Visiting Skaha Lake BC
Skaha Lake is one of the top reasons why a lot of people love to visit Penticton, British Columbia. The lake features a wide white sandy beach, a lakefront park, and a beautiful promenade. Aside from the numerous water activities available, visitors can also enjoy a fun picnic with family and friends while basking in the beautiful green scenery around the lake. Here are a few important things that you need to know in order to better appreciate your visit here.
Skaha Lake is located in Penticton, British Columbia which is 50 minutes away from Kelowna and 4 hours away from Vancouver. It borders the Cascade Mountains to the west, Okanagan Lake to the north, Okanagan dry forests to the northeast, and the Columbia Plateau to the south. If you’re coming from Okanagan Lake, the best way to get to Skaha Lake is through the 3.8-mile point-to-point channel pathway.
Originally Named Lac Du Chien
The lake first appeared on maps in 1866 and it was named or labeled “Lac Du Chien” which is French for “Dog Lake.” It was labeled as such because it was how the Okanagan Indians called the lake in their own language. As time went on, the people in the area then began to simply call it, Dog Lake.
It was in 1930 when officials decided to rename the lake back to its local name and called it, Skaha Lake. However, the name Skaha is inaccurate according to the Okanagan Indians as it means “horse.” Their word for dog is “kaekuwapa” which is also spelled as “chokowapee.”
Skaha Lake has a surface area of 19.6 square kilometers or 7.6 sq mi and a maximum depth of 56.7 meters or 186 ft. It has a maximum length of 11.8 kilometers or 7.3 mi and a maximum width of 2.2 kilometers or 1.4 mi. Compared to Okanagan Lake which measures 351 square kilometers or 136 sq mi in surface area, Skaha Lake is way smaller but it is never short on excitement.
The water is is clean, pristine, and crystal clear which is why it is very popular even among the locals. In Skaha Lake, everything is kept in good order and condition including its water, beautiful white sands, and the amazing lakefront park. Penticton also contributes to keeping the water clean by undertaking tertiary treatment which purifies the city’s wastewater.
Since Skaha Lake is situated directly south of Okanagan Lake, the temperatures of both these lakes are in the same range. But technically speaking, we can say that Skaha Lake is warmer as its average temperature is at 25c during the hottest months while Okanagan Lake only averages at 23c.
Skaha Lake is one of the many interconnected lakes in the Okanagan Valley. It was formed by the repeated glaciations that displaced the layers of rock in the ground which then created the sub-parallel linked faults system around the area. When the melted glaciers flooded the Okanagan Valley 10,000 years ago, the water was then deposited into the faults system in the Okanagan Valley which created the interconnected lakes, including the Skaha Lake.