Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact Quality Recreation Ltd.
Email address: quality-recreation@shaw.ca
Phone: 1-250-545-9943 (Apr - Oct)

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park

About This Park

Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park and Protected Area Virtually at the back door of the City of Vernon, this fine example of north Okanagan grassland is dotted with ponderosa pine and groves of Douglas-fir. The spring wildflower show is truly spectacular. The largely undeveloped park has an all season appeal to those interested in its natural setting. The sloping, paved trail which wanders down to the beautiful private beaches, is filled with informative signs that let you know about the flora and fauna along the trails; in winter, cross-country skiers enjoy the wild beauty here.

A variety of animals, bird-life and reptiles and plant-life reside in this mosaic of grassland communities. To date, 432 varieties of vascular plants have been identified in the park, a rare find in such a small area. This peaceful park is ideal for the study and appreciation of natural history, all year round.

In 2008 Kalamalka Lake Protected Area became part of Kalamalka Lake Park, encompassing an area of 4209 hectares, and is now managed as part of the Park.

Park Size: 4209 hectares

Special Notes:
  • Cliff diving is extremely hazardous. Projecting rock shelves and debris are often hidden just below the surface. Hard impacts with water can empty the lungs of air resulting in serious injury, rapid sinking and possible drowning.
  • Dogs are not allowed in Jade Bay, Juniper Bay and Cosens Bay, except in the designated area at the eastern end of Cosens beach. They must be on leash in all other areas of the park.
  • The extremely hot, dry Okanagan climate can result in overexposure to the sun. Visitors should use a sunscreen and wear a hat during long periods in the sun.
  • There are kiosks at main trailheads with interpretive information.
Stay Safe:
  • This area provides habitat for a variety of snakes, including rattlesnakes. This is no reason to avoid the area, just remember to wear heavy pants and high boots and avoid walking in the long grass and putting hands and feet into crevices that you can’t see into. People who encounter rattlesnakes along trails should detour around them and go on their way. Rattlesnakes will not chase after people and cannot strike beyond the length of their body.
  • Visitors should be aware that bears inhabit the park.
Back to Top

Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Located 8 km south of Vernon city centre off Hwy 6.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
  • Map [PDF 271KB]
  • Brochure [PDF 576KB] - Produced and generously provided by the Friends of Kalamalka Society
Back to Top

Nature and Culture

  • History - Established 11 September 1975.
  • Cultural Heritage - The grasslands and bluffs of the park were traditionally used by the Okanagan Indian Band. Kekuli pits and six sites of lithic artifacts are located in the park along with evidence of small village clusters of pithouses and a larger cultural village. Cosens Bay was the site of a World War Two mortar practice range.
  • Conservation - Ponderosa pine and groves of Douglas-fir are found in the northern portion of the Park, while Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock dominate the area south of Cosens Bay. To date, 432 varieties of vascular plants have been identified in the park, a rare find in such a small area. Included is the red-listed Flat-topped broom-rape. The grasslands above Cosens Bay are part of an ecosystem that is rapidly disappearing in the Okanagan Valley. Kalamalka Lake is one of a handful of unique bodies of water known as marl lakes. When the lake warms in summer, calcium carbonate, or limestone, forms crystals that reflect sunlight and create its distinctive blue and green colours.
  • Wildlife - There is an abundance of rare and endangered wildlife in this small park. White-tailed deer, mule deer, mink, bobcat, black bear, cougar, coyote and red fox occur in the park. Blue-listed mammals include the Western harvest mouse and Townsend’s big-eared bat. A great spot for birdwatchers, the park provides habitat for the Canada goose, Canyon wren, White-throated swift, Western screech owl and Flammulated owl, all of which are blue-listed species. The variety of reptiles here is vast, including pacific rubber boa, western rattlesnake, western yellow-bellied racer, gopher snake, northeastern garter snake, common garter snake, western painted turtle, Great Basin spadefoot toad, and northern alligator lizard. There is even a unique insect, the Immaculate green hairstreak.
Back to Top

Management Planning

Management Planning Information
Back to Top

Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

There are paddling, canoeing and kayaking opportunities at this park. The shoreline is dotted with secluded coves ideal for picnics and swimming.
Cycling

Cycling

Mountain biking is permitted in the park, however, the beaches (Jade, Juniper and Cosens) and trails to Rattlesnake point are not appropriate for biking due to the high levels of use by hikers/walkers. Elsewhere in the park, please stay on trails and watch for other users. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia. A bike rack is located at the Jade/Juniper Bay trailhead.
Fishing

Fishing

Please obey all posted speed and vessel restrictions. Daily kokanee quota is 2. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

Over 14 km of trails provide access to the park’s many ecological features, viewpoints and main beaches. Click here for trail information.

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.
Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is permitted in the Cosens Bay Valley, Bear Valley and Rattlesnake Hill portions of the park found between the Coldstream Trail and the Cosens Bay parking lot. Horses may access Kalamalka Lake at the eastern end of Cosens Bay only.
Hunting

Hunting

Hunting is permitted only within the areas specified on this map: Kalmalka Lake Park Hunting Map. [PDF 657KB]
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are only allowed on Pebble Beach accessed from the Crest Trail and the eastern end of Cosens Bay. A pet beach is accessed from the upper parking lot along the Crest Trail. They are not allowed in any other beach areas. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Swimming

Swimming

Only the swimming areas in the three main bays are well marked with swim buoys. Other pocket beaches are unmarked. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Waterskiing

Waterskiing

Kalamalka Lake is a popular destination for waterskiing, though there is no boat launch in the park.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

There is a viewing platform atop Rattlesnake Point with eight benches situated to make the most of the spectacular view.
Winter Recreation

Winter Recreation

Depending on snow levels, the road or trails into Cosens Bay provide cross-country skiing. Other trails may lead through the grasslands above the bay. The numerous trails in the park are great for snowshoeing providing an opportunity for winter exploration in a safe setting.
Back to Top

Facilities Available at this Park

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park offers a variety of day-use activities accessed from three main parking areas: Red Gate, Cosens Bay and Jade and Juniper Bays.

Red Gate has parking for approximately six vehicles. This location consists of an information shelter just inside the gate and trails that access the upland portions of the park and also loop around to link with both the Cosens Bay and the Jade and Juniper Bay parking areas. The trail to the other two parking areas is wide and easy to follow, while other trails are less developed. The trails from Red Gate are ideal for hiking, walking dogs on leashes, and biking.

Cosens Bay has a space for approximately 20 vehicles. This is the closest parking area to Cosens Bay. Although a dirt road carries on into the park it is for through traffic only for those accessing private properties within the Protected Area. A newly constructed 2.5 km trail leads from the parking lot to day-use facilities at Cosens Bay. There is an information shelter and a pit toilet at the start of the trail. Hiker access to the Okanagan High Rim trail is also from this parking area. Cosens Bay has a large beach of coarse sand that extends into the water, making swimming a treat. Picnic tables are situated along the beach beside the fringe of cottonwood trees that separate the beach from the surrounding grasslands. There are pit toilets where the trail reaches the beach. The trail to Cosens Bay is ideal for hiking, walking dogs on a leash, biking, or horseback riding.

Jade and Juniper Bays is the largest developed day-use area and very popular in the summer. It has two parking lots capable of holding 160 cars.There are information shelters and a wheelchair accessible pit toilet near the parking area. A 600m paved trail runs down a gradual slope to Juniper Bay. There is a bench along the way. At Juniper Bay there are 11 tables on cement pads spread out across an irrigated lawn shaded by a few large Ponderosa pines . There is a BBQ stand beside one of the tables. The tables and lawns overlook the large beach of fine sand which is a great spot for swimming on a hot Okangan day. Shrubs and trees cover the small rocky headland at one end of the bay. Also situated on the headland just off the lawn is a stone and concrete interpretive display with information on native vegetation and wildlife.

The trail to Jade Bay splits from the paved trail about 20 metres from the parking lot. This is a wide gravel trail with a moderately steep slope. It is about 500 metres to the beach. The trail passes through Ponderosa pine with a thick under story of young Douglas fir and shrubs. There is a pit toilet beside the trail 50 metres before the beach. A narrow pebbly beach is rimmed by grass, on which are four picnic tables. The beach is smaller than at Juniper Bay. A short trail along the lake links the two day use areas. Jade and Juniper Bay is ideal for hiking and beach activities.

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are only allowed on Pebble Beach accessed from the Crest Trail and the eastern end of Cosens Bay. A pet beach is accessed from the upper parking lot along the Crest Trail.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park only has pit toilets (that are maintained from April 1st through October 31)- no flush toilets.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

The pit toilet at the Jade/Juniper parking lot is wheelchair accessible as well as one of the picnic tables at Juniper Bay. The paved trail from the parking lot leads right to the table that sits on a paved pad.