Named after the beautiful Kalamalka Lake (Lake of a Thousand Colours), this park encompasses 978 hectares of pristine natural beauty in the northern part of the Okanagan Valley. Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, has year-round appeal, especially if you’ve looking for a north Okanagan getaway that doesn’t involve really getting away. On the northeast side of Kalamalka Lake, this park is a well-preserved remnant of the natural grasslands that once stretched from Vernon to Osoyoos. Kalamalka Lake is unique in that it is known as a “marl” lake. When the lake warms in the summer, dissolved limestone crystallizes giving the lake a distinctive blue and green hue. When the lake cools, the limestone crystals disappear.
From the spectacular wildflower display in the spring to the relative seclusion of the beaches and boating spots in summer; from the golden-hued forests in autumn to the rolling, cross-country ski trails in winter, this park is a favourite with visitors year-round.
Two interesting archaeological sites lie within park boundaries, and you may see coyote, deer, black bear, Columbian ground squirrels, yellow-ballied marmots, mink, bobcat and red fox.
Pacific rattlesnakes, shy creatures who wish only to be left alone, are an important part of this fascinating ecosystem. Vegetation in the park is extremely diverse with 432 species of vascular plants identified, including ten species considered rare in British Columbia. This amount of plant diversity is quite extraordinary for a park of this size.
There are no camping facilities within the park, however the park offers a variety of day-use activities accessed from three main parking areas: Red Gate, Cosens Bay and, largest of the three, the parking lot at the trailhead to Jade and Juniper Bays.
A large portion of the park contains multiuse hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails. Kalamalka Lake was an artillery range during World War II, so give any suspicious, bombshell-shaped objects a wide berth and report these objects to a park official. Juniper Bay is the most developed area in the park, this area is wheelchair accessible and has a children’s playground, picnic tables, toilets, water and a swimming area. There are additional swimming areas at Jade Bay and Cosens Bay.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is located 5 miles (8 km) south of Vernon off Highway 6, via Kalamalka Road.
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