Hi! My name is Becca (@becca_outdoors), an adventure mom who loves to hike, camp, kayak, and backpack with my kids! My husband and I moved to British Columbia five years ago from Alberta. We’re passionate about sharing our love with the outdoors with our 2.5 year old son and 3 month old daughter.
What makes a campground a GOOD campground? Trees, trees, and more trees. There’s nothing worse than pulling up to a campground and feeling like you’re camping in a Walmart parking lot with no privacy between you and your neighbouring camper. In addition to trees, we like campgrounds that have access to hiking trails close by, green space or a playground for our kids, and if there’s a lake-easy access to it.
There are a couple different types of campgrounds in BC including recreation sites, provincial/national campgrounds, and private campgrounds.
Recreation sites are located on crown land, often in remote areas, accessed by gravel forestry roads, and provide only basic facilities such as fire rings, picnic tables, and outhouses. These sites are typically less busy, have a small fee or are free, and are first-come first-serve basis.
Provincial campgrounds are located within provincial parks and typically book up fast.
National park campgrounds are located in national parks, and require a national park pass to stay there along with the camping fee.
Private Campgrounds are on privately owned land. The amenities vary, but can include showers, water, electricity and sometimes WIFI.
The Top 5 Campgrounds near Kamloops, BC:
Isobel Lake Campground
Isobel lake is a recreation site campground located 40 minutes North of Kamloops. This campground has 19 campsites, outhouses, picnic tables, a 3km interpretative trail around the lake, and fishing for youth/disabled individuals from April to September. Cost: $15/night. What we love about this campground is how picturesque it is, likely due to the small number of campsites, limited amenities, and no cell service. The lake offers an abundance of wildlife to see and hear.
Paul Lake Provincial Campground
Paul Lake Provincial Park is located 20 minutes North East of Kamloops. This campground has 90 sites, with 47 of them being reservable online (they book up FAST), and the remaining sites are first come first serve. Cost: $18/night. What we love about this campground is how treed the sites are, a playground, and a breathtaking 3.7km hike with spectral views of the lake at the top. There is lake access from the campground, as well a dedicated area where you can let your dog go in the lake. There is a trail that links the campground and lake, however, we opted to drive to the day use area to access the lake with everything we had with our kids and two dogs. Note there is no cell service at this campground.
Shuswap Lake Provincial Campground
This campground is a VERY popular campground due to the fact it’s located on Shuswap lake, a desirable lake for boating and water activities. This campground is a 75 minute drive from Kamloops, and is one of the largest campgrounds in the area with 275 campsites. There are a few hikes within a 10-15 minute drive, as well as a 2.8km hike on Copper Island which can only be accessed by boat. Cost: $32/night. What we love about this campground is the playground/green grassy areas, access to several hikes, and easy access to the lake which has an inviting temperature for swimming in the summer months.
Herald Provincial Campground
This campground is located 1hr 30 min East of Kamloops and offers 128 campsites. There are three camping areas (Bastion Mountain Campground, Reinecker and Homestead Campground). We have stayed at Bastion Mountain campground multiple times as it is the smallest with 15 sites. There is a creek that runs through Reinecker campground which offers a soothing atmosphere, however, we have avoided booking in that loop as it is fast moving in the early summer months and we didn’t want to stress about water safety with our curious toddler. Homestead campground has beautiful sites, and easy access to the lake. Cost: $32/night. What we love about this campground is the amount of trees each site offers, the playground, the stunning but short 1km hike to Margaret Falls, along with the trail system that winds through the campground and along the lake. There is also a dedicated beach for dogs.
Lac Le Jeune Provincial Campground
This campground is located 40 minutes West of Kamloops and provides 144 campsites. This lake is famous for its rainbow trout fish, so don’t forget to pack your fishing rod. There is a beautiful 8km loop around the lake where you can either bike or hike it. We haven’t swam at this lake, but there is a sandy beach as well as a swimming area sectioned off. Cost: $23/night. What we love about this campground is the treed campsites, easy access to the lake as well as several other lakes/hikes nearby. There is limited cell-service at this campground.
Remember to leave no trace while camping, and to keep a clean campsite.
Thank-you for taking the time today to read @becca_outdoors post about Top 5 Campgrounds near Kamloops, BC! Will you be visiting any of these campgrounds any time soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos by using @KidsWhoExplore & #KWEGoesCamping for your chance to be featured on our social media channels!