Otter Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Otter Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Otter Lake
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Otter Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Otter Lake Gifts
Looking for Otter Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Otter Lake
Fed by Canadian Cascade Mountain runoff and clear spring water, Otter Lake is a popular summer-time retreat located in southern British Columbia’s Regional District Okanagan-Simikameen. Otter Lake Provincial Park is found at the northern end of Otter Lake with the historic mining community of Tulameen found on the southern shore. Considered the gateway to British Columbia’s interior, the rural area is 115 miles east of Vancouver and about 50 miles north of the U.S. border with Washington State.
Hunting and trapping defined much of Otter Lake’s early history. The hills surrounding Otter Lake sheltered many of Canada’s First Nation people while the region’s food, furs and prized red ochre filled many of their traditional needs. The same furs attracted hunters and trappers from the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1800s. A company transport route passed by Otter Lake where women resided at “Encampment des Femmes” as they waited for their men to return from the mountains. In the late 1800s the discovery of gold in nearby Granite Creek dramatically increased the number of settlers. As new communities were founded, the women’s encampment became known as Otter Flat before it was renamed Tulameen in 1901.
The clear water of Otter Lake stands at an elevation of 2700 feet and covers 716 acres. At a length of three miles, the lake is ideal for waterskiing and boating. A paved boat ramp can be found at Otter Lake Provincial Park campground. A second gravel ramp is open to the public in the town of Tulameen. Canoeists and kayakers will enjoy a leisurely paddle along the tree-lined shore. If the timing is right, wildlife watchers may catch a glimpse of otter, beaver, mountain goats, moose, elk, or occasional cougar and black bear wandering the hills.
Also located at the park campground is a small public beach. A preferred second beach is located in a day-use area in Tulameen. The pleasant sandy shore leads to a grassy picnic area, a favorite of locals as well as visitors. Shaded picnic tables overlook Otter Lake and miles of unspoiled mountain scenery. No lifeguards are on duty at either beach, so swimmers are reminded to enter the water at their own risk.
Hiking through the surrounding canyons and rugged terrain is a popular pastime. A nature trail can be found near the campground, and the Trans Canada Trail lies within view of Otter Lake. Cycling is restricted to roadways around Otter Lake but is permitted within marked areas of the Trans Canada Trail along with horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Fishing is also popular on Otter Lake. Just about any angler will enjoy testing their skills on the lake’s rainbow trout, lake trout, largescale sucker, northern pikeminnow, steelhead, torrent sculpin and kokanee. Follow Otter Creek, the outlet for Otter Lake, south to the Tulameen River and you can continue fishing for rainbow trout and whitefish. The Tulameen River is a tributary of the Similkameen River, home to a number of excellent river fisheries. While at Otter Lake, consider side fishing trips to nearby Blakeburn Creek, Collins Gulch and Granite Creek.
In 1885 gold was discovered in Granite Creek. Mining for gold continues in the area of Otter Lake where visitors will find an opportunity to pan for gold or purchase a gold claim. As the availability of gold diminished, settlers moved out leaving ghost towns waiting for visitors to explore. Adventure seekers will enjoy trekking through the remnants of Blakeburn, Granite Creek and Allenby, all within an hour’s drive of Otter Lake.
The delightful western community of Princeton sits 30 miles southeast of Otter Lake. With a population approaching 2,800 people, Princeton is home to unique shops and restaurants. Through exhibits and displays the Princeton and District Museum and Archives tell the history of Otter Lake, part of Canada’s Mountains West Tourism Region.
If you are looking for wide open spaces where few lights are to be seen and stars glitter overhead, Otter Lake vacation rentals and real estate properties are for you. Choose from small campgrounds, lodges and rustic cabins found along the shore. Select your residence and prepare to sail the water in the summer or cross-country ski, snowmobile and snowshoe in the winter where Otter Lake blends naturally with the countryside.
Things to Do at Otter Lake
- Vacation Rentals
- Water Skiing
- Cabin Rentals
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- Provincial Park
Fish Species Found at Otter Lake
- Kokanee Salmon
- Lake Trout
- Rainbow Trout
- Steelhead Trout
Find Places to Stay at Otter Lake
If you’re considering a Otter Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Recommended Sites to Book a Otter Lake Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Otter Lake lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
- Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
- TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
- Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
- KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
- RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
- CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Otter Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed
Surface Area: 716 acres
Shoreline Length: 8 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,700 feet
Lake Area-Population: 250
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