McGillivray Lake is a high country lake on the Cahilty Plateau 6 km from Sun Peaks Village. The McGilllivray Lake Forest Service Road connects Sun Peaks Road to McGillivray Lake and the gravel road continues on down to Neskonlith Lake and Shuswap Road. To paddle the lake, follow the gravel road and turn in to the McGillivray Lake Outpost where there is a boat launch. The lake is surrounded by montane forest at 1385m (4544 feet) elevation.
On a smoky summer day, the webcams at Sun Peak showed reasonably clear skies so we launched our boats for a paddle under blue skies. Much of the lake has a shallow shoreline with lilies and smartweed.
The outlet for MGillivray Lake is McGillivray Creek which flows into Little McGillivray Lake, then down to Sun Peaks Village. The channel is shallow and marshy and the McGillivray Lake Recreation Site is right on the shore of the lake by the channel.
There are 3 wooded islands in the lake, making for more interesting paddling.
If we paddle all the small bays of the lake around the shoreline, the distance is 6 km. At the final approach back to the boat launch, Tod Mountain forms the backdrop, somewhat blurry in a summer of smoky conditions.
We loaded our boats then drove into nearby Morrisey Lake for another 2.5 km paddle. McGillivray Lake can be a busy spot on a weekend in summer, but it is a fine destination for weekday or shoulder season paddling.