During last summer’s epic road trip, we explored six provincial parks and three national parks in southern BC. From the western tip of the country to Canada’s third highest waterfall, we found something to love at every campground. Read on to see what you should know about camping at Herald Provincial Park and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park.
Herald Provincial Park
Herald Provincial Park has three quiet campgrounds, all side by side, not too far off the Trans Canada Highway that offer boating, beach time, and a pleasant hike to scenic Margaret Falls. Its sand and pebble beach is pretty and shaded by Bastion Mountain for much of the day; a good thing in very hot weather, and not so good on cooler days. Pack your wetsuits in case it’s windy or cool. If you do go swimming, stay within the swimming area as there are a lot of motor boats in the area.
Sites are large and clean with a mix of shaded spots and unshaded spots. We had a gorgeous spot in the Reineker Campground (forested) that backed onto the Margaret Falls Trail. The Bastion Campground has some unshaded sites, while most of the sites in Homesteader are unshaded.
Things to do at Herald Provincial Park
- Hiking: The lovely Margaret Falls hike starts at the campground and is well worth a visit! We also did part of the Lower East Reineker Creek Trail. View a map of the Reineker Creek Trail System here.
- Boating (there is a boat launch), paddling
- Swimming: The beach is about 1 km long so park visitors aren’t crowded together in one spot!
|Margaret Falls Trail, Herald Provincial Park|
- Water: yes
- Showers: yes
- Power: no
- There are shaded and unshaded sites, so be sure to check when you reserve to ensure you get the type of site you prefer.
- Biking is not permitted in the campground.
- While Margaret Falls is a very popular hike, the other trails are not heavily used and are full of wildlife (we heard loud noises in the bushes and turned back). Take extra care to be bear aware.
Shuswap Lake Provincial Park
Our favorite Okanagan campground by far, this Shuswap Lake Campground is family-friendly and bike-friendly. There is great programming at the amphitheatre and Nature Hut, and the sandy beach is lovely. Although it is a very popular beach, its size (1 km!) ensures that there is space for all whether you would like a patch of shade on the beach or a picnic table.
Things to Do at Shuswap Lake
- Hiking: We enjoyed the Nature Walk by the Nature Hut!
- Boating: There is a boat launch
- Paddling: Paddle along the shoreline, or paddle 1.3 km to Copper Island and hike its 2.8 km trail!
- Fishing:There are some fun free Learn to Fish programs during the summer.
- Water: yes
- Power: yes
- Showers: yes
- Adventure Playground
- Nature Hut
- Nature walk (adjacent to Nature Hut)
- Amphitheatre Programs
|Shuswap Lake Provincial Park Picnic Area|
Book four months ahead to get a spot! Any spot at Shuswap Lake is good. There are plenty of trees to provide shade.
For more information on camping at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, please see this story.
For a family camping destination, it’s hard to beat this campground. They have thoughtfully planned out activities for all ages (Jerry’s Rangers, Learn to Fish, evening amphitheatre programs) and have a great beach and adventure playground. We only wish there were more hiking and biking trails in the area.
|Shuswap Lake Provincial Park Dock|
Where do you like to camp in the Shuswap/Okanagan area?
More BC Camping Destinations
- Our Favorite Vancouver Island Campgrounds: Goldstream Provincial Park (Victoria), Bella Pacifica (Tofino), Wya Point (Ucluelet), Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park (Parksville)
- Camping in Glacier National Park, Revelstoke, BC
- Backpacking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail WITH KIDS
- 10 Tips for Backpacking the West Coast Trail