A few weekends ago we hit Monck Provincial Park. Located just past Merritt down a skinny but paved road, this park is a a great place to try out if you’re new to camping, want a more desert-y experience than what you get on the coast, want to try a bigger park experience, or d) all of the above.
We had a double site, as we had planned for another party to join us, so it was a bit bigger than our two small families needed. I’d probably pick another site next time. Although the view of Nicola Lake was pretty fantastic and mostly unobstructed, the site had very few trees, and in the semi-arid, dry, hot climate of Merritt, trees were camping gold.
The park has 120 vehicle accessible campsites, some with shade and others not so much. It has a little store that sells candy, ice, and various sundries, and an amphitheatre. While we were there, the park operator (an incredibly nice bunch of people) organized a scavenger hunt for anyone interested, and a corporate-sponsored Learn to Fish event happened. Apparently starting the week after we were there, they show a movie every Friday in the amphitheatre.
The lake is really the showpiece of Monck Park, no matter what flush toilets, decently flavoured water, and surprising quiet would have you believe. A moderately-sized, dog-free, roped-off area of Nicola Lake is the official bathing area, though you can swim elsewhere. Motor boats are permitted on the lake with a boat launch inside the day use park of the park. We saw tubers and people fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The lake was colder than I anticipated but incredibly refreshing. We spent an awful lot of time at the lake all three days. It was pretty awesome.
Sidenote: I wore a two piece bathing suit for the first time in more than seven years! I bought it from Nettle’s Tale, a local company I will write a review for soon and I highly recommend! But seven years also means I forgot to put sunscreen on my tummy and lower back and burned. Sad Jen.
We also sat up late at night with beautiful warm breezes and clear skies both nights and watched the moon rise. And also maybe there were some drunk cherries in whiskey. It was pretty amazing.
We’d definitely go back to Monck again. I booked it because I wanted a different experience. Most of our camping is forested, and I wanted to try somewhere dry and exposed just to switch it up. It was definitely a place I enjoyed and would go back to.