HomeOn the WaterKamloops Lake

Every year we paddle Kamloops Lake and are surprised to see so few boats.    Its mostly a problem of access.   Any boat can travel downstream from Kamloops, but motorized boats have to be careful of the sandbars all the way down.   It is too far for canoes or kayaks to go all the way down or go back up, so we have to rely on 3 main access points.

Usually we paddle from Cooney Bay.   We drive towards Tranquille and take the left fork, passing by the entrance and continuing along a potholed road to a parking area.   At high water, the beach here disappears, but it is a fairly good spot to launch your boat otherwise.   Mosquitoes are a nuisance here from June 20 to late July since the area behind the bay floods.  From the launch spot, paddlers round the point into Cooney Bay.   Beyond Conney Bay are several good landing spots.   One of the best is at a point right before Battle Bluff.   A large golden eagle sat on a tree at the end of the point when we landed there.   Battle Bluff rises vertically out of the lake at 3.5 km from the launch point.   A few nesting birds swoop out of niches above.   The next spot after Battle Bluff is at Frederick.

The best access point to Kamloops Lake is at Savona at the town park or at the provincial campground.   A route can be paddled past the outlet to the Thompson River, then up the lake towards Copper Creek.   A very worthwhile destination is Painted Bluffs Provincial Park.   This takes about 1.5 hours each way to paddle, depending on wind conditions.

A new access point is now available at Tobiano.   Paddlers can pay at $10 fee to park at the lakes edge and launch.   Its nice to now have a place to access the middle of the lake.

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Kamloops Trails

About Kamloops Trails

I started exploring this area in 1976 and I continue to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, I chose to share this information. Getting out 12 months each year, I continue to explore trails, tracks, routes, and waterways of the Kamloops area and beyond.


Kamloops Lake — 4 Comments

  1. Enjoyed your comments on Battle Bluff on Kamloops Lake, however, I am a bit to old to make the climb. But I am interested in any information about the name "Battle Bluff", I also understand there is a rock cairn at the top. Can you elaborate what  the cairn is all about?
    I would appreciate anything you can add in this regard.

  2. I can't remember what it says on the cairn, but I found this about the name "Battle Bluff" in a book called "British Columbia Place Names" by G.P.V. and Helen B. Akrigg.  Here's the quote from p. 15 (Baltzly's words in italics):
    " Writing of Dr. A.R.C.Selwyn's survey party, which passed this bluff in 1871, Benjamin Baltzly, the photographer who accompanied them, recorded:
    Here, at the foot of this rock, a naval battle was fought about a hundred years ago between two Indian tribes–at least so the Indians say.  The victorious tribe stained or painted a large projecting rock, which is about 15 feet above water, with some kind of red material to commemorate the place. Many of the present Indians have superstitious notions in relation to this place.  The Bluff had no name, although it is the most prominent point on the lake, so we named it Battle Bluff."

  3. Hi to all.  I was at Cooney Bay all day today. What a beautiful place to enjoy the calm of Kamloops Lake. However I was very dissapointed to discover that the present owners of the Tranquille Hospital property are very strict on everyone leaving the beach by 4pm. This is a provincial park and a Kamloops institution for families, Hikers, Fishermen and everyone else who enjoys the "Tranquility) of this place. Its a darn shame we are not alowed access to public property.

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