The best camping near Vernon, British Columbia.
At the north end of British Columbia’s Okanagan region, one of Canada’s top wine-producing areas, Vernon is close to the region’s lakes, biking and hiking trails, and provincial parks. Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake both have sandy beaches and spots for boating and canoeing. Several provincial parks, including Kekuli Bay, Ellison, and Fintry, have trails, boat launches, andRead more...
At the north end of British Columbia’s Okanagan region, one of Canada’s top wine-producing areas, Vernon is close to the region’s lakes, biking and hiking trails, and provincial parks. Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake both have sandy beaches and spots for boating and canoeing. Several provincial parks, including Kekuli Bay, Ellison, and Fintry, have trails, boat launches, and campgrounds with both RV sites and tenting facilities, while private, full-service RV parks and camping areas with washrooms, hookups, and laundromats give campers other options close to town.
Where to Go
This sunny region overlooking Okanagan Lake south of Vernon is one of the Okanagan Valley’s emerging wine regions. Plan a wine tour that includes both established winemakers, like 50th Parallel Estate and Grey Monk Estate Winery, and newer wineries along the “Scenic Sip Trail.”
Wineries surround the Okanagan’s largest city, which also has a growing craft beer scene. Go canoeing along the Kelowna Paddle Trail, or biking on the Kettle Valley Railway, a former rail route. For campers, the Kelowna area has a number of RV parks and campgrounds, including some along Okanagan Lake.
For more outdoor fun, the Silver Star area northeast of Vernon has both a provincial park and a ski resort. At Silver Star Provincial Park, there are more than 50 kilometres of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking, while Silver Star Mountain Resort has 132 runs for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
When to Go
The hot, sunny days of summer are the busiest times to travel to Vernon and across the Okanagan Valley. With a much drier climate than the British Columbia coast, the Okanagan sees more sunshine from spring through fall, making April/May and September/October good alternatives to the summer heat. From mid-November into March, temperatures can dip below freezing, and snow is possible, although the winters are milder than in many other Canadian locations.
Know Before You Go
- The largest provincial park near Vernon is Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, which is open only for day use. Campers can consider Kekuli Bay Provincial Park on Kalamalka Lake, Ellison Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake’s east shore, or Fintry Provincial Park on the west shore of Okanagan Lake.
- Several Vernon outfitters rent camping gear, as do companies based in Kelowna.
- If road-tripping between the Pacific Coast and the Canadian Rockies, stop in Vernon or elsewhere in the valley. Vernon is roughly equidistant from both Vancouver and Banff.