Reno residents Jake and Lindsay decide to go on a SUP tour of remote lakes in the Canadian Rockies. Follow them on their trip with this blog series as they “Find Their Lakeshore” in the beautiful landscape of our northern neighbor.
Here is Part 1:
My husband, Jake, and I were introduced to paddle boarding about five months ago. It only took one day paddling on Lake Tahoe for us to fall in love with it and we immediately bought two inflatable boards from Lakeshore. Although we have always been close and support each other’s hobbies, paddle boarding is the first activity that Jake and I both love to do together. For him (a guy who hates crowds), paddle boarding is the perfect way to avoid the masses and see beautiful lakes from a different perspective. There’s nothing like the feeling of launching from a busy beach and paddling off into the distance to serenity, leaving the beachgoers behind. I love paddling for that and many other reasons, most of which stem from my passion for the outdoors.
Once we knew we were hooked, we couldn’t go on a trip soon enough. We chose to head to the Canadian Rocky Mountains and paddle as many lakes as we could in 5 days – including any that require a hike in (hence the inflatable SUPs). Thanks to the good people at Lakeshore we also get to share this adventure with the paddle boarding community. Here we go!
Osoyoos Lake, BC: Our first lake we paddled on Canadian waters isn’t in the Rocky Mountains, but was still worth the time. In fact, the elevation of Osoyoos Lake is only 906 ft above sea level. We stopped in the lake town of Osoyoos, BC (small town only about 5 miles across the U.S.-Canadian border) to visit family before heading east to the glacier lakes, so why not paddle it? When you see a lake, you paddle it. Duh. The town of Osoyoos (population ~5,000) is nestled on the lake, which extends across the Canadian border into the United States (just above Washington). It is located at the south end of the Okanogan Valley, which is Canada’s wine country. The lake was warm, around 75 °F, and we launched from a floating dock. There’s something we won’t see again on this trip: a warm lake.
Since the lake is the livelihood of the area and can be busy with boats, we chose a calm, early morning paddle. We decided to paddle across the lake and follow the shoreline. We paddled by a local provincial park (similar to a state park in the U.S.), which held campers galore on a piece of land that stuck out into the lake like a long tonsil. The view of the shore was amazing – we saw hills that looked a lot like those at home in Reno, NV, except these ones were also full of wineries and grape vines. Don’t worry; we drank our share of wine after paddling the lake.
As we paddled along the lake I am fairly certain we ventured into U.S. waters so we made sure to stay away from land. Apparently you can paddle your heart out into the U.S., but if you dock on land or hitch to another boat, customs comes to get you. Not something we wanted to happen on this particular afternoon.
After paddling through some reeds we crossed the lake to head back. We didn’t go far around Osoyoos Lake, maybe 1-2 miles, but it sure was a nice lake to start the trip with. On a side note, we also checked out Spotted Lake, which is a mineral lake just outside of town. Most of the water evaporates in the summer, leaving colored mineral pockets behind. It is definitely worth the time if you ever get the chance.
Click a link below to read the 6-part series to their story: