Jewel Lake Provincial Park is a great spot to go car camping close along Highway 3 between Osoyoos and Grand Forks in BCs Boundary Country. It’s not possible to book sites, so you need to just show up and choose a spot on a first come first served basis. We visited on a Monday in August and there were just a couple of the of the 26 sites taken. This is a fab option if you like calm, rustic campgrounds or if you didn’t book a camping spot in advance.
There are two places to camp at Jewel Lake. The one I am describing is the Provincial Park at the north end of the lake. There is also Jewel Lake Resort on the south side of the lake with both camping and cabins (along with boat rentals etc.)
Camping at Jewel Lake – the basics
This beautiful lake is located 11.5 km off Highway 3, just under 100km east from Osoyoos, or 50km west of Grand Forks.
Campsites: 26 campsites (3 double campsites)
Cost: $18 (bring cash).
Toilets: Drop toilets (no running water)
Booking: You can’t book in advance – First come first served.
Camping dates: mid-May to mid-September
Fires: If there is no fire ban (check here) use the fire rings provided in each campsite.
Jewel Lake Campsites
Each campsite has bench, a fire pit and space for a vehicle and a tent. The campsites are a bit small, so most of them would be too small for large RVs, (unless you nab a double site like the one in my photo below.) Each site feels private as they are surrounded by mature birch and larch trees as well as younger hemlock and douglas firs.
Jewel Lake Facilities
This is a pretty rustic campground; There are drop toilets, and a water pump. You need to boil water from here, so don’t drink it straight from the tap.
Jewel Lake Picnic area
There is a pretty decent day use picnic area with plenty of benches and a couple of loos, right next on the lakeshore.
Jewel Lake Trails
There is a short trail down to the beach, as well as a few hiking trails in the surrounding area. The trails were created for cross country skiing, so they are loops that do not have much elevation gain. There is also a trail to a lookout, but it sounds like it might be quite overgrown.
Swimming in Jewel Lake
We stopped at Jewel Lake during our road trip from Waterton Lakes back to Vancouver. It was a perfect place to stretch our legs and cool down with a swim. The water was loooovely! Not too cold at all.
Fishing at Jewel Lake
If you have a fishing licence, you can fish on Jewel Lake. It’s stocked with brook & rainbow trout from the Summerland Trout Hatchery. You can even go ice-fishing here in winter.
Jewel Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful place to stop on a road trip along Highway 3. Now we know how lovely the campground is, I would be very tempted to come back to camp here. It is perfect for families or people that like to swim or float on a calm, picturesque lake in the British Columbian countryside.