The best camping near Grand Forks, British Columbia.
Surrounded by the desert-like hills of British Columbia’s Boundary region, small Grand Forks sits along Highway 3 at the confluence of the Kettle and Granby rivers. Many Doukhobors, a pacifist religious group with roots in Russia, settled here in the early 1900s, and you can visit the town’s Boundary Museum to learn about this heritage. For hikers and cyclists, sections of theRead more...
Surrounded by the desert-like hills of British Columbia’s Boundary region, small Grand Forks sits along Highway 3 at the confluence of the Kettle and Granby rivers. Many Doukhobors, a pacifist religious group with roots in Russia, settled here in the early 1900s, and you can visit the town’s Boundary Museum to learn about this heritage. For hikers and cyclists, sections of the Great Trail—the cross-Canada multi-use pathway—run through the region, including the nearly 650-kilometre (400-mile) Kettle Valley Rail Trail. For campers, Grand Forks has a municipal campground and nearby provincial parks with camping areas.
Where to Go
Christina Lake and Gladstone Provincial Park
From Grand Forks, it’s a 20-minute drive—or 24-kilometre (15-mile) one-way bike ride—to one of the prettiest and warmest lakes in this part of British Columbia. At the south end of the lake, Christina Lake Provincial Park, a day-use park, has a family-friendly swimming beach. Campers can pitch their tent or park their RV in Gladstone Provincial Park, also along the lake.
Considered Canada’s smallest city, the village of Greenwood is full of Victorian-era buildings, from its 1899 saloon to its 1915 post office. Pop into the Greenwood Museum to learn about the community, or grab coffee and a cinnamon bun at the local café. Highway 3 runs directly through Greenwood, 42 kilometres (26 miles) west of Grand Forks.
The South Okanagan
Follow Highway 3, 90 minutes west of Grand Forks, and you’ll reach the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia’s largest wine-making region. The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver, at the valley’s southernmost end, have plenty of wineries to visit, and you can swim and sun along Lake Osoyoos. A popular camping destination, Swiws Provincial Park, is also located in Osoyoos.
When to Go
Summer and fall, when the weather is typically sunny and mild, are the peak seasons for camping in the Grand Forks area and throughout south-central British Columbia. Weekends in July and August are especially busy, so if you’re planning a short summertime trip, travel mid-week if you can. Throughout central British Columbia, snow can fall anytime from mid-October through March, and temperatures often fall below freezing. Spring weather can range from cold and rainy to sunny and comfortable.
Know Before You Go
- Along Highway 3, Grand Forks is roughly equidistant from Osoyoos to the west and Castlegar to the east, both towns where you can find supplies for camping and outdoor activities. While Grand Forks is small, you can buy food and others basics in town.
- Twice a week, from May through October, you can find fresh produce and locally made treats at Grand Forks Farmers Market, held in the town’s Gyro Park.
- Public transit options in the Grand Forks area are extremely limited. Unless you’re comfortable with long-distance bike touring, which is an option for exploring the region, plan to get around by car.