Surrounded by warm water and sandy beaches, and featuring beautiful waterside campsites as well as recreational facilities, Swiws Provincial Park, which sits on a pencil of land that juts into Osoyoos Lake, is a cool place to enjoy RV holidays. Located along 32nd Avenue, off Okanagan Highway 97, British Columbia, and within the traditional territory of the Osoyoos Indian Band, this provincial park is historically significant and offers opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking, cycling, fishing, birding, wildlife viewing, swimming, waterskiing, boating, canoeing, and photography.
Amenities and facilities to enjoy at Swiws Provincial Park include RV campsites, pit/vault toilets, water taps, boat launch, firewood, Information Center, day use area, lookout point, swimming beach, change rooms, hiking trails, wheelchair accessible areas, and parking lots.
Established in 1962, the park was initially named Haynes Point Provincial Park, but was renamed Swiws Provincial Park in 2015, to reflect the traditional Okanagan place name for the area.
Swiws Provincial Park’s water, reportedly the warmest in Canada, is awesome for various water activities.
Located 2 km (1.2 miles) south of Osoyoos, off Okanagan Highway 97 onto 32nd Avenue, Swiws Provincial Park is easy to access by RVs, trailers, and other motorized vehicles. Driving within the park is also easy since 32nd Avenue is the major road in the park that connects all the points of interest, including the campground. There are no driving restrictions within the campground.
There are two major parking areas in Swiws Provincial Park, as well as smaller parking lots in the park’s campground. The two main parking lots are located around the day-use/picnic area in the park. RV campers can also park their rigs at the designated campsites while on vacation at the park. Overnight parking is available.
There are no direct public transportation services to Swiws Provincial Park.
Swiws Campground in Swiws Provincial Park features 41 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. No RV hookups are available in the campground. RV length limit at the campground is 32 feet (10 m), however RV vacationers with larger rigs can call the park ahead to find out if space is available. The campsites in the campground are large with picnic tables, level gravel pads, and fire rings, and feature amenities such as water taps, information center, wheelchair accessible areas, and restrooms. Maximum stay in the campground is seven consecutive nights.
Swimming is a popular activity on Osoyoos Lake in Swiws Provincial Park. Although no lifeguards are on duty at the swimming areas on the lake, RV campers still get to enjoy the lake’s warm waters and gravel/sandy beaches in the park and take advantage of facilities and amenities such as changing rooms. All swimmers are advised to exercise great caution when swimming in the park because of the dangerous undercurrents common in the lake. Supervision is necessary for children swimming in the lake.
Besides swimming, Osoyoos Lake is also popular among RV campers for the waterskiing opportunities it offers. Designated waterskiing areas and shallow points on the lake are marked and signs are posted regarding border crossings to guide water-skiers enjoying water activities in the park.
Boating and canoeing activities are also available to RV campers on Osoyoos Lake at Swiws Provincial Park. RV campers can begin their paddling and boating experience at the boat launch located at the southwestern end of the park around the service area.
Bird species such as canyon wrens, white-throated swifts, marsh wrens, and red-winged blackbirds are present in Swiws Provincial Park and can be seen around the marsh area in the park. Furthermore, the marsh is home to various wildlife including barn owl, Western small footed myotis bat, spadefoot toad, and painted turtle, and the tiger salamander.
Swiws Provincial Park features 43 different fresh water fish species in Osoyoos Lake, making the park an ideal destination for angling. Little wonder why RV campers that love fishing find the park perfect for RV vacations. Examples of fish species in the park include trout, kokanee, lake whitefish, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. All RV campers who wish to fish in the park are required to possess an appropriate fishing license.
At Swiws Provincial Park, RV campers hike on the gravel trail that begins at the Information Kiosk, crosses a footbridge, enters the marsh, and continues along grasslands surrounded by the marshlands. Various birds are seen along the trail in the marsh area. Along the trail is also a viewing platform where vantage point views of the surrounding marshlands can be enjoyed by hikers. Moreover, interpretive signs are posted along the trail to provide information about the marsh ecosystems in the park. In addition to hiking in the park, RV campers can also cycle along the roadways in the park. Helmets are mandatory for all cyclists.