Lake Provincial Park
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is located
in the Okanagan community of Coldstream
approximately 8 km (5 miles) south from downtown Vernon.
There are two main road routes into Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park
with both ways involving travel on Kalamalka Road in Coldstream.
You can either take Kidston Road off Kalamalka Road and travel to
the main park gate and parking lot or you take Coldstream Creek
Road off Kalamalka Road and then turn onto Cosens Bay Road. From
here you travel approximately 1.5 km (1 mile) to a parking lot and
then have an additional 2.5 km (1.5 mile) trail to the day-use area
situated on Cosens Bay Beach.
The land the park sits on has through a number of changes with first
being inhabited by the First Nation Okanagan Indian Band. The first
European who settled here was Cornelius Cosens in 1893, he later
sold it to Earl of Aberdeen and the establishment of the historic
Coldstream Ranch for raising cattle. Afterwards during W.W.II the
land was used as a commando base and artillery training zone with
warning signs still posted of buried armaments in Cosens Bay. Kalamalka
Lake Provincial Park was eventually established in 1975.
The main highlights of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park include the
large number of different places where you can visit and experience
Kalamalka Lake many featuring sandy or gravel beaches. The easiest
beaches to go visit, especially if you have children, is at Twin
Bays located at the main parking lot at the end of Kidston Road.
Here you can find both Jade and Juniper Bays, some picnic tables,
a grass area, several pit-toilets, places for fishing (with the
appropriate license) and a number of swimming and boating areas
all within a short walk from each other and the parking lot.
Probably the nicest beach on all of Kalamalka Lake but hardest to
get to is found at Cosens Bay. The 2.5 km (1.5 mile) trail to the
beach from the parking lot on Cosens Bay Road is mostly downhill
and can be quite challenging coming back especially during a hot
summer day. Once at the beach you can find a beautiful sandy beach,
great swimming opportunities, some picnic tables, a pit-toilet and
shade trees. There are very limited facilities here but for boaters
the beach makes an excellent destination point to anchor and hang
out. Also make sure you pack in drinking water as there is nothing
Besides the beaches found at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park the
park is well noted in the Vernon area for having some of the best
mountain biking, walking and jogging trails around. Horseback riding
is also allowed in the park, please check park map for suitable
trail network with entry point located at the eastern end of Cosens
Bay. If you are interested in mountain bike trail maps of the area
can be obtained at Sun Country Cycle located at 1340 Kalamalka Lake
Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve is adjacent to Kalamalka Lake Provincial
Park and has very limited access because of the environmental sensitivity
of the area. There is a rough unmarked trail going past large boulders
to a long canyon called Cougar Wall, popular with rock climbers.
You can find a very interesting rock formation along the way including
a number of cliff overhangs with panoramic view of the hill side
on the east side of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park and the hills
beyond towards Okanagan Lake.
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is mainly undeveloped and could prove
to be hazardous if you are not prepared. The weather system in this
part of the Okanagan can change at any time creating miserable conditions
so you need to be ready, have sun screen on, take drinking water
and watch young children and non swimmers especially around the
water as there are no lifeguards present. Also in the spring time
and early summer wood ticks are present so please take the appropriate
Other hazards include possible bear, cougar and rattlesnake encounters
on the trails in the area plus watch out for poison ivy as it grows
near the beaches and could cause discomfort if contacted.
Unfortunately there is no provincial campground in Kalamalka Lake
Provincial Park with the nearest one at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park
located south of Coldstream on Hwy 97 by around 11 km (7 miles).
The nearest private campground is at Dutch's Tent & Trailer
conveniently situated near the Rotary Pier and Kal Beach Park on
Kalamalka Lake Road in Coldstream.
on Kalamalka Lake