Bear Creek Provincial Park

 

Bear Creek Provincial Park is found on the western shore of Okanagan Lake, just 9 km away from Kelowna. This ultra-popular park is set amongst unique deciduous vegetation, including cottonwoods, dogwoods, maple, birch, acacias and wildroses. It features a 400-m sandy beach with views of Kelowna across the lake, where visitors can enjoy swimming and soaking up the hot rays of the Okanagan sun. Boating and waterskiing are very popular on the Okanagan Lake. The park also offers a playground and lots of grassy areas for active games. During the summer, the Park Facility Operator manages a small concession store at the gatehouse. There are over 10 km of easy hiking trails in this park, leading along the creek to a deep canyon, with excellent viewpoints along the way. This park is very popular during the summer, and reservations are highly recommended.

Facilities

Vehicle Accessible Camping - - - - Picnic Areas Campfires Flush Toilets Pit Toilets Showers Drinking Water RV Sani Station - Playground - Wheel Chair Accessibility Beach Managed Site / Facility Operator

Activities

Fishing Hiking Swimming - Boating Canoeing / Kayaking Waterskiing - Bicycling - - - - - Wildlife Watching - - - - -

Rating

Campsite privacy
Fun for kids
Lots of shade
Peacefulness/Quietness
Activities

Number of campsites: 122, reservable: 80, nearest town: Kelowna (9 km), Westbank (15 km)

Additional Information

Location

The park is located on Westside Road, 9 km off Highway 97, west of Kelowna. From Highway 97, travelling south, leave the city of Kelowna, cross floating bridge on Highway 97 out of Kelowna, travel 2 km and turn west onto Westside Road at the main intersection and follow for 7 km. The entrance to the park is just past the bridge over the Lambly (Bear) Creek.

Contact Information

Kaloya Contracting Ltd.
E-mail address: info@campokanagan.com
Phone: (250) 548-0076 (This is not a campsite reservations number).
Please specify park name when sending/leaving a message.
Please go to www.discovercamping.ca to reserve a campsite.

Camping Information

Fees

Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $24.00 per party / night.

BC Senior Rate (Labour Day to June 14 only): $12.00 per senior couple/night.

Operation Dates

Campground opening and closing dates: April 1 – October 13. Campground dates with full fees and services: April 1 – October 13.Campground reservable dates: May 14 – September 6.

Facilities

Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

The park has one campground, though it is divided by Lambly (Bear) Creek. There are 122 vehicle accessible sites in the park, including 18 doubles. Reservation sites are # 1-80 and are found on the north side of the creek in two loops. These medium to large sized sites are found amongst well spaced trees and irrigated lawns. The trees are well trimmed and a mix of both coniferous and deciduous with many non-native species present. The effect is of fairly open, well manicured grounds. The sites are gravel and have a fire ring and picnic table on a cement pad. Nine of these sites back onto the creek and are slightly smaller and surrounded by more dense vegetation. If these reservable sites are not required for a reservation, they may be available on a first come first served basis. Crossing the creek within the campground leads to sites 81-122 on the south side of the creek. These sites are available on a first come first served basis; during the peak season, a wait list must usually be established. This area of the park is newly landscaped (sites were developed in 1996) and though most of the area is now shaded, some of this area is still open with newly planted saplings, irrigated lawn and raised beds of bark mulch landscaped with low growing plants and bushes between the sites. This area has its own shower/washroom building and taps. A gatehouse is situated near the park entrance just off Westside Road with three payphones and an information shelter. There is a gate on Westside Road which is locked from 11:00pm to 7:00am during the operating season and then locked during the off-season, from October 14 to March 31.

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

Upon entering the campground, turn left to access the large day-use/picnic area with 59 picnic tables and parking for 180 vehicles. The tables are spread out on lawns overlooking the beach and shaded by well-spaced mature cottonwood and oak trees. The tables have a great view across the lake to the city of Kelowna and Knox Mountain. Right next to the parking lot is bathroom/change house with flush toilets that are wheelchair accessible. A kiosk beside the changehouse has interpretive signs discussing the area and some of the issues facing the park. The large, open lawns found throughout the park offer opportunities for a variety of activities. Day-use Area Vehicle Parking Fee: $1.00 per vehicle / hour to a maximum of $3.00 per vehicle per/day.

Campfires

Campfires

Campfires are allowed in the designated campfire rings provided at each campsite. Firewood can be purchased in the park or you may bring your own wood.

Showers

Showers

There are hot showers in the washrooms. There is no extra charge for showers and they are for registered guests only.

RV Sani Station

RV Sani Station

During the collecting season a sani-station/dump is available and a fee is charged for the service. The sani-station/dump is located across Westside road from the gatehouse next to the Canyon Trail parking area. Sani-station Use Fee: $2.00 per discharge.

Playground

Playground

There is a small playground located in the grassy area beside sites 30/31. It has a swingset with four swings and a small wooden platform with one slide. The equipment is set in sand.

Wheel Chair Accessibility

Wheel Chair Accessibility

The park is mostly level, with paved and gravel roads. Showers and toilets have handicapped access.

Activities

Fishing

Fishing

Various freshwater fish is available in Okanagan Lake. There is a daily quota of 2 rainbow trout (only one over 50cm), no fishing for kokanee, and single barbless hooks only.

Hiking

Hiking

Gentle trails take hikers around the campsites and along the creek as it passes through the campground. The Bear Creek Canyon trail is a popular, more demanding hike offering spectacular views of the creek and the surrounding area. The trail leaves the parking lot and makes a loop of the canyon. Hikers can cross the creek on a footbridge to the north side of the canyon and begin their ascent of the slope. A sturdy staircase of milled lumber makes the climb a little easier and reduces impact on the plant life and soil structure. A viewpoint after the first flight of stairs offers a place to rest and look down at the creek. The wide, hard-packed trail continues up the rim of the canyon with two more viewpoints perched on the edge of the canyon wall and hemmed in by chain link fence. The view of the creek, as it meanders through the steep-walled canyon forming various ripples and small waterfalls, is fantastic. Gradually the trail levels out and then begins a descent to the creek. A pit toilet is located here. The trail follows the creek for a short distance before crossing to the south side. The canyon forms a microclimate with noticeably different vegetation on the two sides of the creek. The slope on the north is dry with Ponderosa pine and bunches of grass while the cooler south side has Douglas fir and carpets of moss, evidence of more moisture and shade. Allow 1 hour to hike Canyon.

Swimming

Swimming

Over 400 metres of coarse sandy beach stretches the length of the campground from the day-use area to the creek. There are pebbles on the beach but no big rocks in the water. There is a designated swimming area marked with buoys.

Canoeing / Kayaking

Canoeing / Kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking can be enjoyed on the Okanagan Lake.

Waterskiing

Waterskiing

Okanagan Lake provides many waterskiing and jetskiing opportunities. Jet ski and boat rentals are available at Lake Okanagan Resort ten minutes north of the park on Westside Road.

Bicycling

Bicycling

Cycling is possible on paved roadways in the park.

Wildlife Watching

Wildlife Watching

Excellent views of the canyon and lake from the canyon trail. The cottonwoods along the creek and the delta provide habitat for a variety of birds and offer excellent birdwatching opportunities.

User Reviews

Campsite privacy
Fun for kids
Lots of shade
Peacefulness/Quietness
Activities

This is a very nice place

Submitted by Guest on June 28, 2009

This park is a very pleasant place to spend a few days. Although very close to Kelowna, and quite busy with people, the campsites are nice, cozy, and surrounded by trees that provide shade and privacy. I went there in June, and was amazed with all the roses growing all over the park, even on my own campsite. The scent of roses made me feel like I camped in a botanical garden. This park is definitely busy, and I can imagine that it might be problematic to find a vacant space there during busy summer months. I saw a couple "overflow" (I guess) campsites in the park by a fence...well let's just say that you don't want to end up in one of those. But overall I give this park a definite 2 thumbs up!!

 

User Images

Map of the park on the information board

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

Picnic area

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

Two single sites next to each other. The trees around each site provide you with privacy

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

In June this park like a rose garden. Roses are everywhere, and the air is filled with the aroma

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

Single site. It is small, but very private.

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

Double site

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

Amphitheater

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

Picnic area by the lake

Guest
Jun 28, 2009

 

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