Looking for a hidden gem in the Okanagan Valley? If so, look no further than Vaseux Lake Provincial Park. Located right off Highway 97 near the town of Okanagan Falls, Vaseux Lake Provincial Park crams a lot into the park's small area.
Open all year round, Vaseux Lake Provincial Park is named after the freshwater lake that straddles the shoreline of the park. The freshwater lake was named in the 1880s and in French means muddy or murky, which is amusing since the waters of the lake are crystal clear. There are many recreational activities that visitors can enjoy on the lake, including over a thousand square meters of beach that extends over the entire campground. The beach is a great spot to sunbathe or go for a refreshing swim. Fishing and non-powered boating is also popular to do on the lake and the picnic area will give you the chance to relax with a beautiful view of the lake.
The park is also known for being a hotspot for wildlife and there are 10 different red listed plant ecosystems that range from desert to wetland. Some of the protected animals that are found in the park include California bighorn sheep, badger and pallid bat. There are also 19 protected bird species making it a birder’s paradise despite the small size of the park.
While the campground at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park is small, most of the 12 RV friendly sites are located right on the shoreline of the lake. All sites are available only on a first come, first served basis. Peak season at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park runs from April until October.
Vaseux Lake Provincial Park is located in the southern region of British Columbia and is situated right off Highway 97. The park has one entry and exit point that is serviced by Vaseux Lake Crescent, which runs through the middle of the park.
One of the great things about Vaseux Lake Provincial Park is that it is surrounded by beauty and a couple of different towns that have the supplies and amenities you will need to enjoy your stay at the park. The closest town to the park is Okanagan Falls, which can be found around four and a half miles (seven kms) to the north, while the larger Oliver is around eight and a half miles (14 kms) to the south. The closest city to the park is Penticton and it is only 16 miles (27km) to the north of the park so we recommend checking it out if you haven't been before.
Accessing the park should be very straightforward as the road that will take you into the park is directly off Highway 97. Vaseux Lake Crescent is a very short entrance road and it is very well maintained. During the winter the park gate does close but you can still walk-in to the park. If you choose to do this you will have to park outside of the park boundaries.
There is plenty of parking available at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park.
There are no public transport options that will take you to Vaseux Lake Provincial Park.
Vaseux Lake Campground is the only campground at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park and is on the smaller side. The campground has a total of 12 sites that are known for having amazing lake views, being quite wide, flat and offering privacy from other neighboring campers.
At Vaseux Lake Campground there are no sites that have any services. Despite this each site has a picnic table and fire pit with grill attachment for you to enjoy. Other amenities in the campground include water collection points, toilets, ADA accessible sites and dump station access. The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers within the campground.
Since the campground is very small there are no reservable sites available at any time of the year. Because of this, all sites are available on a first come, first served basis. If you are traveling from afar we recommend calling the park prior to your arrival to make sure that there are sites still open so you don't drive all the way for no reason. Camping at Vaseux Lake is available from April until October and then after October the gate closes for the season.
Visitors to Vaseux Lake Provincial Park are lucky enough to be able to enjoy over a thousand square meters of beach during your visit. The beach extends the whole length of the campground, along the lakeshore and features a narrow band of coarse sand and grass. The beautiful water is perfect for swimming, but please note that there are no lifeguards on duty and the depth of the lake is not marked so be cautious when entering and swimming.
While Vaseux Lake is a little too small for boating, it is a perfect size for those who love to go paddling. Both canoes and kayaks are welcome on the waters and it is also popular with birding fans due to the vast amount of shoreline bird habitat that can be see whilst out on the water. Fishing from a kayak or canoe is also popular and is the best way to reach some of the better fishing spots. If you don't have a watercraft there may be some available to rent from the park or from nearby private companies.
The peaceful lakeside environment at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park is the perfect place to chill out and have a picnic. The picnic area is located in a small, grassy area that is surrounded by thick shrubs and there is a short path that will take you to the lake. While amenities are limited at the picnic area there are pit toilets and picnic tables available to use. There is also an information kiosk that features facts about the wildlife in the area. None of the tables at the Vaseux Lake Provincial Park are reservable.
Vaseux Lake has some great fishing opportunities for those looking to try and land the big one. Fishing from the shoreline is very popular and so is taking out a canoe or kayak and casting a line. The most popular fish caught at the park include rainbow trout, largemouth bass and carp. During the spring time there are closures of the two Vaseux lagoons from April 1 to June 30 so you will not be able to fish in those areas during this time. You will also need a fishing license in order to legally be able to fish at the lake.
Visitors wanting to check out the birds at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park are lucky to have the option to check out the wildlife viewing platforms just north of the campground. Located at ground level along the boardwalk they are equipped with benches that are great for bird watching and taking in the beautiful scenery. If you are looking for more wildlife viewing opportunities there is also an enclosed two-storey viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk. Some of the birds you may see include Canada geese, trumpeter swans and blue-winged teal.
During the winter time when the weather starts to turn all of the services at Vaseux Lake Provincial Park close down, but day visitors can still enjoy winter recreation activities. Ice skating on the lake is the most popular, but you will have to bring your own skates as no equipment will be available for rent. Before you put the skates on please note that the ice thickness is not monitored so take caution when skating. Along with ice skating you can also go snow shoeing around the parks.