Just inside the southern boundary of BC Park's Coquihalla Summit Park, a nice little twin lakes paddle with a private campground & lodge is the Coquihalla Lakes, where both the Coquihalla and Coldwater Rivers have their sources. The Coldwater River runs north alongside the highway while the Coquihalla River Runs South towards Hope.
The south lake is a beautiful deep blue and appears to be the deeper lake. It is longer and narrower than the north lake which is more of a round large pond with marshy edges although it has some rather deep looking holes scattered over the lake bed, A short winding channel joins the two lakes and is a nice taste of marsh paddling. From the southern tip of the S lake to the northern edge of the N lake it is about 2- 2&1/2 kms. A leisurely round trip takes about 2-3 hours (longer if you stop to fish or spot tadpoles etc.).
There is a ramp suitable for the launching of small rowboats or canoes and no gas motors over 6 horsepower are allowed. Rentals are available for canoes, peddalos & rowboats. During the July longweekend, our kids (a bit young still for canoeing unsupervised) had a great time on the pedallos, taking them out to go walking on the logs & catch tadpoles.
Lake swimming starts in July and carries on to September. However due to the altitude the evenings can be cool. The north lake especially has lots of logs to walk on, and frogging/tadpole catching can be good.
The area around the lakes is home to beaver, brown bears, grizzly bears, cougars, deer, moose, lynx, many types of birds including
eagles and hawks, loons, all sorts of ducks and geese and, of course wild rainbow trout in the lakes. You won't catch one every minute but when you do - look out! Average catch around 1-1&1/2lbs. Best with a fly rod in the Spring or Fall.
Biking - These lakes along with the lodge are situated on the the Trans Canada Trail which includes sections of the Kettle
Valley Railroad. This is a very popular ride stretching from Hope in the west of the province to Nelson in the east. The best known
sections are around Kelowna (the Mara Canyons) and from Penticton, past the Coquihalla Lakes, down the Coquihalla Canyon to Hope.
On any section you are likely to meet fellow cyclists from all over the world. For the true Mountain Bike afficando the local mountains
contain miles of mountain trails from the simple to the extreme.
Access is quick and simple from Vancouver, about 2 hours from downtown, through Hope and up the Coquihalla Highway(5) to Exit 228, all on 4 lane highways. The turnoff is just North of the toll booths but before the Coldwater Provincial Park turnoff.
Coming South from Merrit look for the sign & turn left. If you hit the toll booths you've just missed it.
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