Otter Lake Provincial Park, a lakeside mountain escape, is located in Coalmont, British Columbia, Canada in the Cascade Mountain Range. The park is known for its rugged beauty and isolated pathways and canyons. The grandeur of the mountains creates the ideal scenery for secluded hiking and stunning photography. RV campers who stay in Otter Lake Provincial Park will have no shortage of picturesque landscape and the feeling of camping in the wild.
The location of Otter Lake creates not only breathtaking views but also a camping and recreational habitat among some of Canada’s wildlife. Mountain goats, grizzly bear, and cougars inhabit the area, as do migratory birds and other bird species. The park has no shortage of animals with small creatures like squirrel skittering about to the larger, more spectacular animals passing through.
Otter Park, created from the rich trapping and mining history of the area, has no shortage of recreational activities for people who like adventure and seclusion in one vacation area. The park is a seasonal park that is bustling during the operating season and then closes for the winter to hibernate, much like the park’s resident grizzly bears. Plan your vacation ahead of time by reserving your favorite camping spot, and then head to the mountains to bask in the tree-lined, mountain peaked, lakefront campground.
Otter Lake Provincial Park is located 156 miles (252 km) northeast from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This route passes through the Canadian Rockies so there may be steep inclines and curvy roads. When planning your route, determine which roads are best suited for RVs during the season you plan on traveling. Adverse weather may significantly impact travel.
From the United States, Otter Lake is 277 miles (365 km) northwest of Spokane and 225 miles (362 km) northeast of Seattle, Washington. Since you are passing international borders, be sure to bring your passport, and understand the rules of traveling internationally with pets if you are bringing your dog.
The park suggests that you only take direct routes to the park, and don’t rely on GPS maps that may lead you on a backcountry road. Some of the roads leading to Otter Lake are not suitable for RVs. Once you get closer to the park, the roads turn to gravel and become narrow and windy. Some parts of the drive have limited visibility. Passenger vehicles should yield to logging trucks and proceed with caution.
RVers who desire a lakefront camping location will love the Otter Lake Campground. The campground accepts reservations during the peak operating season, and then reverts to first-come, first-served camping outside of peak season when the weather permits. The campground has pull-through and back-in spaces and accommodates RVs and trailers up to 32 feet in length. Some spots may allow larger RVs. If you’d like to know if your larger RV will fit in one of the bigger sites, contact the park. Each RV site has a gravel driveway, a picnic table, and a firepit. The campground provides water faucets, a place where owners may walk their dogs on a leash, and both pit and flush toilets. Generator use is permitted in the accessible campsites between the hours of 9:00 am to 11:00 am and again from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
All of the roadways that wind through the park are many cyclists’ dream because of the rolling ups and downs of the paved roadways. Although there are not any designated cycling trails, road bikers commonly ride the same roads as the cars travel. If you are a cyclist, don’t forget to bring your helmet, because helmets are mandatory in British Columbia. If you prefer to ride a longer, multi-use path, bring your bike’s thicker tires and take to the Trans Canada Trail across the lake. Details about the trail are available online.
Bring your hiking gear, and spend your time outdoors enjoying the scenic canyons and lakefront paths that wind throughout Otter Lake Provincial Park. Hikers should carefully plan their trek. Because of the isolated location of the park, hikers should carry a compass and stick to the marked trails within the park. Venturing off the path to more rugged territory is dangerous because of the many canyons and crevices that make it difficult to orient yourself once you’ve lost sight of a trail. For an easy walk, take to the nature trail that runs along the lake. For a longer hike, you will need to travel across the lake to the Trans Canada Trail, a multi-use trail when finished, will wind through every Province and Territory.
Most people like to fish in Otter Lake during the warmer months of the year, even though the lake sometimes provides decent ice fishing during the colder months. Otter Lake is known more for its sport fishing rather than its ice fishing because the fully-stocked lake brings anglers and recreational fishers from all over the area to try their hands at catching some of the large rainbow trout that the Summerland Trout Hatchery stocks. Before heading to the water, ensure you have the proper freshwater fishing license.
Do you like to wake up early to watch the sunrise over the water? If you have a hand-carried boat, like a canoe or kayak, Otter Lake is an ideal location for boating on the smooth water, waiting for the changing colors of a sunrise. Although larger, motorized boats are permitted on the water, canoes and kayaks are preferred methods of boating because the smaller watercraft can move in and out of the channels quickly, making water exploration even more of an adventure. Boaters may use the park’s boat launch or opt to launch hand-carried boats at the beach.
Learning about the places you visit is half of the fun of travel. A park’s interpretive programs help visitors discover the natural and historical information about an area as well as teaches guests through hands-on learning. Otter Lake has teamed up with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and put together a Learn to Fish Program for kids. The program, created for kids under the age of 16, teaches the basics of fishing so that kids can establish a love for the sport. For information about the program, including dates and times, contact the park.
The day use area at Otter Lake provides activities for people of almost every age and interest. The day use area in the campground is small but perfect for campers who don’t want to leave the camping area and go to a larger day use area in Tulameen. The day use area has a parking lot and access to the location where guests can sit on the beach, swim, waterski, launch a boat or fish. If water activities aren’t your thing, there are picnic tables, walking paths, and horseshoes, as well as a dog-friendly walking section of the shoreline.