Baker Lake is located on Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. I drove to the south boundary parking lot through Naramata to Chute Lake Road. It is 6 km of gravel then 1.5 km of rough road. It is a total of 25 km from Penticton.
If you are coming north, access is via Lakeshore Road from Kelowna.
Juanmobile IV wishing to be 4WD
Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park encompasses 10,542 hectares of natural lakeshore to
mountaintops in the Okanagan, an intensively developed region. No other park in the Okanagan
provides the upland wilderness for hiking, camping and fishing or the remote beaches.
To reach Baker Lake, I decided to do a loop. First I started the hike to Divide Lake via Mountain Goat Trail.
This place suffered the devastating effects of the wildfires of 2003. Many of you will remember when the Okanagan Wildfire of 2003 entered the City of Kelowna. Close to this area you can find Fire Recovery Tours in the comfort and security of specially equipped luxury SUVs but personally I think that $137 is an outrageous price just to see burned land.
The Wildfires have produced many hazards in the area, during my hike I keep an open eye of unstable trees, holes and loose rock.
I have views of Penticton Town, where the Okanagan Lake ends. On the background you can see Skaha Lake.
Once I finished Mountain Goat Trail, I reached a service road used to access the towers of Okanagan Montain. From the end of Mountain Goat Trail, it is just a matter of meters before you can reach Divide Lake. If you think than a 10 kms roundtrip hike is more than enough for you, I would recommend to spend couple of hours on the shore of this interesting lake, there is a campsite and you can fish as well.
In my case, I have other thing in mind, and I keep doing my hike towards Baker Lake. After 5km I reached the lake. As Divide Lake there is a campsite and fishing. From here you can do a short hike to reach Norman Lake.
What a hot day, I was the only soul around while the shorelines of Okanagan Lake were full of people. I didn't bring a bathing suit but I couldn't avoid the temptation of a quick dip.
On my way back I took Frederick Creek Trail.
Fires are not necessarily bad. They are part of a natural part of a healthy grassland or forest ecosystem. Fire reduces the build-up of dead and decaying leaves, logs and needles that accumulate on the forest floor. It reduces or eliminates the overhead forest canopy, increasing the sunlight that stimulates new growth from seeds and roots.
Many plants and animals have adapted to fire. Both lodgepole pine and jack pine have resin-sealed cones that stay on trees for many years. The heat of fire melts the resin and the cones pop open. Thousands of seeds then scatter to the ground and grow into new stands of pine. Woodpeckers feast on bark beetles and other insects that colonize in newly burned trees.
Okanagan Lake and Summerland on the right
But the fire that happened in this place during the summer of 2003 was so big, that it created its own weather system leading to more fires. It happened because of an effect called "thermal buoyancy" - air around a very intense fire heats and rises, the fire pulls in more surrounding air, and a wind pattern emerges from the cycle.
This is a nice place to stay, but if someday you visit this area, please be aware of the hazards.
1. Elev: 966m N49'40.787" W119'35.047" Goat Trail 5km
2. Elev: 1493m N49'42.545" W119'36.145" Baker Lake Trail 5km
3. Elev: 1571m N49'42.735" W119'36.494" Okanagan Mountain
4. Elev: 1385m N49'42.904" W119'37.435" Junction Baker Lake and Frederick
5. Elev: 1324m N49'43.128" W119'37.567" Baker Lake 4km to Trailhead South Parking Lot
6. Elev: 940m N49;41.157" W119'37.974" Trailhead South Park Lot 6km
Total Round Trip: 20km (12.5miles)
Time: 6:30 hours
Elevation gain: 631m (2070ft)
Round trip: 864 kms (540 miles)