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
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
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
Pro Packing Cubes asked me to try out and review their product in an RV setting. I had never heard of packing cubes but anything that helps organize my RV is of interest to me. I set out to research their product before deciding if I would accept their offer.
It seems packing cubes are popular with travelers. They are soft sided nylon bags in varying sizes, designed to keep your clothes organized and compact. The product has a 4.5 stars to 5 star rating on Amazon.com which certainly indicates their customers are happy.
We camped at this park at the end of August 2013. We were there with 3 other families which consisted of 8 adults and 9 teenagers. This state park is about a 2.5 hour drive from Surrey BC. We approached the park near dusk when the road was lined with deer. This made driving very interesting and nerve racking at the same time. We must have counted 150 deer in the short stretch of land from Greenbank along highway 525 to The State Park. I tried to take pictures but it was too dark and not safe enough to stop.Our family was staying in site 7 with friends in sites 35, 31 and 29. The sites are very treed and private with plenty of room for your trailer and an additional kids tent. If you are looking for sun you need to select your site carefully. Site 7 had very little sun and was long and narrow so it was challenging to get our awning up. It also backed onto the bathrooms and for some reason, of which I would rather not know, the ground at the back of our site never dried out. It didn’t smell like a septic field but I am thinking that had something to do with it. Our friends in site 35 also had a narrow site but it was very long with a large open area at the back for tents, campfires and picnic tables. They too got very little sun but lots of privacy. Site 31 was a good site, wide and long with enough sun to give you a choice of sun or shade. It was not as private but with the damp ocean air it is nice to get the sun. Site 29 had no hook ups but it was also large and open. The sites up on this row had much less privacy, & no hook ups, but were good if you were camping as a group.
If you are camping there to be on the ocean then you should know that South Whidbey Island Park is a steep hike from the water. The trails are very steep and challenging to get kayaks and beach gear up and down. Trust me, we considered leaving the kayaks for the next campers. There are a couple of very nice hikes right near the park. As a group we did the easy one which was suitable for dogs, kids and adults. It took us about an hour and a half and it was through some beautiful foliage and along a stream at points. Well worth a trip if you are staying in the camp ground. The web site also talks about the U.S. Navy jets, from the nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, may fly over the campground at any time for several hours creating noisy conditions for campers. We did not experience this but be aware that this may occur and, depending on your views, can have a uniquely positive or negative impact on your trip. Our kids would have thought it was great.
One day part of our group went golfing at the Navy’s Gallery Golf Course north of Oak Harbor. Its about a 40 min drive, but is very affordable for a course that has some ocean-side holes. It’s best feature was that we got to see up-close about half a dozen military jets flying to or from the navy base next door. Not great when they scream by during your back-swing, but they were definitely cool to see.
Another day all the adults went into Langley to check out the town and have lunch. Langley is located right on the water with amazing view of the Saratoga Passage. The town has some great artisan shops and several restaurants. It was a beautiful day and we were looking for a patio or deck. We stopped at Prima Bistro which had a great deck elevated above the street so the view of Saratoga Passage was fantastic. We had a very nice lunch, some great drinks and a lot of laughs.
8 Campground Tips
This campground is very small so if you have a trailer over 18 feet you will only have a few choices
For larger units site 31 is a good choice
If you are under 18 feet and need power try and get site 33. It has a good balance of sun and shade and is private.
Site 31 and then 34 would be my next top power site choices for smaller units
Sites 11 to 15 do not have power but are very private and close to the trails. These sites do not get much sun
I didn’t make notes on the sites 37 to 47 but it was a nice part of the campsite for tent camping. The sites in this area are small and mostly tent sites.
Located right on the ocean
Park features include old-growth forest, tidelands for crabbing and clamming
Amazing views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains (from the beach, campsites themselves are in the trees)
Easy hikes right from the park.
Power and water at some sites.
Clean washrooms and showers
Short drive to small ocean side towns for day trips.
Sani dump on site
Limited sun on most of the campsites.
Steep hike to the water
No open space for group games.
No double sites
Loud noise of the jets overhead
Things to do
Crabbing, clamming and fishing
Hiking right from the campground
Golf, several courses within driving distance
Small ocean side towns to visit within driving distance
The older I get, the more conveniences I seem to acquire and a portable ice maker is just another example. We are social campers, meaning, we mostly camp with other families and are often in private campgrounds with hook ups. It also means we go through a lot of beverages!
Regardless of our camp set up we like to keep our beverages in a cooler packed with ice. Nothing says camping like digging around in freezing water and being rewarded with a cold beer. Keeping that cooler full of ice during a hot summer trip is really the only stress we have camping so we decided to buy a portable ice maker. I do agree, if this is our biggest stress, then life is great!
April has arrived and with it brings the start of the A to Z challenge. This challenge means I will publish a blog each day, except Sundays, for the month of April. This will be challenging because I have not camped since the fall and I have nothing booked for this year. Not to fear: this challenge, and the sunshine of April, will revitalize me. It is the point that I really start to think of summer and dream of getting away for weekends. This challenge will help me refocus and remind me how much I enjoy getting out in our trailer to enjoy some relaxation time with my family and friends.
Let the count down begin! In less than 24 hours campers across BC will plant themselves in front of computers, anxiously ready to hit ENTER, and crossing their fingers hoping to reserve a campsite at one of BC’s coveted Provincial Campgrounds.
You can only book 3 months in advance so reservations for dates of June 15th and prior are only accepted. In June, if you are able to camp during the weekdays, you should be okay getting a reservation but weekends will book up within minutes. As the calendar moves into July and August any date is near impossible to secure. We have been able to get into most of the popular Provincial Parks at some point over the last 20 years but each year it gets harder and harder.
I have been researching tips for cooking and baking in an RV oven. I no longer use my oven, mainly because my one and only experience was a disaster. We were having a pot luck dinner and I volunteered to make roasted potatoes for 30. (I know, crazy idea, right!) I peeled and chopped, peeled and chopped, and then peeled and chopped some more. Once all the chopping was done I coated them with olive oil, seasoned them and separated them onto 3 trays. Two went in my oven and one on the BBQ.