The word camping seems to mean very different things to different people. There are the types who fall asleep between silk sheets, sporting a plush pink sleep mask, in a food coma after that rich AF lobster bisque hubs cooked up for dinner, tucked cozily into the RV’s king-sized bed. Some love to snooze in a yurt decked out with a wood burning stove, listening to their sleep app to drown out the sounds of nature. Others spend their week lakeside huddled in an overpriced Airstream complete with a kitchen that looks like it was built for leprechauns and an LG Smart TV so you can still catch the Lions games.
Then there are the people like my husband and me, who don’t really believe it’s camping unless you have to be cautious not to squat in poison ivy for your morning deuce. Yes, we’re the backroad map lovers; the people who wash their plates and their armpits in the lake and who have a Yogi-proof cooler we tuck neatly back into the truck at night. We’re the people whose relationship is tested erecting a tent while we slap mozzies and find colourful new ways to cuss at each other. There are no impeccably maintained picnic tables at our campsites; no running water or electricity and best of all, there’s no noise curfew so we can rock out to Slayer well into the night.
So, what in the world brought us to Gallagher Lake Resort in Oliver, BC, then? I’ll give you a hint: They’re retired, they spoil my son and they go to bed right after Jeopardy. That’s right, Gallagher Lake Resort made it possible to go camping with my parents again, something I haven’t done since the 90s.
The resort boasts a private lake, cabin rentals, RV hookups and tent sites. We were able to pin down a campsite right next to a cabin, so my hairier half and I could enjoy tenting, while my folks spent a comfortable night on the beds provided in the cabins. I could still hear my dad snore, but that’s okay because I could also hear the crickets chirping, the wind in the trees and off in the distance somewhere the sound of mountain goat hooves clacking on ancient rock.
Reviews for this place suggested it wasn’t so dog-friendly and of course, I don’t go anywhere without my Miss Lucy by my side, so I was a little bit worried about that, but honestly, it turned out great. While we couldn’t take her down to the beach, she had a great time in the upper campground and snoozed the hours away in the cabin when we all went down for a swim.
The lake itself is so beautiful it kinda feels like you’ve been sucker-punched in the gut when you first see it. It just sucks the air right out of your lungs. It is always still, being surrounded by a huge rockface so not much breeze meets the surface. It seems to always look like a sheet of glass. The lake bed is sandy so you don’t need aqua shoes to enjoy a swim and the platform is out far enough so you can safely dive off. The lake is so small that even weaker swimmers could make it across. I would absolutely go back for the lake alone.
There’s no shortage of wildlife at Gallagher Lake Resort, with herds of mountain goats climbing the rocks surrounding the lake:
There was a noise curfew, so, unfortunately, Slayer had to wait for the drive home, but we had a great time playing Trivial Pursuit on the cabin porch well into the evening.
The rates for this place were very reasonable even though it didn’t necessarily feel that way to my bearded half and I, having been used to camping in places with no camping fees. $100/night for the cabins and under $50 for a tent site in high season. You also have access to their coin-operated laundry, coin-operated showers, pristinely kept toilets, electricity, running water and yes, my nerdy friends, they even had wifi. This came in really handy for me as we packed up to leave on the first Sunday of regular season NFL. As a Browns fan, that first game is super important because I’m not yet in that extra-jaded mindset that would have me rather burn my Browns jersey than watch another loss. I streamed it on my DAZN app right there at the campsite!
Overall, this is a wonderful choice for camping especially if you’re amongst what Letterkenny’s chief hick Wayne might refer to as super-soft campers. They can relax on the plush mattresses under a roof with a heater and A/C and you can count the constellations in your tent without the fly. It’s not exactly my ideal camping situation, but it was the best compromise – and if you want to relieve yourself in Bambi’s backyard instead of the stark, white, disinfected resort toilets, no one’s gonna say a damned thing.
Check out Gallagher Lake Resort here and see more of my photos below! Where is your favourite place to camp in the Okanagan region? Let me know in the comments!