Camping at Christina Lake, BC – Creating Memories to Last a Lifetime

Beautiful lake view of Christina Lake

View of Christina Lake

On a recent sunny Saturday my extended family took a trip up to the Kootenays to remember my grandparents at a spot overlooking their old cabin at Christina Lake. My mom booked us a site at Texas Creek, we piled in a rental van, survived carsickness, and arrived at the campground in time to set up the site before dinner.

Our campsite faced the lake, and was located next to the beach path, with lots of trees and good level ground. The site had an enormous amount of strange flies. Other than that, perfection.

Oh to be camping again!

It really was everything we hoped for. First of all, having that time with my brother, in a setting we’d experienced as children, was fantastic. Fantastic!

Camping is the birthplace of so many inside jokes and family moments. For instance “knowledge bone” (can’t explain, it’s an inside thing) or “reading helps develop all the emotions, like sight”. Or (here’s one you might recognize) “the hills are alive with the sound of rattlesnakes!”

We found the campground to be extremely family-friendly (despite warnings from friends who partied there as teens). Apparently if there is partying done at Christina Lake, it isn’t at this campground. The host family was very attentive, did lots of tours around the site, and had plenty of firewood (complete with fire starter) available by delivery or by walking up to their campsite.

The shower lodge is spectacular. Can I use that term to describe a shower lodge? Is it hyperbole? Nope, this is the real deal: hot water, brand-new facilities, open early (7am) and late (10pm). The best feature is on the left-hand side, where you can find double sinks for washing dishes. With hot water.

Washing dishes in designated area

Washing dishes

Washing dishes with hot water while camping is the outdoor equivalent of staying at the Ritz Carleton.

When the shower lodge is closed, there are other washrooms available – and while they look like outhouses, they are actually flush toilets. Surprise! This is the campground that keeps on giving.

A few words about the beach, which was different than what we expected. The walk down to the water by trail is quite steep. And the beach is actually little pockets of sand, suitable for 3 or 4 sunbathers, or launching a couple of kayaks.

The swimming is very nice and the lake is pleasant. We were expecting an extremely warm lake, so to be honest, don’t. It’s very warm for a tree-lined lake, but it is still refreshing. The water is warmer the deeper you go, with swimming areas nicely marked off. But if your little one isn’t used to swimming in the ocean or lakes don’t expect them to head out into the deep waters with you. Also strongly consider having them wear a life jacket.

It really is a lovely campground. Kids ride bikes incessantly on the gravel roads (we even saw a pair ride bikes in their bathrobes on their way to shower). The noise is pleasantly ambient. We saw the RCMP car circle the sites before dark, which

Young girl looking at smore while camping

Appreciation given to the Smore

was reassuring, although probably unnecessary.

My favourite moments of the trip were having my husband come up from a swim and say “I’m feeling really good about life right now.” And a few minutes later, having my daughter put her arms around me and say “Mommy, I love you very, very, very, very much.”

I hate to admit it, but it had been awhile since she’d said that at home. Just having her hug me like that was worth the price of admission right there. Also she ate smores for the first time, which is an important camping rite of passage.

Combine all the extra hugs, good feelings, and inside jokes, and we’ll have family memories to last a lifetime. Or at least until next summer – we plan to get the jump early and rebook the site for this time next year.

For campgrounds in this region and other communities in British Columbia click on the Camping Map.

Published: September 5th, 2013

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Morgan was raised on camping by her father and maternal grandparents. A life-long Vancouverite, she is a tourism instructor at BCIT and Royal Roads University and a customer service trainer. Morgan lives in East Vancouver with her family and puts a heavy emphasis on family travel as a way to learn, grow, and reconnect.

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