Ellison Provincial Park is located on the north-eastern side of
Okanagan Lake about 15 km (9 miles) south of downtown Vernon.
To get here from other parts of the Okanagan or Lower Mainland,
travel to Hwy 97 and then make your way to Vernon. Then, once you
are at Vernon, look for the signs and, if travelling north, turn
left on 25th Avenue then along Okanagan Landing Road or, if travelling
south, turn right on 25th Avenue.
The swimming found in the Okanagan Lake at Ellison Provincial Park
is some of the best in British Columbia. The park offers three swimming
areas that have sandy beaches, which are buoyed off for protection
from speedboats and have very clear, warm water.
The waterfront along the length of the park has some sheltered and
private coves with lots of places along the rock shelves for swimming
and relaxing. Also situated on the east side of Okanagan Lake, the
beaches and rock bluffs enjoy a long-lasting sun and beautiful sunsets.
Otter Bay, one of the day-use areas, has a very nice beach to explore.
The beach is quite sandy and has a number of rock shelves for kids
to climb up on and swim around. Also Otter Bay is designated as
an underwater dive park with a small wreck of a tug boat off the
southern point for SCUBA divers and skindivers to explore.
The campground at Ellison Provincial Park contains 71 vehicle-accessible
campsites, of which eight are double sites with no drive-through
sites. The campsites are first-come, first-served with a certain
number held for reservations by going through Discover Camping.
The campsites are well-spaced out, fairly large, treed and quite
private, suitable for both RV camping and tents.
The facilities at Ellison are excellent. The park has a total of
seven flush toilets and one pit-toilet, six water taps with fresh
spring water, a children's playground, a hot shower building and
a fantastic group picnic area with over 50 picnic tables that features
a volleyball net. There are also mooring buoys for pleasure craft
at two locations and a separate beach for dogs to go swimming.
If you enjoy walking, there is a really nice nature trail found
at Ellison Provincial Park. The trail takes you up high along a
bluff for a beautiful westerly view from the beaches to across Okanagan
Lake north towards Whiteman and Beachcomber Bay and south towards
Fintry. For wildlife and birdwatching, there are a number of attractions
that are quite astonishing as the trail loops through the Douglas
fir and Ponderosa pine forest.
The downfalls are few; the campground is situated away from the
different beach areas and requires a small walk down trails that
all have steep hills so if you are out of shape it could be difficult
as not all areas are wheelchair-accessible Also, because of a recent
real estate development, a few campsites now have houses as neighbours
making privacy difficult when you're beside the fire pit at night
or reading in a chair during the day.
Swimmers' itch also may be present at Ellison Provincial Park in
Okanagan Lake at certain times during the year. This is a common
occurrence that naturally evolves and can be protected against.
To try and help swimmers' itch from occurring, before swimming,
massage baby oil or other lotion on the body then, after swimming,
shower off or towel promptly and vigorously.
For supplies, services or a break from the campstove, you can travel
into Vernon which is only about 20 minutes away. Once in Vernon,
there is everything ranging from Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Save-On-Foods
and London Drugs. Vernon also has a good selection of restaurants,
cafés and coffee shops, including Tim Hortons or Starbucks
and a local favourite the Longhorn Pub. For small items, there is
a general store at Okanagan Landing, 10 km (6.3 miles) away.
During the summer, the campground at Ellison is probably one of
the hardest to find a campsite in the Okanagan on a first-come basis.
If you don't want to be disappointed, reservations are accepted
at Ellison Provincial Park on a total of 49 sites. The campground
is open from April 1 to October 31 and obtaining a reservation at
Discover Camping is highly recommended when staying through June
15 - Sept 1.
The park services and maintenance are managed by Quality Recreation
Ltd.. which is headquartered in Vernon. For general information,
telephone: (250) 545-1560 or e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
on Ellison Provincial Park