Last spring, my husband and I went camping in Hope, BC. We had originally thought we had booked a campground at Silver Lake in West Kelowna, but we had accidentally booked a campground in Hope. What was supposed to be a 45 minute drive turned into a 3 hour drive from Kelowna to Hope but it was well worth it. We didn’t realize how few people would be at the campground. It really felt like we had the place to ourselves. My dad told me the fishing used to be great up there but fish numbers have since dwindled making it less popular. Regardless, these photos are sure to make you want to camp at Silver Lake in Hope BC.
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Hope is a beautiful small town located in British Columbia, Canada. It is located about two hours inland from Vancouver. Hope has a population of just over 6,000 people. Wandering through the main town center, you can truly see how charming of a town Hope is. There are wood carved sculptures of bears, eagles and other wildlife everywhere. On your way to Silver Lake, be sure to stop in Hope to pick up any last minute camping supplies and enjoy the sculptures.
To get to the Silver Lake Campground from Hope, follow Flood Hope Road until you get to Silver Skagit Road. Next, take Silver Skagit Road straight to the Silver Lake Campground. The campground is about a 20 minute drive from Hope’s town center.
We pulled into the spot that had been reserved for us and were super happy with it. It was made quite private by all the surrounding trees and shrubs of the forest. There were only a few occupied camp sites near ours and the outhouses were just a few steps away. Each camp site had a fire pit, space for one or two tents, parking space for a car and a picnic table.
Thankfully when we were there, the fire ban hadn’t started yet so we were able to cuddle up next to the fire and roast marshmallows each night. Keep in mind when camping in British Columbia that there is often a campfire ban that occurs in July and August. This is due to the large amount of forest fires that BC experiences every year. Hope is part of an area in BC that gets quite a bit of rainfall so that, plus the fact that we visited in spring, were probably the reasons why there was no fire ban.
Silver Lake was unbelievably beautiful. There are two small beach areas at the lake along with a hiking trail. The trail takes you from the side of the lake and all the way up around the lake. At least, that’s what it seems like. Arturo and I took the trail up around part of the lake but turned back a little early. One woman working at the campground said the trail is really popular among dog owners. It definitely seemed like a grea place to bring man’s best friend. If you’re wanting to hike a lot, you’ll need to take your vehicle to explore some other hiking areas around Hope. The only hiking trail at the campground is the one that wraps around the lake and I don’t think it’s super long. You can check out this website for some other good hiking trails around Hope.
The lake is surrounded all around by huge mountains. Sitting on the beach, you truly feel as though you are in the heart of a valley. The reflections of these mountains in the still water of the lake was incredible to say the least. Every day we were there, we would head to the lake with a blanket, books and some snacks and just read the day away, overwhelmed by the peacefulness of the nature surrounding us. The best part? We were often the only ones at the beach. I was absolutely shocked at how few people were there seeing as it’s such a gorgeous campground.
I’m a vegetarian so I’m definitely not a huge fan of fishing but if you are planning on fishing in Silver Lake, just remember you need to get a fishing license in order to legally fish in British Columbia. You also should note that the fish at Silver Lake are mainly trout but everything is catch and release only. I believe this is due to dwindling fish populations like I mentioned earlier.
Swimming at Silver Lake is available but keep in mind that in order to really enjoy the water, you should either visit in summer or with a dry suit. The water up at Silver Lake stays pretty cold, and even though we went in late spring/early summer, it was still too cold for us to swim. Keep in mind also that there are drop offs in the lake and no lifeguards so you are in charge of your own safety.
The only thing I regretted not bringing to Silver Lake was a canoe or kayak. The truck that my family uses to transport canoes and kayaks had broken down a few days before our trip. Since we couldn’t fit a canoe or kayak on the small vehicle we had to bring instead, we went boatless. If I ever go back to Silver Lake, the number one thing I will bring is a canoe or kayak. This is simply due to how gorgeous the lake is. I’ll admit I was pretty jealous of the other couple we saw peacefully floating around the pristine lake in a big green canoe.
Like I mentioned before, there are plenty of beautiful wooden sculptures to admire in Hope. There is also a small movie theatre if you’re in the mood to catch a flick. If you’re hungry I would highly suggest checking out the Blue Moose Coffee House, located in the town center, or The Owl Street Cafe, located in between the center of Hope and Silver Lake.
After you camp at Silver Lake in Hope, BC, don’t forget to stop by the Othello Tunnels on your way home. The Othello Tunnels are located in the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. The Othello Tunnels are a popular hike so if you’re wanting more hikes to explore near Hope, this is one of the best.
The tunnels were left behind from the Canadian Pacific Railway that was built in the early 1900s. The Railway was built over three mountain ranges and links the Kootenay region with the coast. The trail through the tunnels is 3.5 kilometers long and is an easy but beautiful hike. There are beautiful views of a gushing river in the bottom of the valley and the mountains and forests on either side of the trails are breathtaking.
April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies for Sustainable Travel. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.