Azure Lake and Clearwater Lake

Azure Lake and Clearwater Lake

Doug Smith  September 4, 2020 at 9:13 am

I took the water taxi from the campground area at the end of Clearwater Lake to the Rainbow Falls Marine Campsite on Azure Lake and paddled back to the start.    In the  first day, I paddled  my kayak for 15.5 km to Four and a Half Mile Campground in stormy conditions.    On the next morning I paddled for 5.7 km to the end of the lake, then down the Azure – Clearwater River for 3 km to Clearwater Lake.

Paddling down the Clearwater River is relatively easy, avoiding shallow gravel shoals on the east side and deadheads and sweepers on the west side.   The middle of the main channel is the best choice

Once on the main lake, experienced paddlers go down either shoreline, not down the middle of the lake.   The choice depends on the direction of the wind and which campsites may be the end point for the day.   The western shoreline is a bit shorter with smaller bays.  From the north end of the lake to the narrow neck of the lake at Diver’s Bluff is 15.5  km.

As I paddled down the west shore (which is more scenic since there are better views of the Azure Ranges), I could see back to Mt. Huntley and the peaks on the north side of Azure Lake.   I passed by several campsites – Barella, Huntley View, and Archer Creek on my way to the Diver’s Bluff Point.

On the east side, Azure Peak and Zodiac Peak rise above the lake.   The ridges of Azure Peak and Zodiac Peak can be reached from Ivor Creek Campground, but there is no trail and the climb is 1800 m (5900 feet).

After Diver’s Bluff the lake starts to narros.    Grey clouds threatened another afternoon storm, but I got in before any difficult weather came in.   Nevertheless I faced a 10 km headwind all the way down the lake.

It is 5.7 km from Diver’s Bluff to the boat launch, but my truck was back at the campground so I paddled down the narrowing lake-river channel to just before the falls, another 2.7 km.

After 7 hours of continuous paddling I arrived at the landing spot.    I paddled 32 km that day, enough for a well-deserved rest that night.

I am not recommending this kind of trip.   Paddling on Azure Lake in a storm is not advisable, even for experienced paddlers.   Paddling all day can be done, but the route is best done in 4-5 days, camping at different marine campsites on the way back.   I have done it both ways and when I return to do the trip again, I will opt for 3 days, a compromise plan, but weather also adjusts our plans, so it may be another adventure on the lakes.




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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

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