COVID-19: Overnight recreational camping for British Columbian’s will resume in June 2020 and reservations are strongly recommended. For up-to-date travel advisories visit Destination BC.

Getting back to Nature Any Time of Year

Winter camping in the Thompson Okanagan brings family and friends together.

Camping can be enjoyed any time of year; all the smartest people know that. And, thanks to the increase in popularity over the last few years in year-round RV travel, winter camping is more popular than ever before.

The Thompson Okanagan region is huge – about the size of Ireland. A small sample of some great winter camping sites are highlighted.

The Thompson Okanagan has a variety of camping locations that are available year-round, offering amenities and services for short and long-term camping; your choices abound!

Marrying the popular skiing site of Silver Star Resort outside of Vernon is the Cedar Falls Campground. With about 30 sites available, it’s a great destination for families on a budget and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Steps from BX Falls Trail and about 30 minutes from the ski hill, Cedar Falls offers 18 fully equipped sites and 14 sites that offer power but not water. Information is available at Cedar Falls Campground.

Cedar Falls Campground near Silver Star Ski Resort outside Vernon offers year-round sites, laundry and shower facilities. There is also a cozy cabin available for rent. Image by Cait Wills, courtesy of Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

“We have seen a real increase in our winter camping visitors,” says winter site manager Gail Sweeney. She and her husband are on site over the winter to assure that the roads are plowed, the on-site coin laundry facilities are fully stocked and the washrooms and shower facilities are sparkling.

Also in Vernon is Swan Lake RV Park and Campground. Located right on the shores of Swan Lake, nature is never far away. This quiet and family-friendly campground features coin showers and a small laundromat. There is a 20 per cent discount on daily rates for long-term campers and owners Orville and Audrey recommend reserving early for a winter spot. More information can be found at Swan Lake RV and Campground.

Winter camping in Kamloops provides opportunities for amazing hikes. Image by Brody Jones, courtesy of Tourism Kamloops.

Further north but just as popular is the Pinegrove Campground and RV Park in McLure. This dog-friendly destination is less than 45 minutes to Sun Peaks Ski Resort and offers full site hook ups, bathroom facilities and laundry. There is also free Wi-Fi and satellite TV hook ups for long-term campers. Winter camping is only available via reservations, so call or email first. More information is available at Pine Grove Campground & RV Park.

Heading south and located on the banks of Coldwater River just south of Merritt is Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground, where there are 25 fully serviced RV spots, 25 non-serviced RV spots and 19 tenting spots, all available year round. The fully serviced campsites have electric and Wi-Fi capabilities, as well as sewer and water hookups. There are also wheelchair accessible washrooms and bathing facilities at the administration building. Learn more at Moon Shadows RV Park & Campground.

In the South Okanagan, where it feels like winter barely kisses the land, are the communities of Penticton, Oliver and Osoyoos. Snowbirds flock to the area, as temperatures are mild and snow is rare. In fact, golfing is available almost year-round at the local golf courses.

Some of the most popular activities for winter campers is snowshoeing. A popular destination near Kamloops is Stake Lake. Image by Mary Putnam, courtesy of Tourism Kamloops.

Penticton has several year-round campgrounds, including Wright’s Beach Camp. Located on the shores of Skaha Lake, this large campground has more than 200 sites, most of which are fully serviced and offer a lake view. In the winter, there are 44 sites that offer either 30 or 50 amp service. For more information, click on Wright’s Beach Campground. In Oliver, Apple Beach RV Park is a family-owned RV park open year-round. Its sites are fully powered and large, while pets and kids are welcome. Hosts Gary and Marilyn Johnson are friendly and welcoming, and the lakeside campground is known for being quiet and tidy. More information is available at Apple Beach RV Park.

Known as Canada’s Warmest Welcome, Osoyoos changes from its bustling tourist destination in the summer to a more sedate welcome in the winter. On the shores of Osoyoos Lake is Nk’mip RV Park, which is open year-round and has fully powered sites, laundry facilities and an indoor swimming pool. There are weekly and monthly rates available. Learn more at Nk’mip RV Park

For winter and year-round camping opportunities in the Thompson Okanagan and all of British Columbia go to the Camping Page.

Share your BC camping photos using hashtag #CampinBC.

Published: January 2nd, 2020

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