Johnstone Creek Provincial Park Campground

Johnstone Creek Provincial Park Campground

Johnstone Creek Provincial Park is a great spot to go car camping close to Osoyoos in BC. 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 Saturday in August and there were just two of the sixteen sites were taken. This is a fab option if you didn’t book your campground in advance.

Camping at Johnstone Creek – the basics

Johnstone Creek is located on Highway 3, 44km (about 35mins) outside of Osoyoos. The closest town is Rock Creek, 7km away.

Campsites: 16 campsites (1 double campsite)
Cost: $18 (bring cash) Plus an extra $9 if you have multiple vehicles.
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: Is there is no fire ban (check here) use the fire rings provided in each campsite.

Each campsite in Johnstone Creek Provincial Park has bench, a fire pit and plenty of space for a vehicle and a tent. Several of the sites looked large enough for RVs, although some sites have trees, so they are better for campers that bring tents.

I thought the nicest sites were to the east (as they are next to the creek.) But the gorgeous trees mean all of the sites are pleasant and shady at some point in the day.

Johnstone Creek Provincial Park map

There is a short (15min) hiking trail in the park. I’ve included a map of the campground, along with the Loop trail within the Provincial Park. (Strava recording here)

The loop trail – Johnstone Creek Provincial Park

Distance: 0.8km
Elevation Gain:
Time: 1520 mins
What to bring:  
You don’t need much – we just brought our cameras.
Facilities: There are loos within the campground.
Dogs: Dog friendly.
How hard is it? Super Easy

The loop trail at the edge of the campground is only a mini trail. But it is a pretty good as a place to stretch your legs as you drive along Highway 3. The loop takes you up to a couple of pretty viewpoints with benches.

The area beyond the benches has some steep cliffs, so you shouldn’t go beyond the fence. Still, it’s a nice spot to look over to the American border and appreciate the gorgeous trees.

Trees in Johnstone Creek Provincial Park

One of the highlights of this area are the trees. There are a mix of douglas fir, spruce trees as well as ponderosa pines. Lastly we spotted some larch trees, (that turn golden in the autumn.) In the summertime the sap from these creates an incredible, sweet smell that has to be one of the most pleasant smells in British Columbia.

Whether you are looking for a quick stop to stretch your legs as you drive along Highway 3, or if you are looking for a campground near Osoyoos, Johnstone Creek is a lovely spot.


10 thoughts on “Johnstone Creek Provincial Park Campground

  1. Johnstone Creek looks like an excellent campsite. The tall tress make it so beautiful. I would love to visit one day.

  2. first come first served Is so stressful, so it’s good to know that so many sites were available on an August weekend. It looks like a nice spot!

    1. Right!? We hardly ever use FCFS on road trips as we are so worried everywhere will be full. Heading out along highway 3, we found multiple campgrounds that were not busy… even on summer weekends (they were also cheaper than the ones we booked in advance…)

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