The high plateau lakes in the Paradise Lakes area are a long backcountry drive on marginal roads from either Peachland or Quilchena. Once the snows cleared, the lakes attracted fishermen ready to travel for 2 hours on bumpy, muddy roads. That all changed with the construction of the Okanagan Connector. Now visitor can drive from Merritt (45km) or from the Okanagan (50km) over Highway 97C and turn off at the Elkhart Lakes interchange.
Six lakes, five camping areas, one resort, and several trails can be found by following the Elkhart Road. The paved route crosses Elkhart Creek, then at two and a half kilometres a side road can be followed into Elkhart Lake.
The route into Elkhart Lake requires a short hike. There is a BC Forest Service Campsite there, large enough for 3 tents, situated above the lake. Outhouses, tables, and boat launch are found at the site. The whole area was logged in 2010, providing more-open sites to camp. Elkhart Lake is about 1km long and is of interest to fishermen, hunters, and campers
Continuing north to the 6km mark (from the Connector) is a short road down to Bob’s Lake. There is another BC Forest Service Campsite there with 3 sites. The main road turns to gravel beyond this turn-off and the fork going right (east) continues to Paradise Lake.
A rustic fishing camp was established at Paradise Lake in 1949 by Gordon Mountfort, a resident of Summerland. Various owners ran the camp until 1992 when it was upgraded to a modern fishing resort. At an altitude of about 5000 feet, the dark lake is known for its large trout and year-round fishing. There is also a small BC Forest Service Campsite on the north side of the lake.
The road continues on past the resort to Island Lake. There is a larger campsite at the lake with the usual facilities, including a boat launch. From either Paradise Lake or island Lake, numerous side trails lead to small lakes, including Johns Lake, Another Lake, and And Another Lake. (No typos, here – these are the names of the lakes.)
Back at the Elkhart Road junction, a rough road (4WD recommended) leads west to Boot Lake. There are four campsites on the side of the lake, mostly used by fishermen, hunters, and snowmobilers.
Following the highway 12km west to the Sunset Interchange, another set of high-country lakes offer more opportunities by taking the rough 4WD Reservoir Lake Road. From the recreations campsite (4 sites), access to Skunk Lake and Walker Lake are walk-in, making these lakes secluded and quiet.
Whichever lake, resort, or campsite is chosen in the Paradise Lakes area, the lakes, trails, and routes offer opportunities for fishing, outdoor activities, geocaching and exploring.