Category Archives: British Columbia

British Columbia can be viewed in four main camping areas. These divisions on TracksAndTrails are: 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 Hey Clayton Your question regarding the development of BC Forest Service recreation sites across the province. In the history of the organizations, the BC Forest Service has been linked at times to BC Parks and BC Lands. Many of the recreation sites were developed based on historical use, hunting camps, summer outings etc. We also had a program before I joined the Forest Service in 1981, where we established UREP's - Use, recreation and enjoyment of the Public Reserves throughout the province. These were established where we felt that we might have an interest in the future and the reserves established our "interest" in these sites and or locations. Many of those have been developed - the UREP reserves were established on our behalf by the BC Lands, they were established under the Land Act reserve or notion of interest. In later years many of the major forest tenures such as Tree Farm Licenses and Forest Licenses included development and maintenance of recreation sites, trails, bridges and so on.  

Trepanier Canyon and Lacoma Lake Trail near Peachland BC.

Get Trepanier Greenway Regional Park info.

Get Trepanier Provincial Park info. (same area)

Yesterday I went up to Trepanier Road to look for the Lacoma Lake Trail that runs along the Lacoma Creek at the bottom of Trepanier Canyon. I have a few hiking pics of the area and while they are not published yet I need to let you know that as of July 27th, if you want to drive to the Lacoma Trail Head you will need to bring a power saw with you. About 2 km before the Trail Head a tree about 2 feet in diameter is blown down across the trail.

I was driving with my wife in our new car so I had to park on Trepanier Creek Forest Service Road at a nice pullout before that. The FSR pullout would be very suitable for some free camping – but situated a long ways before the Lacoma Trail Head.

After we hiked the 4.4 km to the Trail Head we only had time to hike another 1.6 km along the actual Lacoma Lake Trail. The one thing that I was surprised at is the fact that there really was no sign of a canyon. The topo maps show some very steep terrain though so I will have to go back with a power saw some time to make sure I can drive to the trail head, and hike all the way to Lacoma Lake at the head of the canyon. I have the the GPS coordinates for the trail head so if you want them just send a quick email or wait a bit and I’ll have them posted at my Canadian Hiking TracksAndTrails.ca Adventures Website.

Travelling by Motorhome and Boondocking / Camping in BC

Boondocking in BC? Travelling by motorhome and want to spend your vacation time but camp for free in BC? Well let us get the discussion started! Boondocking refers to parking at Walmart parking lots and other large paved areas where travelers can stay without being bothered. Well if you were driving a motorhome and knew that a free campsite was near by, wouldn’t you go a little farther to enjoy nature while camping for free as well? If the answer for you is yes, then lets find FSR or Forest Recreation Sites that British Columbia Forestry department has created and let folks know what they are like by posting a note below.

In addition to camping at forest service sites, I often see motorhomes camping on crown land like on the side of the road up Bear Creek Main FSR near Kelowna and Bear Creek Provincial Park Campground. I am sure there are many Crown Land places right near large urban centers that folks in a motorhome could spend a night at and at the same time I am sure that many travelers are simply not aware that they can park their motorhome for free and enjoy nature a lot more than at your typical boondocking site in the city.

boondocking or nature

Boondocking in the city or in nature?

As for family and friends – your first free camping destination in your motorhome, is right in my driveway!

Trapper Lake Trail Free Camping

At Trapper Lake Trail you will be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Site Description:A 21 km , one way, trail heading from the Similkameen River, parallels the Paysaten River, crosses a few forestry roads and eventually follows a ridge to the west side of Flat Top Mountain and then descends into Trapper Lake. Most of the trail from the Smilkameen falls to Calcite Creek has been altered by Mountian Pine beetle harvesting. This trail links with the Centennial Trail and the Border Lake Trail.

Driving Directions:The trail can be accessed at many points along the the Calcite logging road. The main parking along the trail route would be at a landing @ 25.9 km (Easting 678556, Northing 5442777) where a trailhead sign was erected in September of 2007. From this point it is 13.2 km to Trapper Lake.

Trapper Lake Trail Free Camping

Top 3 Kelowna Mountain Biking trips.

In response to some discussion, I had to post, in my opinion, the 3 top Kelowna Mountain Biking day trips to take.  My opinion on these top 3 Kelowna trails comes from a viewpoint of mountain biking for fun without having to worry about suiting up with armour that one would need for riding the more extreme singletracks.  Although, the McDougal Rim, Mount Hayman trip would be the most dangerous with some steep skinny sections that I would prefer to hike down!

  1. Myra Canyon on the KVR in Bellevue Provincial Park.  –  In a Provincial Park you know you will get quality trails and spectacular scenery.  Now add the recognition of a National Heritage site and the fact that the KVR Myra Canyon Trestles are part of the Trans Canada Trail and you can’t go wrong with experiencing this historic area.  You may want to look up McCollochs Wonder.  The Trestles would be most enjoyable if you could catch a ride up to the North end and then bike over the trestles and down through Crawford Trails and into Kelowna or down through Little White Forest Service Road and into Kelowna.  The Little White FSR would be a bumpy ride though and the Crawford Section may contain some steep single tracks that would prove difficult to ride for someone like myself – 40 years old and would rather walk down the steep trails than bike.
  2. Okanagan Provincial Park – A Provincial Park that you will grow to love! Even though it was quite thoroughly burned in the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Fire.  The Wild Horse Canyon Trail is a popular OK Mtn. Park Trail and Divide Lake near the top of Okanagan Mountain is a real gem. Okanagan Mountain Park Map
  3. McDougall Rim Loop.  The true loop takes you through Mount Hayman, Swite and Carrot Mountain and would be around 50km.  The 50 km ride would inlclude a lot boring flat logging roads along Swite and Carrot Mountain with no views so most people enjoy the shorter version of McDougall Rim Loop.  So to sum it up, the series of logging roads that make up the western portion of the loop create a confusing matrix of trails…but the East side of the loop on Mount Hayman is incredible!  Here is the Mount Hayman post with the pictures.  

Tommy Archie Site And Trail Free Camping

At Tommy Archie Site And Trail you will be able to get there with a Non Motorized

Facilities:Toilets

Site Description:The recreation trail is approximately 2 km long, and leads to Tommy Archie Lake. The first section of trail is quite steep. The small lake is generally accessed for fishing.

Driving Directions:Located northeast of Canim Lake. Access is via the 6000, 7000, and 7100 Roads.

Tommy Archie Site And Trail Free Camping

Thomas Free Camping

At Abbott Creek you will enjoy 1 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Tables, Toilets

Site Description:A small one unit site with additional parking that is popular with fishermen and and kayakers.

Driving Directions:High clearance 2wd access. Site is located east of Terrace via the Copper River FSR. At approx. 34 km turn off the Copper FSR onto the Clore FSR. The site is at 13 km.

Thomas Free Camping

Thetis Lake Hike in Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island)

Thetis Lake Regional Park is one of the largest urban parks around Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island. This 831 hectare park is located in suburban Victoria and is a natural refuge of lakes and forests teaming with wildlife. Hikes in this park include loop trails and treks up coastal mountains.

A well-groomed loop trail around Lower Thetis Lake.

This is a well-groomed loop trail around Lower Thetis Lake.

The park is located 20 minutes from downtown Victoria and is an excellent family location to enjoy hiking, swimming, boating and canoeing. Hikers are rewarded with easy trails through thick forests with expansive views of the lakes. The loop trail around Lower Thetis Lake has a few up and down sections but the well-groomed trail makes for easy hiking.

The trail starts to the right of the information board and weaves through a thick coastal rainforest. Some trees are hundreds of years old. In the spring, wildflowers paint the slopes in a myriad of colours. As the trail skirts close to the lake shore, it begins to climb scenic, rocky bluffs. These lookouts provide great views of the lake and make for tempting jump-sites into the water below (this is not recommended).

The trail continues to the far side of the lake where many trails branch off to all corners of the park. To return to the parking lots, take the small foot-bridge across the stream which leads to Trillium Trail. This wide path is the most direct route back to the starting point and has good wildlife and bird-viewing opportunities in the forest. The park is home to deer, marten, eagles and vultures. At the rear of the park, bears and cougars have occasionally been spotted.

There are a few look outs above Lower Thetis Lake that  provide views of the surrounding park.

There are a few look outs above Lower Thetis Lake that provide views of the surrounding park.

The trail ends at a popular, sandy beach where change facilities are provided. In the summer, this small beach may be crowded but there’s plenty of space in the water for wading and swimming. After a reward hike, feel free to hop in a canoe and do some fishing.

Well groomed trails along the loop trail around Lower Thetis Lake.

Well groomed trails along the loop trail around Lower Thetis Lake.

Getting There: For driving directions to Thetis Lake Regional Park, click here for a Google Map. From downtown Victoria, take Douglas Street north which will then turn into the TransCanada Highway (Hwy #1). Take the turnoff into View Royal using Burnside Road (Exit #10). This will turn into the Old Island Highway. After going under the highway overpass, turn right on Six Mile Road which leads into the entrance of the park. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the park.

Note

  • There is a small parking fee in effect from May 1 – September 30.
  • Dogs must be under control at all times. From June 1 – September 15 they must be leashed when passing through the beach area and are not permitted to stay.
  • Bicycles are not permitted on the trails.

For more coastal hiking around Victoria and Sooke, BC visit Comfort Cove Cottage. For a list of romantic getaways in Victoria, look at Heavenly Hideaways.

Tacheeda Lakes Point Free Camping

At Tacheeda Lakes you will enjoy 17 Campsites and be able to get there with a Motorhome

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:This large scenic recreation site is easily accessible by 2 wheel drive vehicles. The in-site loop road provides easy access for larger vehicles. The site provides defined camping pads, tables, fire rings and 3 pit toilets. These facilities will be upgraded in the near future. Two boat launches exist for the avid anglers. In 2011 a major works project was completed to upgrade the gravel boat launch to concrete pads.

Driving Directions:Travel ~88.5kms north of Prince George on Hwy 97 (~14kms past Bear Lake Community). Turn right on to the Chuchinka-Redrock FSR (2038km – cross train tracks), continue until FSR merges with the 800 Rd at 830km and keep to the left. The site is at 841km. (Note: Tacheeda Lake Middle site is located just before this site & the NE site is located 5kms further down the road).

Tacheeda Lakes Point Free Camping

Swan Lake RV Resort in Vernon BC

 

Swan Lake RV Resort

With 183 total RV Sites and 60 Sites available for rental Swan Lake RV Resort is a nice way to set up camp in Veron. With accommodations for RV’s up to 45′, 30/50 amp service, back-ins, pull thrus, full hookups, restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi, cable TV, laundry, RV storage, store, clubhouse, handicap accessible, heated pool, hot tub, fitness center, horseshoes, nature watching, canoeing, boating, fishing, picnic tables, you will not be lacking in any comforts of home!

Guests pay for rental of RV Sites, Laundry, Wi-Fi, Ice and Goods purchased.

Different types of Campsites Available.

Located on Swan Lake in Vernon BC just off Hwy 97. There are RV Sites for rent that you back into and some pull-thru sites available and a small access to the lake where you could put a canoe or kayak into the lake.

Swan Lake RV Resort

 

http://www.swanlakervresort.com

 

slcorvresortltd@shaw.ca

 

8000 Highland Road
Vernon
British Columbia
V1B 3W5

 

778-475-6119

 

Susan Lake Free Camping

At Susan Lake you will enjoy 3 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:Susan Lake is located north of Canim Lake on an old sawmill site. The recreation site has three campsites and is a fishing destination.

Driving Directions:From 100 Mile House travel north on Hwy 97 to the Canim Lake turnoff. Turn east onto Canim Hendrix Lake road. At Forest Grove turn east remaining on the Canim Hendrix Lake road and follow for approximately 30km. Turn north and travel along this road passing Succour Lake. The road veers west staying south of Boomerang Lake. After travelling approxmimately 9km from the Canim Hendrix road turn southwest. Follow this road approximately 12km into Susan Lake.

Susan Lake Free Camping

Summit Lake in Rocky Mountain

Summit Lake in Rocky Mountain  recreation site has no campsite but you can go to the site with a two wheel drive! Enjoy marvelous Camping and attractive Fishing opportunities.

Amenities: Boat Launch, Tables,Toilets

Free Camping

Summit Lake, Rocky Mountain, Golden

 

Free Camping

Summit Lake, Rocky Mountain, Golden

Site Description:Summit Lake in Rocky Mountain  is a small lake with rough road access. A one unit campsite is located past the beaver pond and is accesible by four wheel drive high clearance vehicles only.

Driving Directions: Drive along the main Spillimacheen Forest Service Road to teh 17 km mark and  stay right travelling the North Fork FS Road to the 21 km mark. From here turn left onto the Summit Road . After about 7 km the road reaches a creek and beaver pond. You may choose to park here and walk to the lake.

Summit Lake in Rocky Mountain Interactive Map

Sullivan Lake West Free Camping

At Sullivan Lake West you will enjoy 4 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:Sullivan Lake is also known as Knouff Lake. This recreation site has 2 small camping areas. The central area is located on a loop road just off the main road and has 3 defined campsites. The other location has 1 defined campsite, and is located beyond the boat launch on the west side of the road. There is minimal overflow space at both locations. There is also a small amount of space for day use parking at the car-top boat launch.

Driving Directions:Access is off Highway 5 North between Kamloops and Barriere. At Heffley Creek, turn onto Sun Peaks road and follow until junction with Knouff Lake road. Turn onto Knouff Lake road and follow until arriving at recreation site.

Sullivan Lake West Free Camping

Sugar Lake 1 Mile Camping in Okanagan

Sugar Lake 1 Mile Camping in Okanagan recreation site has 1 Campsites and be you can go to the site with a Motor Home ! Enjoy marvelous Camping, attractive Boating, Canoeing, Fishing, Picnicking opportunities.

Fees:$12.00 Camping

Fee Applies:May 15, 2012 – Sep 15, 2012

All Days

Amenities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:Sugar Lake 1 Mile Camping in Okanagan single site is folksy and good for fishing and beach activities. It is a folksy family recreation site with good access and can be very busy.

Driving Directions:Follow Hwy 6 to Cherryvill turn onto Sugar lake road

Sugar Lake 1 Mile Camping in Okanagan Interactive Map