Burnell Rec Site Review

#rvlife #travel #okanogan


Free Camping in the Okanagan Valley

We couldn’t believe it when we found FREE camping in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. This region is famous for its hot summer days by the lakes, wine tours, desert climate, and abundance of fruit stands. Campgrounds normally book up months in advance and can be quite expensive (as much as $80/night!), so a budget camping option was what we were looking for. You can’t get any better than FREE, right?

Burnell Rec Site Accessibility

The road to the Burnell rec site is narrow, bumpy and one vehicle wide. There is also the potential for low hanging tree branches.

The Burnell Recreation Site is not accessible to all types of RV’s, though. The road to get there is narrow, bumpy, and there is the potential for some low hanging tree branches. We were pretty nervous that we would meet someone coming in the opposite direction because there was no way we would have been able to move over enough to allow them to pass. Thankfully the road up was quiet and the only other being we saw was a deer. Those able/willing to brave the drive up are rewarded with a beautiful lakeside campsite nestled in the hills of the surrounding forest.

Amenities at Burnell Rec Site

Our travel trailer at the Burnell Rec Site near Oliver, BC. We had a picnic table, fire pit, and there were outhouses/pit toilets available. Then entire site is user maintained and free to camp.

Amenities are light here, with only pit toilets available, which are user maintained. Everything brought in must be packed out, including trash. We even brought extra garbage bags with us to clean up around our site before we set up and before leaving. We should also mention that mobile signals are very limited here. It is the perfect opportunity to disconnect.    

Activities at Burnell Rec Site

We made a trip into town for cheese, crackers, and snacks. Then picked up some bottles at local wineries before taking it all back to our campsite to do our own wine tasting.

Activities include walking around the lake, fishing or floating on the lake, and taking day trips into the town of Oliver or nearby(ish) wineries. We stayed here during the week and found it was very peaceful and we could see a lot of stars at night. We even heard a pack of coyotes howling one evening, which was both exciting and eerie at the same time. Our favorite activity, though, was to make a run into town for some cheese, bread and snacks, then a couple of stops at local wineries to pick up some bottles and enjoy an evening of wine tasting and eating on the campsite. This way we didn’t need a designated driver, we didn’t have to adhere to tasting room hours of operation, and our beds were within walking distance of the picnic table when we were finished!

We had such a wonderful time at the Burnell Rec Site near Oliver, BC that we cannot wait to go again! It’s possible that we will make it an annual adventure.

Until next time, keep on living the life you’ve imagined!

Mel, Jay & Benny

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