Where have all the nudists and their beaches gone in Kamloops, Okanagan? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Cloudy  15.4°C

Kelowna News

Where have all the nudists and their beaches gone in Kamloops, Okanagan?

Cedar Creek Beach used to be Kelowna's go-to nude beach before it was redeveloped by the city in the 2000's.
Image Credit: Submitted/Okangan Nude Beaches

There was a time when nature lovers in Kelowna knew of a popular and private beach near the southern end of the city where they could strip naked and catch some rays.

Cedar Creek beach is about 12 km from downtown Kelowna towards the southern end of the city on Lakeshore Road.

“For decades, the beach was completely undeveloped, its rocky beach and built-up driftwood, making it unattractive for most beachgoers and yet a perfect location for a nudist beach – at least until the City of Kelowna wanted to change that,” says a posting on the Across the Lake Swim website.

“In the early 2000s, a massive cleanup was undertaken, which included a walkway with several concrete picnic tables, while designating the area above it as the Cedar Creek Dog Park,” the site says.

At about the same time, housing was being built north of the beach and trees that screened nudists from residents were cut down, exposing them to the displeasure of new neighbours.

In 2021, an official “swim loop” was installed at the beach with nine buoys set 75 metres apart to create a 1,200 metre out-and-back route, which is why its history is related on the Across the Lake Swim page. That event, certainly, is not nude.

While those changes are all well and good for dog lovers and serious swimmers, it also means that the nudists are no longer welcome.

In fact, according to a photo on the Okanagan Nude Beaches website, there’s a sign posted on the beach explicitly targeting nudists, saying they’re “neither permitted or condoned.”

Image Credit: Submitted/Okanagan Nude Beaches

That means Kelowna nudists have to head to obscure, often difficult to find and access beaches or drive an hour or two to more popular spots.

But, it’s not just Kelowna nudists that have mostly vanished from sight.

The once prominent Okanagan Naturist Association in Penticton has now gone dark as phone numbers and emails on its website no longer connect.

That’s the same story with the Okanagan Shuswap Nudist Society that used to hold winter swim sessions at the Parkinson Recreation Centre in Kelowna.

The Okanagan Naturist Association was formed in 2014 after two absentee neighbouring landlords tried to evict the naked sunbathers from Three Mile Beach in Penticton.

On July 1, 2014, association founder Jacqueline Wachell was arrested at the beach but the Crown declined to press charges and, after that, the RCMP stopped responding to complaints.

In 2017, the association petitioned the City of Penticton parks department asking that the beach be listed as an unofficial clothing-optional or naturist beach.

Nudists met at Three Mile Beach to discuss their plans to keep the beach clothes optional.
Nudists met at Three Mile Beach to discuss their plans to keep the beach clothes optional.

While they failed to get that official designation, they did enter into an Adopt-a-Park agreement to assist in maintenance of the beach and it’s been naked since then, at least that part of the beach that’s separate from the off-leash dog park.

Other than the old website, there is little online chatter about the joys of public nudity in the Okanagan. About the only nude-friendly listing in the Okanagan is Coady’s Cabana in Penticton which offers a few rooms for rent and a clothing optional pool. They declined to comment about nude beaches when contacted by iNFOnews.ca.

Still, there is information online about nude beaches in the region, including directions and maps, although some of it seems to be quite dated. Okanagan Nude Beaches (here) lists a number of potential sites. There are also little pocket beaches on lakes and rivers in the region where hikers or boaters can strip down in places that may only be known to themselves.


Three-Mile Beach

Follow Naramata Road north of Penticton on the east side of Okanagan Lake. Turn left onto Three Mile Road just past Quidni Winery (approximately five kilometres from Penticton). There is limited parking at the end of the road and beside the road next to the dog beach just south of the parking lot.

Overflow parking can be found at the junction of Naramata Road and Poplar Grove Road about half a kilometre before the Three Mile Road turn-off. Total walking distance to the beach from there is about 1.5 km.

Most naturists are using the east end of the public beach just before the large willow tree. It is clothing optional, not nude-mandatory, so anyone can use it.


Mushroom Beach

Just south of the Bennett Bridge in Kelowna, it had a reputation for public nudity along with other issues like drug use and public urination and is certainly not sanctioned.

Cedar Creek Beach
Cedar Creek Beach
Image Credit: Submitted/Okanagan Nude Beaches

Cedar Creek

This was a well-known nude beach unit before developers moved in and the City of Kelowna turned it into an off-leash dog park. It also has a boat launch and signs saying nudity is neither permitted nor condoned, but some online sites still promote it.

The park is off Lakeshore Road in the South Mission with a parking lot on the hill above and an entrance at the boat launch. There are picnic tables and washrooms. The beach is pebbly and rocky into the water.

Okanagan Mountain Park

Further out Lakeshore Drive and all the way to the south end of the city border with Okanagan Mountain Park, there is a small parking lot on the right hand side near the end of the road.

A trail zig zags 300 metres from the south end of the parking lot down to the beach. Water shoes are recommended for those wanting to go in the water as the lake has a rocky bottom there.

White Rock Beach on Kalamalka Lake
White Rock Beach on Kalamalka Lake
Image Credit: Submitted/Okanagan Nude Beaches


White Rock on Kalamalka Lake

It’s said to have been Vernon's clothing optional area for 60 years.

At the time of the posting on Okanagan Nude Beaches there were still a few trains running along this route. Those stopped operating in 2013 and now there is heavy traffic of cyclists and others using the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Directions posted online suggest parking at the end of Westkal Road where there is a boat launch. The beach area starts a couple hundred metres to the south after going through a cut in the bank. There are, the listing says, numerous small beaches for the next kilometre or so.

Nipple Point on Shuswap Lake.
Nipple Point on Shuswap Lake.
Image Credit: Submitted/Okangan Nude Beaches

Salmon Arm

Nipple Point

This is between Salmon Arm and Sicamous off Highway 1.

There is a parking lot 8.9 km east of the Highway 97B and Highway 1 junction in Salmon Arm.

A trail leads down and across two CN rail tracks. Nudists are directed to turn right after getting to the beach then walk along for three to five minutes to the nude section. If they reach a cabin, they have gone too far.

The beach has small pebbles and rocks.

There is also a cautionary note that trains can stop there for up to four hours so bathers can be stranded for long periods of time as climbing across the train can be dangerous.

Mission Flats in Kamloops.
Mission Flats in Kamloops.
Image Credit: Submitted/Okangan Nude Beaches


Mission Flats

Continue past the Kamloops sewage treatment plant on Mission Flats Road. It is a public nature park with numerous trails to the beach along the Thompson River where there are sandy areas and sand bars..

It’s also an off-leash dog park.

Nudistcompass.com says that, while the kilometre-long beach area is patrolled by city staff, the city appears to be friendly toward nudists.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2023

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile