park.
Hiking in the Park:
This wilderness region offers hiking and riding trails. For your own safety
and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated
trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
hiking means being prepared for the unexpected, always carry food, water,
waterproof clothing, and a camp stove. Survival gear and a first aid kit
are essentials when backcountry hiking. Choose a site that is well away
from trails and water when setting up a campsite. Pack out all the garbage,
do not bury it. Never remove anything from the wilderness and keep your
distance watching animals in the wild. Leave as little impact as possible,
help preserve the wilderness areas in British Columbia so others can enjoy
it. This is rattle snake country, be very careful and wear good hiking
boots. Be safe, have fun!