Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada.
Andrew, sounds like a good plan. I've never camped there but have hiked and boated in the area and can help you a wee bit.
The closest put-ins (~3 km) are right across the lake, either Peachland (there's a free boat launch on Hwy 97 just south of Beach Avenue/Princeton Avenue intersection) or Okanagan Lake Park. Otherwise, put-ins north or south of the park are about the same distance--Bertram Creek Regional Park to the north, or the Naramata pier at the old fruit packing plant. Both are about 10 km to Squally Point (the public boat launch at end of 4th St. adds another km or so). There's also a public launch site on Lakeshore Road in Summerland.
Personally I think the shoreline north from Naramata is the most scenic.
There's also water access at the very end of North Naramata Road, just south of the park. Hey, that's a very scenic drive too!
Your biggest problem is finding overnight parking. The parks are out, I don't know about Peachland's bylaws. Again, your best bet would be off-beach parking near Naramata wharf.
Weather? Better than New West, usually pretty darn nice but could easily be unsettled. The winds blow up or down the lake--I wouldn't want to guess which way--and are probably strongest on the Kelowna side of Squally Point (there's a hint right there).
Camping--Commando and Buchan Bay are the most popular, I'd say they're busy on May Long. The others would be quieter for sure. Camping fees are $11 per party or per "vessel". Check with Parks on how they'd interpret your group. I know that most for-pay boat launches consider each kayak as a separate vessel, so...
You can vary your trip with some hiking--I'd definitely recommend the hike up Wild Horse Canyon north of Buchan Bay--and some wine tasting, Naramata has dozens of wineries. And it's a neat little place to visit.
All in all, I'd recommend going in from Naramata.