Located between the charming cities of Kelowna and Vernon, there lies one of the loveliest parks in all of Canada. Ellison Provincial Park sits on 200 hectares along the shores of Lake Okanagan. With its forested headlands and sandy bays, it is the ideal location for either a sunny afternoon visit or an extended-stay camping trip. Although it may not be the largest park in British Columbia, there is enough to keep you occupied no matter how long your stay. The park provides access to six kilometres of hiking trails, rock climbing cliffs, and an educational centre, so you’ll have no trouble finding something to do in this interesting provincial park.
What Exactly Is a Yurt, and Why Would You Want to Hire One?
Ellison Provincial Park has two yurts that you can hire for your camping adventure. Traditionally, a yurt was a round, tent-like structure covered in skins, designed to be collapsible to suit the needs of nomadic tribes in Asia. Yurts have become somewhat of a staple in campgrounds over the last few years, and normally include bunk beds, mattresses, and occasionally some furniture. At Ellison Provincial Park, the yurts are completely enclosed and set on a wooden deck. They can sleep up to four people. Yurts are a great choice for those who camp in cooler weather, or for those who prefer to have an indoor option. You can hire a yurt at Ellison for $65/night plus a $20 refundable key deposit.
Camp Under the Stars and Get Back to Nature
If you do not want to be tied down with the hassle of a yurt, or even a tent, then get over to Ellison Provincial Park early enough to secure yourself a campsite near the lake. Imagine listening to the sounds of nature and the lapping of the water, and counting falling stars until you drift off into a peaceful night’s rest. Ellison charges by the party, not the person, for front-country camping ($30 for the group), so bring a friend or two and get back to nature together.
How to Make the Most of Your Time at Ellison Park
Whether you are a big outdoor enthusiast or a Sunday stroller, this park has something to offer everyone. There are hiking trails for all levels that give visitors a chance explore the local flora and fauna. By the South Bay section of the park, there are granite cliffs that are perfect for a quick rock climb. The park also hosts western Canada’s only freshwater snorkelling and scuba diving park, at Otter Bay. Collections of objects were sunk in this area to attract fish and add interest for divers. For those who enjoy learning a thing or two during their visit, BC Parks offers instructive and educational programs in the park’s outdoor amphitheatre. Other park pastimes include water activities, such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
Sometimes the best things in life truly are in your own backyard. If you live near Ellison Provincial Park and have not yet taken the time to see what this area has to offer, do yourself a favour and find time for a visit. You can be assured that you will come back again and again.