Ellison Provincial Park, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Ellison Provincial Park is located about 15 minutes drive from the city of Vernon in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. It is my own personal favorite park on Okanagan Lake and when it comes to Provincial Parks it provides travelers with a breath of fresh air, literally. The fact that this park lies a fair distance out of town makes it less likely to be packed full of people when you get there and we have always been able to get ourselves a good spot. There are many pay campsites within the park as well as picnic areas to spend the day with the family. Most important is that this park is absolutely stunning and has some of the clearest, and cleanest waters in the Okanagan Valley.
One of the best parts of Ellison Provincial Park is the solitude and on certain days when the park is empty you will hear nothing but the soft whisper of the wind, the gentle crashing of waves and chirps from some beautiful little avian friends.
In the picture above we visited in the fall and as you can see there was virtually nobody there.
Once you park your car you will need to hike down to the beaches, of which there are 3. Each one of the beaches are awesome and worth a visit although the farthest one is a dog beach, so keep that in mind.
In between the beaches are rocky outcroppings, jagged cliffs and crystal clear lagoons that seem as if they were tailor made by Mother Nature for your own personal enjoyment. Many of the cliffs are safe for jumping, although I believe it is illegal, but not something that is really heavily enforced.
The water at Ellison is gorgeous and changes colors depending on the temperatures and the season. The pictures above and below were taken from the same spot. The one on top I took in fall on a somewhat gloomy day when temperatures were starting to get cooler. The one on bottom I took in late spring of the following year on a warm sunny day and as you can see the water colors were much different.
The beaches have really nice sand that glows a brilliant red when the sun hits it. This color of sand is really quite unique within the Okanagan.
The beaches are located within these picturesque bays that are naturally protected by the cliffs and rocks, so the water is generally very calm. The water is also fairly shallow and the depth increases nice and gradually as you walk out, making it perfect for small children and families.
“Not a bad place to park your sailboat for a few days”. We saw this guy and his girl living it up, just relaxing in a hammock on his sailboat. What a great idea it would be to sail Okanagan Lake for an entire summer, it is a large lake with so much to offer and you could set anchor at a new gorgeous spot like Ellison Provincial Park nearly every night.
***** Five Stars
Of course, you probably already knew I would give it five stars, it is after all my favorite spot in the Okanagan . It has all you need in a park including: 3 large beaches, hiking trails, campsites, clean water and peace and quiet, I mean what more do you need? I highly recommend a visit to the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia and if you do decide to come, make Ellison Provincial Park your destination. Bring family and friends with you and rent a campsite, then go down to the beach for the day and after roast some tube steaks on an open fire.
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