Cosen's Bay, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia
I would like to start by saying that Kalamalka Lake in my opinion is one of the nicest lakes in the world, but take that with a grain of salt because of course I haven’t visited every lake on the planet. That being said, National Geographic tends to agree with me as they once voted Kalamalka Lake as one top ten in the world and when National Geographic says something you should probably listen. It is nicknamed “the lake of many colors”, due to the gorgeous arrangement of blues and greens displayed in an array of every shade imaginable. Not only is the lake visually pleasing, but it can also offer physical enjoyment while you splash around in the crystal clear luke-warm waters. Kalamalka is nestled in the dry, semi-arid Okanagan Valley, British Columbia and on a super hot summer day it seems as if the lake almost hypnotizes you, drawing you in with it’s beautiful azure color pallete.
If you think the name Kalamalka might sound Hawaiian, then you would be right. It was supposedly named by a Hawaiian settler who married into the First Nations population in the 1700s and the word is said to mean “the sun of America” in Polynesian language. Though this legend has been disputed by local First Nations people.
There are many amazing parks and beaches on Kalamalke Lake, but each area deserves it’s own article. Here is our “Cosen's Bay, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia”.
From the city of Vernon a short drive takes you to Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park and offers gorgeous views of the lake below and the desert landscape in the background. There are 3 separate entrances to the park each with ample parking. On this occasion we parked in the main parking and we got there early before the crowds of tourists had arrived.
It is a large Provincial Park at 3,218 hectares and there are many different trails to explore. We were heading to Cosen’s Bay so we took The Grassland Trail. Every trail in this park leads to something beautiful and they are definitely worth the time and energy.
Just a short 20 minute hike over the hill and you are treated to this blue beauty. The day we came was slightly cloudy, so at first the lake was a bit of a darker blue and started becoming a more lighter blue as the day heated up.
Benches are strategically placed throughout the park to give visitors the best views available. This would be an excellent meditation spot or just a place to sit and enjoy nature and be with your own thoughts.
The park is dry and desert like in some areas, so these little prickly pear cactus are all over and hard to spot until it’s too late and they can stick into you with little barbs making them hard to remove. Ask me how I know!
We strayed from the path slightly to be able to enjoy this jaw dropping view of Cosen’s Bay from above. At this lookout you can truly see the incredible light blue color, which is created as calcium carbonate flakes heat up and reflect the blue skies above. By this point in our hike we were hot and sweaty, so seeing the turquoise water below was such a welcome sight and the fact that we made it there before the crowds was even better. One pretty cool thing about this spot is that there are basically only two ways to get there and that’s by boat or by hiking, but that doesn’t keep boatloads of partying vacationers from filling up the beach by the afternoon. All the power to them, they’re on vacation and I would pull up to this incredible beach while partying on a boat as well.
While straying from the trail a bit we came across this pretty cool tree that for some strange reason grew in a gnarly circle.
As you can see the beach is pretty huge, so even if there are lots of people you will usually still get a decent spot. The water is perfect and the beach has nice fine white sand, which is easy on the feet and has an ideal gradual increase in depth, making it a great place for the kiddos to swim as well.
Now there’s some “Instagram Gold”, as I like to call it!
***** Five Stars
Cosen’s Bay at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park is definitely one of my faves, which is why I’m giving it five stars. I know what your thinking, “you gave the last two lake reviews five stars” and you’d be right, but I’m starting with my favorite spots first, so….. Five stars all around!
The blue water, the scenery and the wonderful sandy beach is all you need in life, right? If you said “no”, then we can’t be friends. Anyways, Cosen’s Bay is a must for anybody visiting the area and if you didn’t book it yet, do it now because the Okanagan is becoming more popular as the years go on and that’s not too surprising given that the area has so much to offer.
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