Category Archives: British Columbia

British Columbia can be viewed in four main camping areas. These divisions on TracksAndTrails are: Camping Areas of British Columbia are Coast, Northern, Southern Interior West and Southern Interior East Coast Campgrounds Northern Interior Campgrounds Southern Interior West Southern Interior East Campgrounds in these camping areas can be viewed on our Free Camping Map where you can search for campgrounds near a city and click the location markers with free map directions links or information links. The TracksAndTrails Campground Map will display Provincial Parks, Recreation Sites and Private Campgrounds. I we are missing your favourite campground email us the information about it. British Columbia has over 1000 Recreation Sites with Managed and Free or User Maintained Camping, over 800 provincial parks for hiking and more than 300 provincial parks campgrounds. Please leave your comments and questions on the information posts. Your backcountry intelligence will be valuable to other camping and backcountry enthusiasts. If you are new to BC Outdoors, your question may be answered by one of the many local visitors that peruse TracksAndTrails.ca  

Woss Lake Free Camping

At Woss Lake you will enjoy 24 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive.

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:

Among the trees you can enjoy a large site with numerous campsites . Sandy beach, swimming and boat access will provide you a great opportunity to explore the rest of the lake .

Driving Directions:

From Port McNeill, travel southeast on Highway 19. Turn right at Woss and turn left at the logging camp office. Go across the bridge and travel another 1.5 km to the Woss Lake turnoff. The campsite is on the right.

Free Camping Map

 

World Reknown Okanagan Mountain Biking Trails!

Mountain bike trails seem to be everywhere I hike in the Okanagan.  I like to mountian bike but I would never take these crazy jumps and ramps that seem to be built in many hiking areas.  I admire the passion that mountain bikers have for the sport.  It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish what has been done in the Okanagan.

I was emailed this mountain biking question recently;

Q) I am interested in visiting Kelowna for the long weekend and doing some mtn biking. I really liked your website and found it very informative. What are the best maps for the area? What are the primo areas? Is it possible to ride around Okanagan Mountain Park in a day?
Any advice you can give me regarding mtn biking in Kelowna would be appreciated.

A) Thanks for visiting Tracks And Trails and emailing your question.  Being that I am not crazy enough to take the extreme single tracks and crazy ramps and jumps that are out there, I have put together a Mountain Biking Resource for the Okanagan that you can view via this link. It includes where to get trail map info as well as fourums to get up to date mtn biking  intel.

My thoughts on Primo areas are;  (Okanagan Park does not have the jumps built)

1) Gillard Forest Service Road.  Dude you just gotta be there.  This place is alive bikes! (motor and non)

2) Powers Creek! Holy Smokes – you aint seen nothing till you been here.  I think I noticed a forum (on PinkBike) that said there was a world class competition here at some point.

3) Glenmore Hills has lots to offer.  Enter the hills at many points from Clifton to the Dog park just past the Kelowna Land Fill on Glenmore Road.

4) Okanagan Mountain Park could probably be seen in a day by ….maybe Phil, or someone else who bikes 400 km just for kicks so they can enjoy the feeling of thier lungs coming alive in agony and pain!

What you want to do here is enjoy the park.  Start with a ride through Wild Horse Canyon, camp at one of the backcountry campsites, continue way up to any one of the several lakes and then loop back to Kelowna by taking the Old CN Trail or exit to the KVR along Mountain Goat Trail (you will have to carry your bike some parts) and ride down to the Kettle Valley Trestles.  Please comment here when you are complete!  I would love to hear about it.

I would have mentioned the Crawford Trail area but I have heard that mountian bikes are not allowed anymore???  Anyone care to comment.

Wonders await in Blue Hawk Mine (abandoned and dangerous)

 

A low elevation hike, bike or car ride that is fun and interesting as well as easy to get to when all of the hills are still covered in snow is Blue Hawk Mine on Blue Grouse Mountain.

Blue Hawk mine is located on the East slope of Blue Grouse Mountain on the West side of Okanagan Lake. The mine shaft is approximately 90 metres long. It’s now inactive, but at one time 5 metric tonnes of ore was mined yielding 560 grams of silver and 156 grams of gold.

If you want to check out the mine make sure you bring a good flashlight. You may also need some good waterproof shoes or boots. There’s normally quite a bit of water pooled at the entrance. The rest of the mine is relatively dry. The mine contains many undisturbed geological formations.

Here is a link to Blue Hawk details Wikipedia.  Directions are below.

If you geocache, you will find a cache there as well.

Blue Hawk Mine Directions;

From Westside Road take Bear Lake Main Road AKA Lambly Creek Road (Across the road from Traders Cover Park.)
Just past the timber yard, and the 7km marker turn right onto the road leading to the motocross lower pits. There are signs posted.
When you reach the parking lot turn right and go up the hill.
Keep on the same road the rest of the way but there is one turn that goes north to Terrace Mountain, it looks like a main road but don’t take it.

When you see the swamp on your right;

Continue for 0.9km past it and keep straight at the old cabin and continue for 0.5km into the clearcut area.

Keep straight at the intersection (there is now a small trail sign that says Blue Grouse and points at the road going to the top of Blue Grouse I presume.  Continue for 0.2km past the clearcut area

When you see a small road to the right that is quite steep, park and hike for a few meters,

the Blue Hawk mine is on your left going into the hillside.

Track from GPS:
Blue Hawk Mine GPS Track

Windsor Lake Free Camping

At Windsor Lake you will enjoy 2 Campsites and be able to get there with Boat-in (Non-Motorized)! Enjoy Camping, Canoeing, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Swimming opportunities.

Amenities:Boat Launch,Tables,Toilets,Wharfs

 

Site Description: is an an overnight stop on the Powell Forest Canoe Route in preparation for the portage to Goat Lake.

Driving Directions:Paddle on the Powell Forest Canoe Route

Whispering Spruce Campground near Golden BC

Whispering Spruce Campground near Golden BC is the place to make  your escape to spectacular beauty. With rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep grazing along the embankments as you near Golden and even in the grassy meadows of the campground, this is the camping location to begin an outdoor adventure.
Outdoor adventure near Whispering Spruce Campground

Outdoor adventure near Whispering Spruce Campground

Campground Amenities:

Laundry Facilities
Playground
Sani-Dump
Convenient Store
Internet Service
Sites with: Elctric, Water and Eletric, and Water, Electric & Sewer

Different types of charges at Whispering Spruce Campground.

Tent Site: $25.00
Tent Site (w/ 15 amp electric): $30.00
*Max 4 people
*Extra person $3.00

Different types of Campsites Available.

Campsites are all filled with trees and along side South Kicking Horse River.

Website: http://www.whisperingsprucecampground.com/

Address
1430 Golden View Road
Golden
BC
V0A-1H1

Phone Number
250-344-6680

 

Wells Gray Golf Resort & RV Park In Clearwater BC

Wells Gray Golf Resort & RV Park

Camp along the hemp creek. Hiking trails
take you to explore, swimming lake, hot showers and much more

Wells Gray Golf Resort & RV Park located in central British Columbia approximately 50minutes by car from the town of Clearwater. Clearwater is the gateway to the world reknown Wells Gray Provincial Park and while you enjoy the area, Wells Gray Golf Resort & RV Park in Clearwater is the place to be!

Regardless of how you camp, this resort has it all, bring a tent, RV, or nothing and there will be a campsite, RV site or cabin just for you!

http://www.wellsgraygolfresortandrvpark.com/ at the website you can view a panoramic interactive 360 video. Check it out! Oh, and aside from world class kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and camping, yes there is Golf!

Wadey Camping

At Wadey you will enjoy 30 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:The Wadey Recreation Site is a large and popular site just south of Laforme Creek on Lake Revelstoke. It has 30 sites nestled in the trees, a boat launch and a day use / beach area. It is maintained under an agreement with Wildland Consulting Inc. A $10.00 camping fee per day ($5.00 for disabled and seniors) will apply from the beginning of May to mid October.

Driving Directions:The site is located on Highway 23, 25 km north of the Trans Canada Highway.

Wadey Camping

Valentine Lake free Camping

At Valentine Lake free you will enjoy 9 Campsites and be able to get there with a Motorhome

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:Located west of 100 Mile House, the recreation site is a popular fishing and hunting destination that is suitable for campers and small trailers.

Driving Directions:From 100 Mile House turn west onto Exeter Station road and Gustafsen Lake(1100)road and follow for 8km. Turn south onto the 800 road and travel for 9.5km to Valentine Lake.

Valentine Lake free Camping

Two John Lake Free Camping - North East of Big White off the 201 FSR.

East of Kelowna on Highway 33, Big White Road will take you to Big White Ski Resort but for real outdoor recreation you need to head North East on the 201 Forest Service Road just a few km up the Big White Road. Graystokes protected area and official snowmobile trails can be accessed from the 201 the area is also known as the West Kettle. The West Kettle encompasses many streams and two lakes, Derickson Lake and Two Johns Lake. My friend Ray Derickson is the registered owner of the age old trapline that is on the West Kettle and this track is one of several that document some of the country on the trapline. You can follow the track and find numerous crown land camping locations for some free camping. For an awesome camping experience plan for a backcountry stay and be prepared to fend of grizzlies, elk, moose, cougar and squirrels.
The track above ends just before we got to Two Johns Lake because I lost a satellite connection for my BlackBerry. Interesting to note that when I was at the lake and took the picture of the cabin, the latitude and longitude were noted and uploaded though! That is cool as the location of the cabin picture on the track is exactly where it is. The cabin wouldn´t give much shelter but in a pinch, one could use the supplies there to “hole up” if he/she was hurt or lost.When we hiked to Two Johns lake, we stayed on the high side as the lower section had a lot of water. Typical though, we went a little too high and had to double back through brush. Nice hike none the less. Coming back, you can see in satellite view that we took the cut block back – found the beginning of the block and stayed to the bottom of it until we were back at the parking lot.

Wow - the matches still work!

Two John Lake

The side road we took was Derickson Logging Road. As I look on the map, I see that if we parked and stayed to the high ground, with a gps waypoint of Derickson Lake, we could have a little hike right to Derickson Lake.

Also, on the drive to Two Johns, there was a road that went to the south east – I am thinking that road will take us near Big White, we will try to explore that area next time. A look on this map in satellite view will help determine the way for the next exploration trip to Big White and Derickson Lake.


View Two John Lake on the West Kettle in a larger map

Twin One Creek Camping

At Twin One Creek you will enjoy 15 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive and a Motorhome

Fees:$13.00 Camping

Fee Applies:May 1, 2011 – Oct 15, 2011

All Days

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Operator:CREEKSIDE RESOURCES INC.

Site Description:A medium sized campsite-somewhat open on the large jade coloured Lillooet lake, with 2 small grassy areas. Two or three sites can accomodate an RV. Small unimproved boatlaunch on site-beware when boating- there is a lot of large woody debris in the lake. Twin One Creek nearby. Berry bushes on site-watch for bears. Tables, fire rings, garbage pick up and outhouses on site. Greg, the site attendant from the Lil’wat First Nation, will come by in the evening to collect fees.

Driving Directions:From Pemberton, continue on HWY 99, to Mount Currie. Follow road to Duffy lake road, as you drive up hill, away from the water, the In-shuck-ch Forest Service Road starts on the right side. Follow this road for 8.5 km. Site is on the right side. Drive slowly and watch for logging trucks.

Twin One Creek Camping

Tug o war with a Loon and the fish who gets to fight another day!

When interviewing outdoors men and women, I usually have to interview them via the internet. With Bruce Merit, proprietor of the year round operational Osprey Lake Retreat located mid-way between Summerland and Princeton on the Princeton Summerland road adjacent to Osprey Lake and the Trans-Canada Trail, I enjoyed the real pleasure of getting to know him while at a local coffee shop in Kelowna.
After finding out about Osprey Lake Retreat online, the key motivators for this interview were the unbelievable wildlife shots that he has on his site, the array of services he offers in a backcountry setting and the incredible prices he offers them at. Osprey Lake Retreat is one Thompson Okanagan outdoor secret that I just had to learn more about…but before you rush to the phone for reservations, enjoy this entertaining and educational interview to get to know your host Bruce Merit, a little better…one more thing, ensure that you remember your camera!

When interviewing outdoors men and women, I usually have to interview them via the internet. With Bruce Merit, proprietor of the year round operational Osprey Lake Retreat located mid-way between Summerland and Princeton on the Princeton Summerland road adjacent to Osprey Lake and the Trans-Canada Trail, I enjoyed the real pleasure of getting to know him while at a local coffee shop in Kelowna.

After finding out about Osprey Lake Retreat online, the key motivators for this interview were the unbelievable wildlife shots that he has on his site, the array of services he offers in a backcountry setting and the incredible prices he offers them at. Osprey Lake Retreat is one Thompson Okanagan outdoor secret that I just had to learn more about…but before you rush to the phone for reservations, enjoy this entertaining and educational interview to get to know your host Bruce Merit, a little better…one more thing, ensure that you remember your camera!

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

My father was the first to introduce me to the great B.C. outdoors.
Apparently at the young age of 4 our family was camping in Yellowstone
National Park and my father had to man the fire all night and fight off the
bears.  One bear did take a swipe at the old canvas tent which required
major repairs.  At the age of 8 I was introduced to the Scouting movement
and joined Cub Scouts.  It was the 28th Thunderbirds which was the only Sea
Scout troop in Vancouver BC at the time.  Being the only Sea Scout troop we
were forced to compete in all the camporees and jamborees which really got
me outside digging latrines, making eating tables, outdoor showers and lean
2’s. I also spent the first ½ of the summers up the Sunshine Coast on Texada
Island with my grandparents and then the second ½ on my uncles farm helping
with the haying, castrating, vaccinating, and dehorning calves.  A wide
variety of activities that really opened my eyes to much of what the world
has to offer.

What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

Growing up there was never one area that really stood out, I do remember
many weekends we were Steelhead fishing on Silver Creek up near Hope in the
60’s but for the most part our family would just pick another lake, creek or
area to explore and go!

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

One of my biggest Steelhead I remember catching at Silver Creek was actually
caught on the two large washers I was using for weight and not even on the
hook with the worm on it.  I chased it down creek for about 5 minutes
stumbling over rocks and boulders trying to tire this mighty fish out.  In
the end I beached it on a sandy area and was totally shocked that the fish
had gone after the flash of the washers and they had wedged themselves in
it’s mouth the whole time.  In the end I turned the washers sideways and
allowed the fish to fight another day.

Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

Being part of the Hayes Creek volunteer fire department there have been a
number of ATV accidents I have responded to which unfortunately most have
involved drinking and driving with many broken body parts and dozens of
stitches to fix.  A simple lesson that is not rocket science Don’t drink and
drive, even in the bush: it can be deadly!

The only time I have ever been lost was in the Shinjuku train station in
Tokyo Japan after just landing in Japan.  I walked around and around in the
underground tunnels for at least two hours not being able to ask anyone
where I was or being able to read signs I finally found the right train and
made it home totally exhausted and frustrated but made it just the same!
Next day I was able to remember some of the shops and eventually it got
easier and easier.  Really no different that being in the bush and you
remember a bent over tree or a pretty flower, it’s all pretty basic
navigating and being aware of where you are.  I find if you slow down enough
to enjoy the beauty of nature you will allows thing to really sink in and
you won’t get lost!

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

Living at Osprey Lake for over 4 years now there have been many unique
encounters with wild animals.  On many occasions I have had tug-a-wars with
the local family of loons.  Especially in the summer when the parents are
trying to teach their young to fend for themselves they really take the lazy
route.  Instead of teaching their young how to dive they will teach them how
to follow fishermen and then steal their catch.  Each year I loose a handful
of fish this way which goes to show you that even wild animals can learn new
tricks and after all we have to learn to be part of the food chain!  Just
don’t end up being a meal for a bear!

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or
multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

When ever I partake on multi-day events I have learned not to over pack.
Much like going on a vacation where you spread everything you think you
might want to take on a trip out on your bed and then go over it a few times
placing all the necessary items in the luggage(pack sack). See what fits and
what is really a must-have item and not a want-item.

What is your favourite outdoor website?

Has to be my own site, not only because I built it but Osprey Lake area of
BC is located just outside Princeton by 30 min, less than 90 min. from
Kelowna and less than 4 hours from Vancouver.  It has a diverse range of
outdoor activities from excellent fly fishing for wild rainbow trout,
kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing
.

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

MEC in Vancouver, good selection and decent prices.  Trout Waters is my
favourite fishing store in Kelowna

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