If you are thinking of Canada, the first thing that strikes your mind is its elegant collection of lakes and scenic beauty. And if your love for nature and passion for traveling leads you to plan a trip to Canada, then you must not miss out on the majestic beauty of the provincial parks of Kelowna.
From wildlife viewing to picturesque Canyon Provincial Park, Kelowna has it all. Enjoy a siesta amid nature with picnic and campground areas surrounded by Oak trees, Douglas fir, and Ponderosa pine.
Discover 3 Stunning Provincial Parks in Kelowna
1. Bear Creek Provincial Park
Spanning over an area of 178 hectares, Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna is like an all-in-one package. The 400 meters of sandy beaches, lakeside camping, and hiking trails make this park a natural wonderland for visitors.
1.1. Amenities and Things to Enjoy in Bear Creek Provincial Park in Kelowna
This park is pet friendly so that you can enjoy your fun time with your furry friend. Summer can be the peak season to visit this park as it allows fun activities like swimming and freshwater fishing.
While camping on the side of Okanagan Lake, the visitors can enjoy the park’s scenic beauty or go hiking or biking through designated trails.
The campground leads to an encircled area of more dense vegetation with well-spaced trees and picnic tables. Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna offers nearly 122 camping sites with manicured grounds, a fire ring, and a picnic table amid vast vegetation of well-spaced mature cottonwood and a spectacular view of Knox Mountain.
Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna tries to provide its visitors with utmost care and comfort; therefore, flush toilets, showers, tent sites, and RV sites are easily accessible.
Follow the easy route to the park entrance through the cross-floating bridge of Highway 97, traveling south and turning west from the west side road. The park has a wheelchair accessible for those who are in need. The Sani dump area is located near the Canyon Trail Parking area.
If you are fond of hiking and biking, Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna is the perfect destination. It has more than eight well-marked hiking trails, which include The Canyon Rim Trail, Orchard Trail, and Blue Grouse Mountain Trail.
These trails lead you to a land of scenic beauty through Steep-Walled Canyon, forming elegant waterfalls. These gentle trails are not very difficult to hike, and gradually, the trail levels as it descends and merges with a creek. While hiking, make sure to obey posted signs for your safety.
2. Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park
Unlike Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna, which is located on the west side of Okanagan Lake, Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park Kelowna is located on the east side of Okanagan Lake.
Situated just opposite Peachland, this provincial park in British Columbia Kelowna is not only famous for its scenic beauty but its varied collection of hiking trails and camping sites as well.
Most of the BC parks are not accessible by motor vehicles. Therefore, this particular provincial park, Kelowna, can only be visited on foot, by bicycle, by boat launch, or by horseback.
Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park Kelowna is only 90.4 km from Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna in Central Okanagan Basin. The rocky terrain of this provincial park is perfect for hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and boating.
The park has a parking lot, but the visitors are requested to keep their valuables with themselves as the thieves generally target the vehicles in the parking lot.
Located on the west side of Okanagan Valley, this park not only consists of a variety of plant life but wildlife abounds like white-tailed deer, moose, mountain goats, and reptile species like rubber boas, gopher snakes, western rattlesnakes, etc.
The park is a base of adventure, Where a coarse sandy beach stretches up to 33 km with secluded bays and six marine campgrounds. Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park is open throughout the year, including the off-season. The major amenities of these parks also include a pit toilet, flush toilets, and picnic areas.
2.1. Lake Okanagan Resort
If you have enough time with nature in these provincial parks and are looking for a luxury place to relax, you can stop and pay a visit to Lake Okanagan Resort.
It is a 1-hour distance from Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park and only 10 minutes away from Bear Creek Provincial Park Kelowna.
This luxury resort, with shaded picnic areas, a golf course, and lawns overlooking the beach, is the best place to spend time with friends and family. Lake Okanagan Resort can also act as jetski and boat rentals for families willing to have fun at the beach.
2.2. Peak Season and Trails
The peak season to visit Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park Kelowna is May to October.
More than 16 hiking trails are present in this provincial park, including Wildhorse Canyon. Other hiking trails include Coyote Peak, Divide Lake Trail, Baker Lake Loop, Shipwreck Cove, and many more.
3. Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park
This park has over 7677 hectares and has many essential heritages, including Kettle Valley Railway, KLO Creek Canyon, caves, steps, and pools.
Besides hiking, cycling, e-biking, hunting, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing, this Provincial Park of Kelowna also offers winter recreation. This includes activities like snowmobiling in the surrounding area of Little White Mountain.
The visitors can enjoy cycling through the Kettle Valley Railway and experience horseback riding at Crawford Creek. Myra- Bellevue Provincial Park Kelowna is among the few BC parks that allow hunting.
However, the hunters must follow the British Columbia hunting guidelines while they enjoy such recreational activities.
3.1. The List of Hard-Packed Trails Continues
Enjoy the array of wildflowers and the magnificent beauty of nature while walking through the meandering trails of Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park Kelowna.
This provincial park has more than 25 trails, all of which are packed with scenic beauty. Some of these trails which are worth visiting are discussed below.
3.1.1. Myra Canyon Trail
This moderately challenging trail has an average elevation gain of 554 meters. The 25. 1 km lengthy path generally takes 6 hours and 25 minutes to complete. The gradual elevation of this canyon floor is perfect for hiking and mountain biking.
3.1.2. Angel Springs Trail
This easy hiking route has a minimum elevation gain of 288 meters. It takes only 2 hours and 11 minutes to hike. This dog-friendly and forest-clad route is perfect for those searching for peace and solitude.
3.1.3. Little White Mountain
The fairy tale name of this place suggests that this hiking trail is truly a natural wonderland. Filled with scenic beauty and wildflowers, this route falls under the moderately difficult category as the 11.1 km lengthy path has an elevation of 618 meters.
The last five meters can be especially difficult for hikers because of its narrow and challenging path.
4. Regional Parks in Kelowna
After you visit the three main provincial parks, a tourist might discover that Kelowna has a long list of regional parks that are equally sumptuous with scenic beauty.
The best among this long list include Mill Creek Regional Park, Rose Valley Regional Park, Cedar Mountain Regional Park, Woodhaven Regional Park, etc.
Located east of Kelowna airport, this park spreads over 15.3 hectares. This park is pet-friendly. Nature lovers can walk with furry friends through the easy, flat trails shaded by Cottonwood trees.
This park is located near Westland Road and is a perfect destination for hard hikes. The obscure trail leads the travelers to a destination perfect for birdwatching and other naturalist activities
This park is open to visitors throughout the week. The destination is famous for its two beautiful trails, Cedar Mountain Loop and Johns Family Conservatory. Both these trails are known to be easy and dog-friendly.
Divided into four distinct zones, this regional park presents a specific collection of plant life in the specific segments of the park. The northeast side zone presents the Ponderosa pine.
The northwest side has a collection of Western Red Cedar. The southwest is famous for black cottonwoods and western screech owls. In contrast, the southeast side is filled with Douglas fir.
Kelowna is a majestic city with local vineyards, orchards, mountains, and lakeside camping. All of these are waiting to be explored, and the provincial parks are the most suitable place to start with this exploration.
So, pack your bags without further delay, and let’s set out for this wonderful and exciting journey.