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  • Writer's pictureMagy Aguiluz

Family Winter Camping in BC: Exploring Lillooet Lake

Updated: Mar 2

Lillooet Lake, BC
Lillooet Lake, BC

As a family, we thoroughly enjoy camping in every season of the year. It's always a great occasion to gather our camping gear, prepare everything, and set off on a new adventure. People are often surprised at how we can camp in winter, which can be very cold. However, the truth is, we love it. Yes, it can be quite chilly, or it might rain, snow, or be windy, but each camping trip becomes an invaluable memory for our family. Being able to disconnect from the routine and noise of the city and fully connect with nature, appreciating the simplicity of it all, watching our daughter fully use her imagination to play, and even hearing her ask to go camping herself, makes each outing incredible.

An added benefit of family winter camping in BC, in the provincial parks is that you can camp in almost any spot without the need for a reservation four months in advance, as required for spring, summer, and fall. Today, I'd like to tell you about our most recent family camping weekend.

One of our favorite places to visit is Lillooet Lake, in Pemberton. It's a fairly large lake, about 25 km long, with beautiful and cold jade-colored waters. The dirt road leading off the highway is well-maintained, so a 4x4 vehicle is not necessary. There are four campgrounds operating from April to late October, and the nightly fee is $15. The campgrounds have an operator who regularly visits during the day, collecting fees, emptying trash containers, and occasionally selling firewood if there isn't an active fire ban. All sites are first-come, first-served, so it can get quite busy in the summer. From November to March, there is no operator maintenance, and no fees are required. Just remember to take your garbage with you during these months.

Strawberry Point Recreation Site is the first campground operating from April to late October. It has 27 first-come, first-served sites, maintenance, garbage pickup, and operator patrols at certain times of the day. It also has four sites for day use. Although camping on the beach is not allowed, it's a beautiful place to spend the day with its sandy beach.

Twin One Creek, my favorite of the four campgrounds, has 15 first-come, first-served sites, two bathrooms, and operates with maintenance for $15. The operator also offers firewood for sale as long as there isn't an active fire ban. This campground has a small boat launch, several lake-view sites, and a rocky beach that provides a beautiful view. In this campground, there is good phone signal and a parking area for day use.

Lizzie Bay Recreation Site has 15 sites, a boat launch, and a truly beautiful view. The sites are spacious, and there are toilets available, along with its own rocky beach. The phone signal is almost non-existent here, but when you want to disconnect, it's perfect.

Driftwood Bay Recreation Site: This campground has 10 sites and is a cozy spot with a sandy beach and lots of driftwood. You can drive right in and find a great group camping site on the beach. Just remember, keep fires small because it's dry and windy. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake using the trail on the right. It's a simple and peaceful place for a wonderful camping experience.

Tips for camping with kids:

  • Using hand warmers:

Make sure to have enough hand warmers for everyone. They are small, easy to use, and can make a difference in keeping the kids' hands toasty during cold winter nights.

  • Wearing enough layers:

The key to staying warm is dressing in layers. Ensure the kids wear thermal clothing, an insulating layer, and an outer layer resistant to the wind. This allows them to adjust their clothing according to changing weather conditions.

  • Drinking hot beverages:

Preparing hot drinks is an excellent way to keep the kids warm and comforted. It's also a cozy activity that can become a family ritual while camping.

  • Family games or games just for kids:

Plan fun games involving the whole family, like a winter treasure hunt or a snow sculpture contest (if there's snow). Also, have some individual games for the kids, like a scavenger hunt. You can print some and laminate them to make them waterproof; it's very entertaining, and they'll have a lot of fun.

  • Plenty of snacks:

Snacks are essential to maintain energy during winter camping. Pack a variety of energizing and nutritious snacks so the kids can nibble throughout the day.

  • Preparing a comfortable shelter area:

Ensure you have a cozy space inside the tent with extra blankets and pillows. This not only provides comfort but also helps retain warmth during the night.

  • Exploring winter nature:

Encourage the kids to explore and enjoy the unique beauty of winter. They can search for animal tracks in the snow, observe birds, or simply revel in the magic of a winter landscape.

  • Packing additional safety equipment:

Ensure you have enough safety equipment, such as extra flashlights, batteries, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Safety is always a priority, especially when dealing with children.

  • Creating memories with creative activities:

Encourage creative activities like inventing games with nature or storytelling around the campfire.

  • Teaching camping skills to kids:

Take advantage of the opportunity to teach kids camping skills, from setting up the tent to safely starting a fire. These lessons are not only educational but also strengthen the family bond.

Remember to adapt these tips according to the ages and preferences of your children. I hope you have a wonderful winter camping experience with your family!

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, each winter camping trip becomes a priceless gem for our family. Disconnecting from the routine and embracing nature in places like Lillooet Lake, Strawberry Point Recreation Site, Twin One Creek, Lizzie Bay Recreation Site, and Driftwood Bay Recreation Site provides simple yet unforgettable moments. From the jade-colored waters of the lake to sandy and rocky beaches, picturesque trails, and cozy camping areas, every detail contributes to an experience we deeply cherish.

In winter, the opportunity to enjoy a campfire adds a special touch, but always with caution. We emphasize the importance of completely extinguishing it before sleeping or leaving the site, as a small spark could trigger a fire. Additionally, it's crucial to remember the responsibility of preserving these beautiful places: let's not forget to leave the camping site as good as or better than we found it. Leave no trash, avoid altering nature, and be respectful of the environment. So, why not venture into the beauty of these places, creating lasting family memories while exploring the wonders of winter?

The magic is out there, waiting to be discovered!


Edgar Pentzke
Edgar Pentzke
Feb 26

The best places in canada

This Maple Life
This Maple Life
Feb 27
Replying to

We love them too :)

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