Camping in British Columbia’s West Kootenays: Checking out three great campsites
Camping in the West Kootenay’s is a great way to explore the area and visit communities like Nakusp and Burton. So in July 2020, we visited three campgrounds near or on the shores of Arrow Lake and the town of Nakusp.
2 km north of Nakusp lies KBR Campground with 40 campsites. This campground is in a great location for those who want to explore the area, through hiking, shopping, eating out in Nakusp, or relaxing in the hot springs across the road. A new addition this summer is their koi pond. KBR is a great location for travellers on the go.
Three Islands Resort
15 km south of Nakusp is Three Islands Resort. Located on Summit Lake, this campsite is a paradise for campers with easy access to the lake, lots of local ATV trails and very helpful owners. What we liked about this campground was the lovely beach and boat launch plus lots of choice for sites, whether you are looking for tenting, full service or lakeshore sites.
Burton Historical Park
36 km south of Nakusp is the community of Burton with its rich history. Founded in 1895, Burton was originally a gold rush town. Its destiny dramatically changed with the signing of the Columbia River Treaty (between Canada and the United States) and the building of the Keenleyside Dam in the early 1960s which controlled the flow of water in the river for hydro-electric power. This was a very traumatic time for many of the long-time residents in the area who were forced to leave or relocate when the valley was flooded.
Near the original town site is the RV Park we stayed at; it is called Burton Historical Park. This park is a real gem, sitting on the shores of Arrow Lake. There are lots of sites along the lake, as well as great amenities such as hot showers, great beach access and a sani-dump. The Seniors Trail (named in honour of the local seniors group who developed it) leads from the campsite south along the lake to the site of the old cemetery. The campsite host at the park shared with us that in the early spring when the water levels are low, you can still see remnants of the old foundations.
While we were camping at Burton we walked up the road to the Burton Bean, a farm stand with lots of local seasonal fruits and vegetables along with all kinds of neat treasures from local vendors and artisans. If you are looking for eggs, this is the place to go. This has to be the cutest chicken yard I have ever seen, full of happy hens!
A little further up the road we stopped in at Burton City Cider to try some of their local cider and their yummy pizza.
We then meandered across the highway, to the community of Burton. Even though many of the original buildings on the lake were either burned or torn down, we walked past many that were relocated including the old general store which is now closed.
If you are looking for great camping, a beautiful part of BC and plenty of things to do, check out the Nakusp area and make it a destination for your next summer camping trip.
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If this area interests you, check out our drive:
Mountains, Lakes & Rivers in the West Kootenays and Boundary Country
For other campgrounds in this area or elsewhere in British Columbia check out the Camping Map
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Published: October 22nd, 2020
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