Bear Creek Provincial Park – 7 Valuable Tips To Get The Best Site

https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/BearCreek

Bear Ck 2b

When our kids were young we kicked off summer by heading to Bear Creek Provincial Park for the Canada Day long weekend. It felt like the official start of summer and you could almost be guaranteed to have good weather. Kelowna has a great Canada Day Festival in town with lots to do for the entire family and even without Canada Day you will most certainly be able to find something fun to do. The last time we were at Bear Creek was in 2004, this is largely due to the fact the park is hard to reserve, but these notes are based on those trips so the next time I am in Kelowna I will go back to check it out again.

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Bear Ck 30b

This campground is great for young families. At least back then, the roads that looped around the campsite were one way, paved and flat so it’s was great for biking. There was also lots of green space and park area for games of bocci and lawn darts. They use to have a great kids program that we would go to every night and on Canada Day you could sit on the beach and watch the fire works in Kelowna. Bear Creek is also a short drive into West Bank or Kelowna so if the weather is not great it is easy to find something there to do.

Bear Ck 004

This campground is right on Okanagan Lake and it has a great beach. The down side is that it is on the shady side of the lake which means limited afternoon sun. Okanagan Lake is also very large so it can be cold early in the summer season. The messy issue was, goose poop, and tons of it, on the beach, on the grass, and often on your shoes, it was a bit gross.

The sites at this park are small but they are private and many back onto green space. We really only stopped going because the park was so popular it became impossible to get a reservations. There is an overflow area but back when we went it was just a large parking lot type area, not a destination to head to.

Bear Ck 002
Half of double site 47/48

The last time we went  we stayed in the double sites 47 & 49 with a third family staying in 50. These sites were good because they backed into green space and because we were with 2 other families it gave us room to play games and gather together. Our kids were young at the time so being off the lake a bit was nice. That first loop is also nice because it is near the swimming beach and the amphitheater nature shows and ranger activities.  Now that my kids are older I would pick the double sites of 55 & 57 or the single site 58. Although they do not have a lot of privacy they have a great view of the lake and area close to the beach,

 Campground Details

  • 7 Tips for Recommended Sites:
    1. If you want a double site I would pick 57/55 or 30/31 if you want lake view but are okay to give up some privacy, they are large sites with great views.
    2. For privacy, pick sites  52/54.
    3. Double site 47 & 49 are good because they back onto the green space and have privacy.
    4. The sites in the first 2 loops offer good shade but if you get into
    5. The 3rd loop (81-122) this is a newer area and if I recall it was a bit more open and much sunnier. In Kelowna shade is appreciated.
    6. For single sites try and get sites 58 or 59. Both are close to everything and 59 still offers good privacy.
    7. Since this review Bear Creek has added power to some sites. I am hoping to go back this year to update the review for 2021
  • Campground Highlights:
    1. Paved roads, great for biking
    2. Lake Okanagan – nice beach, great for swimming
    3. Flush toilets and clean showers
    4. Close to Kelowna and Westbank
    5. Nature house activities
    6. Good foliage between sites for privacy and shade
    7. Lots of green space for activities
    8. Playground for kids
  • Campground Lowlights
    1. Goose Poo everywhere on the beach and grass
    2. The lake is cold and windy early in the summer season
    3. Very hard to get into.
    4. Sites in loops 81 – 122 are not very treed.
    5. It is a drive to any activities or hiking
  • Things to do
    1. Swimming & beach activities
    2. Playground
    3. Kelowna wineries (25 minutes from campground)
    4. Westbank Wineries (20 minutes from campground)
    5. Boat & sea-doo rentals rental (15 minutes from campground)
    6. Golf – many great location within a short drive
    7. Gyro Park – 18 minute drive – great city park and beach
  • Links
    1. Shannon Lakes Golf Course
    2. Mission Hill Winery
    3. Quails Gate Winery
    4. Gyro Park Beach
    5. 19th Green Putting Course
    6. West Side Go Karts
    7. H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre

Otter Lake – Tips For The Best Sites In This Piece Of Paradise!

Otter Lake Provincial Park -Tulameen, BC

We used to visit Otter Lake Provincial Park every year with friends and I completed my first review back in 2015. I was excited to head back to Otter Lake and even more excited that we were camping in one of my suggested sites. As our trip approached it became clear that BC was in one of the worst forest fire seasons ever and the area about 20 km east of the campground was being evacuated. We were a worried whether we would be able to access our campground and how thick the smoke would be around us. As it turned out we were lucky, although we could see a haze and smell the smoke, we managed to have a relaxing weekend away.

Skip directly to my advice for this campground.

As we headed off to Tulameen I was interested to see if the road was in any better shape than  10 years ago.  The answer is NO. Although it is okay for RV’s, it does have a lot of “watch for rocks falling” signs and  it was clearly still an issue as told by all the rocks on the road.

On this trip we camped with my sister and her husband in double site 14/15, which was a recommended site on my first Otter Lake blog.  This is a waterfront site with a steep path to our own private beach. We had kayaks with us so it was great to be able to leave them on the beach to use at our leisure. The site is very treed and level with a nice view of the lake. It offers lots of privacy and we barely even noticed the generator noise from the site beside us.
Our plan was to relax for the weekend so we really didn’t venture out much. Saturday morning my dad and brother-in-law headed to a nearby lake to try their luck at fishing and Sunday we drove into town to go for a walk on the Kettle Valley Trail. It was a great weekend away and the campground was as beautiful and pristine as I remembered.

Here is my advise for this campground

Recommended Sites:

  1. Most sites at this campground are large, level and have good privacy.img_7544-1
  2. Double sites
    • I would recommend 24/25 if you want to be close to the main beach. It is large, close to the washrooms and has a view of the lake
    • 14/15 and 12/13 both have great lake views, are large and both have lake access with their own small beaches (although the paths are steep getting to the beach.) They are a bit farther from the public beach and washrooms.
    • 5/6 and 28/29 are both on are lakefront and are otherwise great. 43/44  be the only being double I would avoid.
  3. Single Sites
    • Any of the lake front sites are winners with the exception of 21 because it is very open to the boat launch traffic.
    • If you want a pull-through my top choice would be site 11(picture below)
    • Site 19 backs onto the recycling/garbage area so avoid that one if you can.
    • I would try to avoid 35, 38, 40 & 42. Last year these were first come, first serve sites because they back onto the highway; they are much more exposed and a bit smaller. Having said that, if this is all I could get, I would still take them.

Campground Highlights: 

  1. Beautiful, clean, quiet lake. Great for swimming, kayaking or boating.
  2. Short drive to Tulameen where you can access the KVR trail or public beach
  3. Very large level sites with lots of privacy
  4. Flush toilets
  5. Pet beach
  6. Boat launch
  7. Paved roads for young cyclists

Campground Lowlights

  1. No hooks ups so expect generator noise
  2. No running water so no showers and half the toilets are outhouses.
  3. Very narrow, windy road from Princeton to Tulameen (30 km)
  4. Closest sani dump is in Princeton
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Things To do:

  1. Swimming
  2. Boating, kayaking and paddle boarding
  3. Biking and hiking the KVR trail
  4. Lots of ATV trails

Okanagan Falls Campground – How To Ensure You Get The Best Site

Okanagan Falls Provincial Park – Okanagan Falls, BC

okanagan-falls-campground-sign

Okanagan Falls Provincial Park is a small park made up of only 25 unserviced sites which are 100% reservable. The park is now officially called  sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Provincial Park, and is located in the small town of Okanagan Falls. The park lies  below the outlet of Skaha Lake on the Okanagan River. 

Skip directly to my advise for this campground

We stayed in this park for 3 nights with my sister and her husband. We were mainly interested in visiting winery’s and golfing so the location was fantastic for us. When you google “Things To Do in OK Falls”, wineries monopolize 11 of the 14 suggestions. We visited 5 of them I can attest to their high rating. They were so good we even joined the Great Estates Okanagan Wine Club which might be the best club I have ever joined, check it out!

Having said that I can say if we had kids with us it would have been the best park because it was not on the lake and it is a fair distance, with a highway crossing, to get to the lake. Other top things to do are biking the Kettle Valley Trail and visiting Okanagan Falls which both would have been great for families. I always like when I can list things to do that I couldn’t get to because it gives me a reason to go back.

Site 4, very open with no privacy

The park was full during our stay and we found it to be very quiet which was fortunate because it is very open with little privacy between sites.  We camped in site 4 in the middle section of the park and it was open to the other sites around us.

The sites are generally large and are all fairly level so maneuvering your RV is easy. There are large shade trees scattered around the park but no real low level trees to offer privacy between sites. There are 8 sites that line the creek area and they are the best choice for privacy and view although I suspect mosquito’s could be an issue. The sites along Green Lake Road would be my last choice due to noise but in reality it is not that busy of a road.

Here is my advise for this campground

Site recommendations: 

  1. Site 16 would be my top pick. It is both long and private which is unusual in this park.
  2. Site 18 & 20 are both wide and long and have nice green space behind them.
  3. Sites 22, 23 & 25 back onto the river and have green space surrounding making them a nice choice.
  4. Sites 11 &13 are smaller but do have some privacy
  5. All the sites in the center lack privacy
  6. Site 5 back onto the host site so not ideal for location
  7. Site 9, 17 & 24 I would rate as poor. They are very open and have zero privacy
Site 11
Site 11

Campground Highlights

  1. Great climate with almost guaranteed hot dry weather in the summer
  2. Small in size making it a quiet get away.
  3. Flush toilets
  4. Close to town for shopping and outings.
  5. Lots of golf and winery’s nearby
  6. Fresh fruit stands scattered everywhere.

Campground Lowlights

  1. No showers or bathrooms with running water.
  2. No hook ups
  3. Due to the heat there is a lot of generator noise as people want to use their Air Conditioners
  4. Limited privacy between sites
  5. Lake is not within walking distance

Things to do 

Haynes Point Revisited – 8 Tips To Ensure You Select The Best Campsite

Haynes Point Provincial Park – Osoyoos, BC

It has been several years since we have stayed at Haynes Point Provincial Park now named swiws Provincial Park. I did my first review several years after our stay so had to rely on my memory. After reading my review back I can say it was fairly accurate but I felt an updated review would be a benefit.

I have to thank my sister for getting the site. For 3 days she went into work early so that she could be logged onto Discover Camping in order to hit the booking button as soon as the reservation system opened. It was a difficult task but on day 3 she had success and was able to secure a site for 6 nights. Due to the popularity of this park you can only book 7 nights at a time but really it is still near impossible to get a reservation.

Skip directly to advise for this campground.

We stayed on the north side of the park in site 33. It was a beautiful lake-front site with a small hill that accessed the lake. The site was a good size and easily fit their 24 foot fifth wheel with its 3 feet slide and both our trucks. There were trees on all sides that provided morning and late afternoon shade but mid day your only relief from the 40 degree heat was the lake or an air conditioned winery. I can confirm that both solutions work great.

This Provincial Park does not have hook ups so if you don’t like extreme heat then this is not the park for you. Osoyoos is considered a desert and the high temperatures confirm it. There are no showers here and the toilets are flushing outhouses. I will say the staff did an amazing job keeping all the facilities spotless and the grounds clean. As with all BC Provincial parks generators are allowed twice a day from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and then again from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We don’t have a generator but that is not to say I am against them, what I am against are people who choose to turn them on outside the assigned hours or who feel they don’t want to listen to the noise and plant them in the bushes closer to their neighbour’s site than there own. I am pleased to report this park staff did a great job of enforcing the generator rules.  This made everyone’s stay much more enjoyable because you could predict when the hum of generators would start up.

The main attraction of the park is the lake and its warm temperature. What is even more impressive is the city has a machine that rakes the lakes shores of weeds regularly making swimming that much more enjoyable. There is a lot of boat, seadoo, kayak and paddle board traffic on the lake so people watching from your campsite is a great past time.

One thing to keep in mind when camping at this park is the wind.  It comes from both directions and can gust up in minutes. We were sitting in the screen house playing cards one night and with 5 minutes it went from no wind to blowing the screen house over. This is important to keep in mind because the wind can destroy your awning in seconds so it is best to leave it closed unless you are sitting at your campground. We only put up the screen house because the bugs were so bad it was annoying to sit at the table and play cards.

A couple of other things to note about this park is the poison ivy and the rip tide. The park has done its best to post sign near and around the poison ivy and have included a photo to help you recognize it but if I had small children I would be sure to keep then away from the bush. I would also be aware of the rip tide at point. The park has put up signs to warn you but I certainly would avoid campgrounds near this point if I had family that intended to swim.

Here is my advise for this campground

Recommended sites:

  1. Double site 27/28 is a winner. It has the most trees, is across from the bathroom, is fairly large and is lake front with easy access to the lake.
  2. Site 22/23 would be my second choice but really any lake front site on the north side is very good offering several trees and fairly good privacy
  3. Site 26 is not lake front but is was very well treed and very private. Would be my choice if I could not get lake front
  4. The lake front sites on the south side are not as treed and felt like they would be more impacted by the wind but the south side did have much better beach space between sites.
  5. I would avoid sites 16,17 and 20 due to the undertow at the nearby point.
  6. Site 7, 10 are both very exposed and open
  7. I would also avoid 1,2,3 and sites 37-41. This run along the main access road and are much smaller with very little privacy. You also get the traffic both coming and going so they are a bit busier.
  8. This campground also has RV overflow which run the length of the park access road. There are essentially parallel parking stalls along the road but at least it is a solution if you have no where else to go. You can only stay in these spots for one night.

Campground Highlights:

  1. The weather; you are almost guaranteed dry hot weather
  2. The lake; it is warm and free of weeds.
  3. Flush toilets, if you have to live with pit toilets it is nice they are flushing ones.
  4. Short drive to town where there is lots to do and buy.
  5. Lots of winery and golf choices
  6. Amazing fresh fruit if you visit in the summer.

Campground Lowlights:

  1. No showers nor bathrooms with running water
  2. Due to the heat there is a lot of
  3. generator noise as people want to use their Air Conditioners
  4. Limited shade options
  5. Unpredictable high winds makes tarping for shade impossible

Things to do:

  • Winery’s: Over 40 winery’s in the Oliver/Osoyoos area
  • Golf: If you can handle the heat there a several courses in the area.
  • Desert Center: Guided tours to  learn about desert ecology, habitat restoration and conservation of endangered ecosystems
  • Rattlesnake Canyon: entertainment center for families

Haynes Point – Why This Campground Needs To Be On Your List

Haynes Point Provincial Park – Osoyoos, BC

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We have only been lucky enough to book into this campground once. It is likely the most popular provincial campground there is and if you want a site you will have to get up  before 8:00, 3 months before the date you want to camp and start trying to book it, even then you are lucky if you get in. We were able to get the site because I logged on about the same time as someone was cancelling their reservation and I scooped it up. Otherwise, good luck!

We were there at the end of August and stayed in site 10. It was not a lake front site but we took what we could get. Osoyoos is always very hot, but the good thing is there is often a wind coming off the lake. It’s a hot wind but at least it’ a wind. The downfall with the wind, you can’t really tarp for shade and sometimes it is even risky to leave your awnings up . That being said, if you don’t like the hot sun, you likely are not booked in Osoyoos. One of the most unique things about the campground were the quails. They were everywhere and they very tame. The kids loved to watch them scurry around the site.

Haynes point has water on 3 sides but if you aren’t lucky enough to get one of the lake front site then you have to walk to the campground beach or drive into the great city beach. It is not a long drive into the city beach (Gyro Park) and there is also a great tourist strip with mini golf, ice cream stores and lots of other tourist attractions. There is not shortage of things to do in Osoyoos and being a desert climate there is always great weather to enjoy.

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Here is my advise for this campground.

  • Recommended Sites: It has been 10 years since we camped at Haynes point so may notes are limited and likely very old. I will write what notes I have and update them the next time we are in the area. I noted double sites 22/23 as well as 27/28 as good. Best on their location they have the best chance as some shade and you can position your camping vehicle to increase the shade. They also had reasonable access to the lake. (that may have changed over the years.) For single sites I would try to get 20 or 25. They had good privacy, access to the lake and you could position your vehicles to increase your shade.
  • Campground Highlights:
    1. Dry hot weather is very dependable
    2. Large warm lake that is great for swimming or boating
    3. Flush toilets
    4. Plenty to do in the town for all ages
    5. Beach at the day use area
  • Campground Lowlights:
    1. No showers
    2. No hook ups
    3. Limited shade options
    4. Very hard to make reservations for
    5. Many of the lake front sites are a bit marshy
  • Things to do
    1. Wineries
    2. Swimming
    3. Water skiing
    4. Parasailing
    5. Banana boating
    6. Paddle boarding
    7. Jet skiing
    8. Golf
  • Links
    1. Rattlesnake Canyon
    2. Owl Eco Tour
    3. Wineries

Bear Creek Provincial Park – Kelowna, BC

Another great BC campground that fills up fast. Enjoy the sunny #Okanagan #wine country with plenty for the kids to do. #tmom

Camp That Site

https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/BearCreek

Bear Ck 2b

When our kids were young we kicked off summer by heading to Bear Creek Provincial Park for the Canada Day long weekend. It felt like the official start of summer and you could almost be guaranteed to have good weather.  Kelowna has a great Canada Day Festival in town with lots to do for the entire family and even without Canada Day you will most certainly be able to find something fun to do. The last time we were at Bear Creek was in 2004, this is largely due to the fact the park is hard to reserve, but these notes are based on those trips so the next time I am in Kelowna I will go back to check it out again.

Bear Ck 30b This campground is great for young families. At least back then, the roads that looped around the campsite were one way, paved and flat so it’s…

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Haynes Point Provincial Park – Osoyoos BC

1 week until Discover Camping, BC’s provincial campground reservation system, opens up. For campgrounds like Haynes Point you have to be booking right at opening. Check out this blog before booking.

Camp That Site

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/haynes_pt/

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We have only been lucky enough to book into this campground once. It is likely the most popular provincial campground there is and if you want a site you will have to get up  before 8:00, 3 months before the date you want to camp and start trying to book it, even then you are lucky if you get in. We were able to get the site because I logged on about the same time as someone was cancelling their reservation and I scooped it up. Otherwise, good luck!

We were there at the end of August and stayed in site 10. It was not a lake front site but we took what we could get. Osoyoos is always very hot, but the good thing is there is often a wind coming off the lake. It’s a hot wind but at least it’ a wind. The downfall with the…

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Shuswap Lake Provincial Park – Scotch Creek , BC

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/shu_lk/

Copy (2) of Copy of Copy of Copy of IMG_0580

Growing up in Kamloops, I have been going to Shuswap Lake Provincial Park for years and it has been interesting to see how the area around it has changed. Shuswap Lake Campground is a very large park with 274 sites located on the beautiful Shuswap Lake. The park features paved roads, a playground, interpretive programs, hiking trails, bike trails, a boat launch, and a lake for swimming with a long sandy/pebble beach. The park also includes Copper Island which is only accessible by boat but is a fun day trip and provides activities like hiking and cliff diving. Although the park is large, it is very popular, so you will need to book your stay 3 months in advance in order to get a site. Continue reading

Shuswap Falls RV Resort – Enderby, BC

http://www.shuswapfallsrvresort.com/

Written by guest blogger Fourroys, Surrey, BC

Shuswap Falls RV Resort is located 22 kms east of Enderby, BC, Canada, on the banks of the Shuswap River and with a view of – you guessed it – Shuswap Falls.  Many of the sites in the resort are owned by the members of the Shuswap Falls RV Resort Club but they do offer some rentals.  Because of this, making a reservation is a good idea. The sites are spacious, and offer a variety of types of sites – sun, shade, partial shade, all with full hookups. Continue reading

Otter Lake Provincial Park – Tulameen, BC

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/otter_lk/

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Otter Lake Provincial Park is located about 30 minutes northwest of Princeton and is well marked. It is a paved road but is has lots of twist and turns and when the signs say, “watch for rocks on road” or “no stopping due to falling rocks” they are not kidding.  Watch for wildlife too; we have seen deer and bears along the way. Although it is not the greatest road once there it is worth the trip. The lake is pristine clear and the campground is truly a get away.

Continue reading