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Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park is a beautiful wilderness park in the dry land region of the Okanagan. The park offers a variety of experiences; after a hot summer day hiking the area's many trails, relief can be found in the cool waters of lovely Okanagan Lake. This large lake borders the park on both the western and northern sides.

Three smaller mountain lakes are also found within Okanagan Mountain Park. Besides the mountain lakes, spruce and fir forests, grasslands, and a desert covered in ponderosa pine, sagebrush, bitterroot and cactus are all worth exploring. The wilderness park is accessible only by foot, bike, or horseback.


Okanagan Mountain Park is located in southern British Columbia, just west of Kelowna. There are two main trailheads into the park, both of which can be reached from either the north or the south.

From the north, head south from Kelowna along Pandosy Street to Lakeshore Road which leads along the east side of Okanagan Lake to the parking lot at the park. This trip is about 17 km (11 mi) long.

From the south, drive north from Penticton on Naramata Road to Chute Lake. Then drive along Gemmill Lake Road to a parking lot and the trailhead. This route is about 21 km (13 mi) long.

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As the Okanagan was one of the first areas of BC to become developed, intact expanses of wild lands are scarce. Some of the ecosystems found in the Okanagan are very rare, particularily the endangered grassland ecosystem. Okanagan Mountain Park is therefore an important unit in BC's park system.

Many mule deer call the Okanagan region home, and are commonly seen within the park. Rattle snakes are also plentiful in this region, so wear good covered footwear, and be careful not to accidentally overturn large rocks or boulders while exploring Okanagan Mountain Park.

"This park is an important addition to BC's park system as there are very few protected examples of the ecosystems found in the Okanagan."


This is a wonderful area for camping, hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing, windsurfing, and photography. Facilities within the park include pit toilets, water-access campsites, and backcountry campsites. Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park features 24 km (15 mi) of hiking and riding trails. A hike to the top of Okanagan Mountain provides excellent views of Okanagan Lake and the Monashee Mountains.

Wild Horse Canyon is the most popular destination in the park. This is a short, deep canyon where First Nations people apparently trapped wild horses during the 1890s, when these animals were considered to be a nuisance. Pack trails that traversing the park date from the days when the trapping and selling of furs was a part of everyday commerce.

To reach the canyon, leave from the parking lot on a trail that leads through ponderosa pine and grassland for about 3 km (1.8 mi). Cross the creek and then continue uphill for about 5 km (3 mi) into the canyon. It is possible to continue hiking through the canyon to Okanagan Lake. The return trip is about 22 km (13.6 mi) long.

Alternatively, another trail returns to the parking lot, climbing the gully on the west wall of the canyon, and travelling along the ridges on the north side before gradually descending to join up with the main trail by the creek.

Still another hike begins about the half way up the canyon, continuing uphill in a southeast direction to two small lakes, with excellent fishing. It is possible to continue past the lakes to Good Creek Canyon. After following the canyon for approximately 3 km (1.86 mi) the trail arrives at the Kettle Valley Railway station, facing the lake.


Four archaeological sites found within the park are sign of the area's use by BC's earliest inhabitants. More recently, fur traders traversed the park on pack trails that are still visible today.

Citizen action led by the Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society to ensure at least one portion of Okanagan Lake shoreline would remain intact, began in the 1960s. This action eventually led to the park's creation. The BC government, under WAC Bennett (whose home riding contained the area), created Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park on August 23, 1973.

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