Photo Credit: Darren Robinson

Five BC Provincial Parks to Camp at this Summer

Head to the Thompson Okanagan for some great RVing and camping this summer. Historic hiking trails, wildlife viewing, swimming, boating, fishing and more could be right at your doorstep. Take scenic Route 97 and get-away-from-it-all, BC style.

Gladstone Provincial Park


The Texas Creek Campground at Gladstone Provincial Park is a 3-hour drive from Kelowna International Airport (YLW). This park is well known for vehicle accessibility and its untamed wilderness.

Located in the Selkirk Foothills this is a winter range for deer and elk, as well as a spawning area for Kokanee salmon. Low elevation makes for great old growth cedar and hemlock forests, perfect for hiking. There are over 48 km (30 mi) of trails in Gladstone Provincial Park for hiking and biking. There are several shorter trails that lead from the campground to Christina Lake. Once there, enjoy picnicking, canoeing, scuba diving, swimming, boating and fishing. Gaze across the lake to the Monashee Mountains as you fish for Kokanee, trout and small-mouth bass. Texas Creek campground is equipped with flush and pit toilets, running water and hot showers.

For more adventure, take a road trip on the Boundary Monashee Loop.

Green Lake Provincial Park

 

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This journey-worthy park has 11 campsites, 6 with facilities. It’s a little over a 4-hour drive from YLW. You’ll travel through a portion of the Gold Country Loop on your way there, so there’s plenty to see and do.Getting here may be half the fun; however, once you arrive, you’ll be more than happy you came. You’ll find yourself surrounded by open rangeland and forests of aspen and lodgepole pine. There’s even a playground for the younger travellers. The lake is about 14 km (8.5 mi) long with warm shallow

Getting here may be half the fun; however, once you arrive, you’ll be more than happy you came. You’ll find yourself surrounded by open rangeland and forests of aspen and lodgepole pine. There’s even a playground for the younger travellers. The lake is about 14 km (8.5 mi) long with warm shallow waters and a greenish hue. You may spot moose and deer while you’re here and the occasional black bear and coyote. Spend your days relaxing on, in, or beside the water, as you canoe, waterski, fish, swim, cycle, and hike. Most of the sites here have drinking water, picnic areas, pit toilets and a sani-dump.

Otter Lake Provincial Park

 

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Almost three hours south-west of YLW is the privacy you’ve been looking for. Otter Lake Provincial Park is just off the Similkameen Loop, past Princeton, BC.

Otter Lake’s natural setting was created for good old fashioned camping. There’s a day-use/picnic area in the community of Tulameen and a lakeside campground a few minutes down the road. Relax as the Cascade Mountain Range surrounds you with canyons and flowing streams. You will be sharing your vacation spot with otters, beavers, red squirrels, mountain goats, cougars and grizzly bears. Otter Lake is one of the area’s best fishing lakes, where you can catch brag-worthy lake trout. Spend your days canoeing and swimming, or head out on the historic Trans Canada Trail for a nature-filled hike. Otter Lake has interpretive programs, drinking water, a picnic area, and pit and flush toilets.

E.C. Manning Provincial Park


When you want to unplug, E.C. Manning Provincial Park is the place to go. There is no cellular service, and no electrical or sewage hook-ups. The payoff is you have more hiking, biking and water adventures than you can fit into one vacation. There are four drive-in campgrounds, Lightning Lake, Coldspring, Mule Deer and Hampton, all set against the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.   

Enjoy three, day use picnic areas by the lake with hiking trails can be accessed from all sites. There are trails that take you on a 15-minute walk and others that may take six days to hike. Your wild neighbours include squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, beaver, muskrat, pika, coyotes, deer, bears, moose and most members of the cat family. There are over 200 species of birds that make this park home.

E.C. Manning Provincial Park is 3.5 hours from YLW, or 1.5 hours from the Sumas, WA border crossing. After your stay, continue exploring along the Similkameen Loop.

Kettle River Recreation Area

 

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A mere hour from the Oroville/Osoyoos border crossing along Hwy 3 east is your Boundary Country get away at Kettle River. Imagine waking up amongst stands of Ponderosa pine. The historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail is waiting for you to explore it on foot, by bike or atop a horse. This campground is minutes away from the amenities of Rock Creek.

Years ago, gold was discovered on the Kettle River. Today you can dip your pans in and swirl and slosh until you find your own bits of gold. Relaxing is also high on the priority list here. There are plenty of places to fish, canoe and swim. There is a day-use picnic area on the banks of the Kettle River. Kids will enjoy the playground and bigger kids can have fun at the horseshoe pitch. You’ll find drinking water, showers, pit and flush toilets, and a sani-dump station here.

For more adventure, continue the Boundary Monashee Loop for more great camping adventures.

Reservations

Many of our parks fill up during the warmer months and reservations are recommended. You can reserve online by selecting options from the drop-down menu on the left side of the page: reservation type, dates, campground, and equipment. Once your information is in, you can choose your campsite from the map or from a list.

Where are you camping this summer? We want to hear from you! Tag us in your photos @discoverroute97 or by using the #Route97 hashtag.