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.