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Green Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia’s Cariboo is a Great Destination for a Camping Holiday

Green Lake Provincial Park is a series of sites surrounding 14-kilometre long Green Lake in British Columbia’s South Cariboo. Of the park’s eleven locations, six have facilities for visitors.

Camping at Emerald Bay in Green Lake Provincial Park | Kim Walker

The park contains three vehicle accessible campgrounds: Arrowhead, Sunset View, and Emerald Bay. On our most recent trip to Green Lake Provincial Park, we stayed at the Emerald Bay campground, which offers a mix of single and double campsites. We were very fortunate to get one of the waterfront sites, which was lovely as we almost always travel with our kayaks and we were able to keep our kayaks on our own little beach! The 51 sites at Emerald Bay are spacious and generally private, but there are a limited number of waterfront sites, and those that do have direct access to the water often have a steep trail as the access. The Arrowhead campsite, in contrast, contains 16 high-density sites. While you are undeniably close to your neighbours, your site will also be directly on the water with extremely easy access.

The Emerald Bay and Sunset View campgrounds, in addition to two other sites, Blue Spring and Little Arrowhead, all have day use facilities.  Emerald Bay and Sunset View have lovely picnic shelters and all sites have picnic tables. These sites are all great options for a day at the beach!

Emerald Bay Picnic Shelter, Green Lake | Kim Walker

Green Lake is known for its warm, greenish coloured water. Despite only being 14 kilometres long, Green Lake has about 57 kilometres of shoreline. The lake contains numerous small islands and peninsulas, which makes it a perfect destination to explore by kayak.  Paddling from the Emerald Bay campground to the Arrowhead Campground is a nice day trip of about 17 kilometres round trip. Along the way, paddlers will pass by the Black Bear and Little Arrowhead sites. Another lovely paddle is from the Emerald Bay campsite across the lake to the Nolan Creek site, then down to the Green Lake Islands site. When paddling on Green Lake, it is important to be prepared for rough conditions, as the lake tends to get very windy in the afternoon.  A life jacket is a must and all paddlers should be prepared in case of an unexpected swim.

Horseback Riding near Green Lake, Cariboo | Kim Walker

The area surrounding Green Lake is excellent terrain for cycling and horseback riding. On our trip, we did a guided horseback trail ride at a nearby lodge and guest ranch, which was a great experience for this nervous rider. My dad, on the other hand, prefers to cover his distance in the South Cariboo by bicycle, and enjoys nice long road rides while camped at Green Lake.

Sunset on Green Lake, Cariboo | Kim Walker

Green Lake Provincial Park makes a great basecamp for exploring the region, and a few highlights include nearby Chasm Provincial Park, the Bridge Lake Ice Caves, driving to Lone Butte to see the historic water tower, and checking out the many other lakes in the area, including Bridge Lake .

Visiting Green Lake Provincial Park each summer is a tradition for many families. The park offers perfect beachfront relaxation with excellent recreation opportunities both on and off the water.

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For campgrounds in this area and elsewhere in British Columbia check out the Camping Map.

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It’s always a great day to #CampInBC

Summer in Valemount, British Columbia: Where the Mountains Move You

Imagine standing in the middle of a town with a view of three snow-capped mountain ranges. Welcome to Valemount in east-central British Columbia, a village with stand-out summer adventures and activities.

Just over an hour west of Jasper, Alberta, Valemount is in the Robson Valley, situated along and east of Highway 5 (Yellowhead Hwy) and nestled between the Rocky, Monashee and Cariboo mountains (to the east, south and west). It’s a municipality with a big heart – and venturesome residents eager to show visitors what their playground is all about.

Whitewater Rafting near Valemount | Kelly Funk

The land that would become Valemount is in the traditional territory of the Secwepemc Nation, Simpcw territory. The name Valemount was coined for the Canadian National Railway station there in 1927, and to this day it has a ViaRail station. It’s the nearest community to BC’s Mount Robson Provincial Park and its namesake, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Choose from three campgrounds here: Lucerne, Robson River and Robson Meadows. From gentle meadows to alpine lookouts, there are hundreds of kilometres of trails to explore. (Note that the popular Berg Lake Trail will be open this summer to Kinney Lake only.) While in the area make a splash whitewater rafting on Class I to Class V rapids, or paddling or floating along the Fraser River (a clear, beautiful blue/green in this part of the province) or on the long and narrow Kinbasket Lake. Amidst the Rocky and Cariboo mountains it’s actually a reservoir created by the construction of the Mica Dam; water levels can vary.

Paddleboarding near Valemount | Kelly Funk

The viewpoint at Rearguard Falls Provincial Park provides an excellent opportunity to witness the end of a long journey for the mighty Chinook, the largest of the Pacific salmon. From the Fraser estuary in the province’s lower mainland to this point, the fish travel upstream for over 1,200 km, though not all make it this far. George Hicks Regional Park also has a viewing platform for the salmon as they enter Swift Creek. Spawning season is generally August to September.

For other camping and RV options search via the Camping and RVing BC Coalition’s campground webpage; Visit Valemount also has RV and camping information. The Valemount Visitor Centre can be found at 785 Cranberry Lake Rd (summer hours June-Sept, Mon-Fri 8:30 am-4:30 pm).

Valemount Bike Park | wildy-ruby

Mountain biking is a way of life in this part of BC. Be sure to check out the Valemount Bike Park. Minutes from the town core, it’s a system of trails ranging from easy cross-country pedals and smooth and flowy downhills to steep and ‘rooty’ adrenaline-filled singletrack options. Cruise the trail and boardwalk along Cranberry Marsh (the Starratt Wildlife Management Area) where you can stop for birdwatching along the 6-km loop. Should you wish to rent a mountain bike or ebike swing by or call District Bike Co. or Bike & Bites; both shops service bikes too.  Hiking trails in Valemount range from easy-medium-challenging; it’s best to verify openings with the Visitor Centre before heading out as some trails may be closed for repairs or due to inclement weather. Perhaps you’ll see Sasquatch near Mica Mountain (as sighted in 1955!) as you hike the Mica Mine Trail, the same trail where, in the 1890s, horses and mules hauled minerals down the mountain.

Three kilometres south of Valemount is Cedarside Regional Park on Little Cranberry Lake, a swimming spot with a sandy beach where dogs on leashes are welcome. There are toilets, picnic tables and fire pits; camping is not permitted.

Slow the pace down with some horseback riding or try fly, troll or spin cast fishing. Various species of trout fill nearby rivers and lakes (such as Moose and Shere lakes), as do Rocky Mountain whitefish. Valemount Pines Campground boasts a nine-hole golf course and grassy tent and RV campsites with spacious long-level pull-throughs and private back-in sites near a mountain.

Kinney Lake, Mount Robson | Kelly Funk

Complement your fish dinner with a trip to the Valemount Farmers’ Market, which runs every Thursday afternoon from late June to September. Along with regional produce you’ll find arts and crafts. For other art options visit Mountain Driftwood Gallery & Gift. Many artisans sell in the area so check with the Visitor Centre for info on pottery, jewelry and antiques and collectibles. The Valemount Museum & Archive is located in an old railway station built in 1914. Learn about local pioneers, historic regional railroad towns and WWII Japanese internment camps. There are community events and summer festivals in and around Valemount such as the Annual Valemountain Days (June 9-11 this year), the annual Bike Fest (June 17) and Canada Day celebrations (July 1). Robson Valley Music Festival in the farming community of Dunster, 60km to the northeast, takes place on August 11-13.

Restaurant options include the Summit Grill and Cranberry Lounge in the Best Western Plus hotel and Cariboo Grill with fine comfort fare and an ample wine list in a cabin-like setting. The Gathering Tree specializes in breakfast and lunch and Valemount Swiss Bakery is known for its scrumptious sourdough breads. Get your mojo fix at Vale Coffee, a small batch roastery and takeaway café and if you’re craving a pint head to Three Ranges Brewing Company for craft-brewed beer in their cozy tasting room or on the patio. The establishment is part of the BC Ale Trail, which lists over 220 craft breweries.

Whatever the outing or adrenaline rush – whether strolling past mountain wildflowers or chuting down rapids – summer in Valemount is bound to please all nature lovers.

For more information on Valemount go to the website at www.visitvalemount.ca, check out the Facebook and Instagram pages or if you are already in the area go to the Valemount Visitor Centre at 785 Cranberry Lake Rd, (250) 566-9893 visitorcentre@valemount.ca.

TIP: If you find this blog interesting why not subscribe to the enewsletter and never miss another story!

For campgrounds in this area and elsewhere in British Columbia check out the Camping Map.

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

It’s always a great day to #CampInBC

Exploring British Columbia’s Recreation Sites and Trails: Lundbom Lake

Lundbom Lake Sunset

Lundbom Lake Sunset

Sometimes, the weather can be tough in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Rain and overcast skies can put a serious damper on our motivation to get out of the house and into the great outdoors. Last spring, we put the dreary weather behind us and headed to the Nicola Valley to explore Lundbom Lake, one of BC’s fabulous Recreation Sites.

After doing some preliminary research at home, we discovered that Lundbom Lake, less than half an hour from Merritt, offered a huge range of outdoor activity opportunities including fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and ATVing. Without a second thought, we loaded up our dog, our tent trailer, and our mountain bikes and headed for the much sunnier weather of BC’s interior for a weekend getaway.

Accessing Lundbom Lake is quite simple. From Merritt, take Highway 5A/97C (the Okanagan Connector) then turn off on Lundbom Lake Road – a well maintained gravel road. Upon leaving the highway, you first pass the Laurie Guichon Grasslands Interpretive Area. This is a really neat area with interpretive signage, a short trail, a viewing platform, and a wildlife tree. It makes for an interesting and informative stop to learn about grasslands ecology and local history.

Lundbom Lake Campsite

Lundbom Lake Campsite

Next the road passes Marquart Lake, the first option for camping. Marquart Lake is interesting because the water level has been rapidly decreasing and you can clearly see where the lake used to be. Marquart Lake has both tenting and RV sites, but we chose to carry on to Lundbom Lake, another 5-10 minutes down the road.

As you crest the hill and begin the descent towards Lundbom Lake, you first come to the Lundbom Lake West campground. This site offers quite a few campsites, as well as horse corrals. As we are not horseback riders, we chose to keep going on the road around Lundbom Lake until we came to the Lundbom Lake East campground. Here we found our perfect campsite: sunny, only feet from the lake, and level – which made it easy to set up our tent trailer!

Heading Out on the Lundbom Mountain Bike Trail

Heading Out on the Lundbom Mountain Bike Trail

After establishing our campsite, we had a great evening of board games, a campfire, and simply enjoying the beautiful weather. We were visited by the site operator who collected our camping fees (a very reasonable $12 per night) and gave us some tips on mountain biking in the area.

The next morning we unloaded our bikes, met up with family, and headed for the Lundbom/Tent Mountain Bike Trail. The trail, a 12-kilometer route managed by the Merritt Mountain Bike Association, is a fantastic beginner to intermediate ride leaving right from the campground. The trail has rolling hills, making it ideal for beginner mountain bikers like me who are nervous about the steep downhill sections of some mountain biking trails! The route follows old access roads and horse trails and is a great mix of open grasslands and treed areas which would provide welcome relief from the hot sun during the summer months.

Lundbom Mountain Bike Trail

Lundbom Mountain Bike Trail

As always when camping, it is important to remember that we are heading into areas where wildlife is present. On our bike ride, we saw a bear out enjoying the sunshine. Fortunately, the bear had very little interest in us and headed the other way as soon as it heard us coming, but it is always important to be Bear Aware  when heading into the wilderness.

After our ride we returned to the campground where we had a great conversation with a woman who was out for a day of fishing. She told us that Lundbom Lake has amazing fishing opportunities and even gave us a hint as to the “secret spot” to catch the biggest fish!

Our weekend at Lundbom Lake gave us a break from the dreary lower mainland weather and the opportunity to easily (and inexpensively) access the outdoors. We will definitely be back as our weekend away only scratched at the surface of the many things to do at this BC Recreation Site.

For a range of camping opportunities in British Columbia visit Where to Camp and share your BC camping and travel photos on #CampinBC.

First published November 2017 and updated September 2019.

Published: September 25th, 2019

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