RVwest magazine conducts an annual survey of approximately 30,000 readers about their favorites. Some results from the 2015 RV survey on favorite lake destinations in western Canada are given here. Information is taken from the official website for each area; for further details, search for the lake name.
For many families, camping by a lake or stream is the ultimate RV experience. Falling asleep to the sound of rushing rapids or waking to the cry of a loon is something that can’t easily be experienced in the city.
An RV destination on a waterfront site is popular because of the many activities it brings, from playing on a sandy beach to swimming, boating, fishing, and more.
Favorite RV Lake Destinations in BC
- Platinum – Shuswap Lake. Shuswap is both a lake and a region. Located in south-central British Columbia and accessible from the Trans Canada Hwy and Highway 97, the Shuswap valley offers sunshine and a wealth of water activities. Cities on the lake include Sicamous, “the houseboat capital of Canada”; Sorento, home of the “Adams River Salmon Run”, Chase, and Salmon Arm.
- Gold – Wasa Lake. “The warmest lake in the Rocky Mountains,” boasts the town of Wasa. Nearby Wasa Lake Provincial Park, has sandy beaches. For birders, Bummer Flats, a series of potholes created by Ducks Unlimited to accommodate waterfowl, and the Wasa Slough Wildlife Sanctuary are on the must-see list.
- Silver – Osoyoos, on Osoyoos Lake is “in the heart of Desert Wine Country. Our semi-arid climate produces hot, dry days in the summer and mild days in the winter… warmest freshwater lake in Canada …With Mount Baldy ski hill just a 45 minute drive, you could ski in the morning – golf in the afternoon”. Osyoos is on Hwy 97 just north of the US border.
- Bronze –Okanagan Lake, Kelowna. BC’s “sunshine city”, Kelowna is a city of festivals: fruit festivals, dance festivals, wine festivals. For golfers, Kelowna offers one of the longest and driest seasons in Canada.
Favorite RV Lake Destinations in AB
- Platinum – Slave Lake. Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta’s largest recreational lake, is about two and one-half hours north of Edmonton. Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park is a popular RV spot. The northernmost bird observatory in Canada and the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation (BCBC) plus excellent fishing are prime draws.
- Gold – Waterton Lake.Waterton Lake National park, in the southwestern corner of Alberta, combines with Glacier National Park in Montana as the Waterton–Glacier International Peace Park. Spectacular views and mountain scenery. A favorite spot for hiking.
- Silver – Gull Lake. A favorite family lake because of its long, shallow, sandy beach. Aspen Beach Provincial Park has two RV campgrounds, Lakeview with serviced lots, and Brewers with “a secluded, rustic atmosphere”. Both are excellent, and the town of Gull Lake is fun to visit.
- Bronze – Elkwater Lake. On the NE edge of Cyprus Hills Interprovincial Park off Hwy 41, Elkwater is part of the Trans Canada Trail System and set in a unique geological area.
Favorite RV Lake Destinations in SK
Saskatchewan parks have a reservation system. Please check with Saskatchewan Tourism before setting out.
- Platinum – Greenwater Lake Provincial Park. A four-season park for boating, angling, birding, water activities. Near a “rare patch of fescue prairie”. 125 km of hiking and bicycling trails, interpretive center.
- Gold – Buffalo Pound Lake. Formed by a dam on the Qu’Apelle River 32kilometres northeast of Moose Jaw in a historic area. “…Trout pond, store, concession, mini golf, national-class biking trails, and a section of the Trans Canada Trail.”
- Silver – Kimball Lake. Kimball is one of a chain of lakes strung along the Mudhen River in Meadow Lake Provincial Park, just east of Cold Lake. Meadow Lake Provincial Park has 12 campgrounds, with 928 campsites.
- Bronze –Loon Lake. The Village of Loon Lake lies in the center of a cluster of lakes focused around Makwa Lake Provincial Park.
Consider one of these “top twelve” lake or waterfront destinations when planning a trip to the prairies, the Rockies, or the west coast.