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Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Please Note: Thieves are targeting vehicles in parking lots
Please protect yourself by not leaving any valuables in your vehicle. Please report any suspicious activity to the RCMP.
Park access via the south entrance
Please be aware that access to Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park via the south entrance is very rough and a high clearance vehicle is recommended.
About This Park
Above the lakeshore are over 10,000 hectares of rugged landscape with mountain lakes, grasslands and spruce-fir forests accessible only on foot, horseback or bicycle. Trails and rustic campsites are the only facilities in this area of the wilderness. A wonderful setting for hikers – a climb to the top of Okanagan Mountain will lead you to beautiful scenic lake views to the west and the Monashee Mountains to the east.
A boater’s paradise, this wilderness park dominates the east side of Okanagan Lake between Kelowna and Penticton. Six marine campgrounds and secluded bays and sheltered sandy beaches tucked into the 33 km of undeveloped shoreline make water exploring a true adventure.
Established Date: August 23, 1973
Park Size: 11,038 hectares
Know Before You Go
- Good, sturdy footwear is essential. Summers are hot in this arid park and hikers should carry water between camping areas. Mountain bikers should carry a map of the park with them at all times.
- Mushroom picking or harvesting is prohibited in provincial parks.
Hiking SafelyWildfires have produced many hazards in the area. Visitors should be aware of these hazards and the increased risk of injury prior to entering the park. The hazards include unstable trees, holes and loose rock. The hazards have been reduced along the main trail system and camping areas. Travel off the main trail system has an increased level of risk. If visitors choose to enter this burnt area, they can reduce their risk by:
- Remaining on the main trail network.
- Waiting for favourable weather. Calm conditions with no rain or snowfall are optimal for travelling safely.
- Travelling quickly to reduce exposure time.
- Spreading groups out to reduce risk of multiple casualties.
- Stopping or camping only in open flat areas at least one tree length from standing trees.
- Travelling carefully since contact with roots or trees may cause a tree to fall.
- Avoiding steep slopes – falling trees and loose rocks may slide downhill.
- Leaving the area or taking shelter if trees are actively falling.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
- History: This park was established August 23, 1973.
Culture: The colourful history of the Okanagan Valley is very evident in the park. There are archaeological sites and provincially significant First Nations pictographs found on rock outcrops and canyon walls. At one time, the local Salish Indians used Wild Horse Canyon as a wild-horse trap.
Historic trails form part of the current trail network, some dating back to 1860, when Father Pandosy established an oblate mission near Kelowna. Settlers used a trail through Wild Horse Canyon, but finding the south end of the trail crossed extremely rough and rocky country, Father Pandosy instituted a better trail higher up to the east.
Good’s Creek Canyon Trail was named for Dave Good, supplier of survey crews for the Kettle Valley Railway, built in 1915. Commando Bay was used to secretly train Chinese-Canadians for guerrilla warfare in 1944, during World War II.
Little remains at the crash site of a DC3 passenger plane that went down in December of 1950 roughly one km northeast of Divide Lake. The two CP Air pilots died in the crash, while 16 others on board were rescued by local search and rescue teams. There is no trail access to the site.
Conservation: The park is a representative example of the Okanagan Basin and Okanagan Highlands. The terrain ranges from the deeply incised melt water channels of Good Creek and Wildhorse Canyon to the 1579m high Okanagan Mountain with spectacular examples of heavily glaciated rock terrain including classic rock drumlins, grooves, flutes and striations.
The park encompasses ecosystems from three different biogeoclimatic zones: the bunchgrass zone in some of the lower but more exposed areas, the ponderosa pine zone in much of the lower elevations and the interior Douglas fir zone on the upper mountain reaches. Significant old growth Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce covers more than 2500 hectares. The park’s plant life represents the influence of both the dry southern and wetter northern climates. The park protects a significant portion of undeveloped lakeshore along Okanagan Lake.
Wildlife: The variety of ecosystems represented in the park leads to an abundance of wildlife that is surprising in an area so close to Kelowna.
The rugged rocky terrain is habitat for mountain goats. White-tailed deer, moose, elk, lynx, marten, coyote are also found in the park. Small but very important species are the blue listed Western harvest mouse, Nuttall’s cottontail (the furthest northerly occurrence) and Spotted bat. The Northern alligator lizard and Western skink can be found under rocks or bark in open wooded areas while the Yellow-bellied racer prefers grasslands and open fields.
Blue listed reptile species found in the park include Western painted turtle, Rubber boa, Gopher snake, Western blue racer and Western rattlesnake. The park protects habitat for five blue and two red listed bird species including the Western grebe and Whiteheaded woodpecker.
- Management Planning Information
- There is currently no approved valid management plan for this area. Management plans are prepared as soon as practicable, subject to available resources and the ability of key planning partners to participate.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Cabins / Huts
Pit or Flush Toilets
Wilderness camping is allowed at Baker Lake and Divide Lake, where limited facilities like pit toilets and fire rings are provided. There are 7 marine boat-in campgrounds; Buchan Bay, Commando Bay, Goode’s Creek, Van Hyce Beach, Reluctant Dragon Cove, Halfway Bay and Halfway Point along the lake. Additional camping is allowed at the South parking lot where there are two tables, two fire rings, space for two tents (no tent pads) and a pit toilet.
Mooring of uninhabited vessels is not permitted at anytime within the park. Vessels that are found uninhabited, tied to a mooring buoy or tied on shore could be impounded and removed at the owners expense. For additional information on mooring and marine concerns, please contact the area supervisor directly for clarification if needed.