Osoyoos, BC: Desert Camping in the Winter

Nk'Mip Cellars Vines in Winter

Nk’Mip Cellars Vines in Winter

Osoyoos is well known as a destination for summer camping, but what about in the winter?

“Canada’s desert” is located near the Washington State border in the South Okanagan. It is a beautiful desert area wrapped around Osoyoos Lake with more wineries and orchards than you can imagine. Hot, dry summers, fresh fruit and a warm swimming lake make this a popular place for tourists in the summer.

We decided to check out Osoyoos a little more closely in the winter since it is such a popular destination in the summer. It is known for often having short, dry winters and is an attractive destination for snowbirds.

Nk'Mip Campground and RV Park

Nk’Mip Campground and RV Park

The day we arrived the temperature was hovering around zero degrees Celsius with some snow on the ground. We checked in with some locals to get ideas on what to do in the winter. One recommendation was to head up to Mount Baldy Resort, a ski hill just 45 minutes from Osoyoos. It has a great tobogganing hill for kids but is also popular for their cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing and downhill skiing. If you plan it right, we were told you can ski and golf on the same day. For golfing, there is the championship-level Osoyoos Golf Club plus a number of executive nine-hole courses.

Nk'Mip Cellars

Nk’Mip Cellars

For winter camping we were very impressed with the large Nk’Mip Campground and RV Park located on the east side of Osoyoos Lake. We have camped there many times in the early spring and summer both in our tent and trailer, but it is also popular in the winter, with RVs set up for the colder weather. It has over 350 sites, wireless internet, clubhouse, indoor pool and hot tub which is open in the winter months.

Just above the campground is the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and Nk’Mip Cellars with their patio restaurant open April to October. We had a chance to enjoy their beautiful view overlooking the vineyards with the campground and lake in the distance. We learned that the winery was the first Indigenous-owned and-operated winery in North America. With an impressive selection of award winning wines, we enjoyed some wine tasting and wandered around the gift shop.

Lunch at the Sage Pub

Lunch at the Sage Pub

After a visit to the cellar we headed back into town to the newly renovated Sage Pub. It was a busy place, with clientele of all ages, views of the lake and lots of big screens for the sports enthusiasts. One of the recommendations we had received earlier in the day was to try their Shepherds Pie which did not disappoint my husband. Even though our waitress said they are well-known for steak and pizza, I opted for their staff favourite and delicious Mexi Skins!

Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad

Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad

We rounded out our Osoyoos trip with a visit to my favourite Home Hardware on Main Street (check out the reviews online; it is way more than a hardware store). We then headed west out of town towards Keremeos to warm up in the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad which is also open year round. It has the largest model train exhibit I have ever seen. I can’t believe we didn’t take our kids there when we were camping in the area. That being said, we had a great time checking out the trains and highly recommend it for adults as well.

Sage Pub

Sage Pub

So put Osoyoos on your list for your next winter getaway. It is more than Canada’s hotspot in summer; it features plenty of cold season indoor and outdoor activities that cater to all levels of RVers and campers.

For campgrounds & RV Parks in Osoyoos and other communities in British Columbia check out the Camping Map.

Share your BC camping and travel photos using hashtag #campinbc.

Published: February 26th, 2019

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Carol Stathers by Carol Stathers

Carol loves being in the outdoors whether it is hiking, camping, kayaking or enjoying time at the lake. With a health background in nursing, she has written for many health-related journals and is also writing a historical non-fiction book about the Peach Valley area of Summerland where she lives. Along with writing, she and her family love camping. She grew up camping on Vancouver Island and has explored many parts of BC with her husband, three kids and their golden retriever. She and her newly-retired husband just upgraded to a newer trailer and are looking forward to more camping adventures throughout British Columbia.

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