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.
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.
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.
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,
- 7 Tips for Recommended Sites:
- 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.
- For privacy, pick sites 52/54.
- Double site 47 & 49 are good because they back onto the green space and have privacy.
- The sites in the first 2 loops offer good shade but if you get into
- 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.
- For single sites try and get sites 58 or 59. Both are close to everything and 59 still offers good privacy.
- 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:
- Paved roads, great for biking
- Lake Okanagan – nice beach, great for swimming
- Flush toilets and clean showers
- Close to Kelowna and Westbank
- Nature house activities
- Good foliage between sites for privacy and shade
- Lots of green space for activities
- Playground for kids
- Campground Lowlights
- Goose Poo everywhere on the beach and grass
- The lake is cold and windy early in the summer season
- Very hard to get into.
- Sites in loops 81 – 122 are not very treed.
- It is a drive to any activities or hiking
- Things to do
- Swimming & beach activities
- Kelowna wineries (25 minutes from campground)
- Westbank Wineries (20 minutes from campground)
- Boat & sea-doo rentals rental (15 minutes from campground)
- Golf – many great location within a short drive
- Gyro Park – 18 minute drive – great city park and beach