Campground Review

Shuswap Lake Provincial Park and Kekuli Bay Provincial Park

Shuswap Lake

Well here we go again! Off for a week of rest, relaxation, and adventure. 2 campgrounds to review here: 4 nights at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park and 3 nights at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park.

First things first, Shuswap Lake Provincial Park. WOW. We spent a single night at this park last year and it was nowhere near enough time. We had to return. And return we did! A quick background, Shuswap Lake Provincial Park sits on the Southwest shore of the massive Shuswap Lake. The park is 149 acres and was established in 1956. From May to October, all 330 sites are reservable and the park is often at 100% capacity through most of the reservable season.

A quick look around and you can see why. A beautiful forest greets you upon entry to the park, and large, decently private sites house you during your stay. There are a few dozen electrical-serviced sites for RVers, and a well maintained 2-lane sani-dump upon exiting ($5 for all users). Note, water taps are not threaded but on the main road that divides the campground, there are two potable water fill stations for RV’s.

Family friend is an understatement for this park. Multiple playgrounds, including a massive new adventure playground that opened just prior to our arrival last year, a kid-friendly BMX track, over a km of beachfront, boat launch, and nature trails abound.

We had two sites for our mini family reunion. A bit further a part then expected, I apparently did not do a good map reconnaissance when doing our bookings. Our choices were limited, despite booking in the opening week for the window we wanted, all double and electrical sites were already gone (a testament to the popularity of this park). However, our site afforded great privacy, and nice proximity to the beach, new adventure playground, and the BMX track.

Sister-Brother Hammock Time

We might take safety for granted, but we allow Maddy to often ride on the road we are on by herself, and head over to the playground to meet her cousins. All on her bike. The roads are paved, for little ones still utilizing training wheels, it is scooter, training wheel, etc. friendly. While huge in size with lots of site, it offers lots of privacy with tons of family-friendly amenities, a definite 10 out of 10 and warranting return visits.

Kekuli Bay Provincial Park

After the first half of the week spent in a fair bit of the wet stuff, we made our way over to Kekuli Bay Provincial Park. This beautiful, hillside park, sits on the west side of Kalamalka Lake, approximately 10km south of Vernon. Old stomping grounds for me, as just south of Vernon is the Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre. While just down the hill from the Okanagan Highway, it is quiet and you don’t get much noise from it.

This 57 HA park has 73 campsites, all of which are reservable through the Discover Camping webpage. The campground itself is in 3 main lanes, making up 6 tiers moving uphill from the lake. Essentially, you get fairly unobstructed views of the lake from most campsites (check out the photos!). We were able to secure a double site here, and as you can see, they are large and open, easily accommodating our 22-foot trailer and my brother’s almost 30-foot long Avenger. We arranged ourselves in an ‘L’ shape to maximize parking and play area for the kids. The taps have hose bib attachments for easy filling of potable water tanks.

The view! Wow! We couldn’t ask for a better site. Further up the hill would afford you even better views, and ditto for most of the single sites. There are 4 sites with electrical hookups but those are in the overflow lot at the very bottom of the hill, and you pretty much feel you are just settling into a Walmart lot. The beach here is nothing special, rocky, with lots of warning signs for poison ivy, of which we never did spot. The water itself was about as warm as Shuswap Lake and nice to be in. The playground here is a bit aged but offers a change from some of the other parks’ usual setup, and an amazing view of Kal lake for those wanting a nice picnic.

For those leaving the campground in an RV, there is no sani-dump at this park. Heading back towards Vancouver via Hwy 97 offers you many options, but a nice option we found was to make the safer right turn back onto Hwy 97 and backtrack 15 minutes to the Vernon Superstore where they off a FREE sani-dump. This also allows you to top up for the drive at a trailer-friendly fuel station, and groceries/snacks for the trip home. While not offering as many amenities and family activities of Shuswap Lake, Kekuli offers great views, relaxation, and lots of Okanagan sun. A solid 9 out of a 10 and must camp at for the Okanagan, especially if you’re looking to get away from the busier parks like Bear Creek and Okanagan Lake.

Thanks for reading and your support! Remember to like and comment, let us know what you’d like to hear from us! We will be posting an activity blog on ideas to keep the kids busy, and another on camp kitchen, cooking ideas and tricks we’ve picked up along the way.

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