Merritt Summer River Camping – Outdoor Adventures

Places to Camp Riverside Around Merritt B.C

Staycation Summer River Campgrounds Merritt BC

Merritt Summer River Camping : As a result of Covid19 many families in Canada have rediscovered the outdoors. Furthermore, many have reignited their love of “Camping” with a dash of adventure.  But where does a person start? Knowledge about out-door activities starts with Experience Nicola Valley and Experience Merritt.  A great resource for planning a trip to the Nicola Valley.

Merritt Summer River Camping or Lakes

Surely when thinking of camping we often picture lakes. While a lake is great, river camping can be just as enjoyable. Do you prefer full amenities while camping or rustic adventures? Or full amenities vs outback river camping? All are available here in the Nicola Valley! 

Merritt Summer River Camping

Looking for Gold! Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

camping moon shadows campground

Camping on the river. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Benefits of Summer River Camping in Merritt 

  1. Stress reduction:  No alarm clocks, just the sound of nature.
  2. Fresh air:  Sleeping well may be your new experience.  
  3. Relationship building: One of the best and most important aspects of camping is how it helps you and your family gain hands-on outdoor experiences.
  4. Physical fitness: Time spent camping is physical time. You set up a tent, gather firewood, go for a swim, hike, boating, kayaking not to mention meal time. Cooking and preparing meals without a microwave can be exhausting. 
  5. Wildlife: Although seeing wildlife is great. Respecting while observing from a distance. 
  6. Confidence building: Teaching your children along with yourself becoming more confident learning new things while respecting the outdoors. 
Summer river camping

Swing rope. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Coldwater River. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Selecting A River Site

River camping during summer months in the Nicola Valley provides a few options to choose from. Here are five of my favorite places to camp riverside around Merritt BC. 


Located south of Merritt, BC, Canada along the Coldwater River, the Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground offers great camping all year-round. With competitive weekly, monthly, and off-season rates, Moon Shadows is a great option for your extended camping stay. RV and tenting sites are set back in the trees and offer spectacular scenery to enjoy. Moon Shadows facilities include laundry, heated washrooms with showers, a gorgeous gazebo by the river, and a small convenience store.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Camping under the Moon shadows. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.


When you go camping with friends or family, you get a chance to talk and visit without distraction into the night. Grandma T.



The Claybanks RV Park and Campground offers spacious, well-maintained sites along the Coldwater River.  The nicely treed property is located close to downtown Merritt and many of the great activities offered in the area. Enjoy golfing, fishing, swimming, or just take in the beautiful flowers as you walk along the river. Whether tenting or RVing, Claybanks has you covered with 44 full-serviced RV sites and 20 tenting sites. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round with  heated washrooms, showers, a snack shop, and horseshoe pits.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Kids just love the river. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt  River Camping

Walking distance to downtown Merritt. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Camping can revitalize families while being away from all the distractions at home.



Truly experience rustic camping here amongst scenic mountains’ and a historical railway bridge. Can not get any better than this. With only a few spots to camp,  no overcrowding. Moreover you can swim or pan for false gold on the riverbanks. I can guarantee this is my favorite spot in BC. Along with it’s scenic beauty, it is a bit hotter than in Merritt. While only being 15min out of town. 

Petit Bridge

Camping by the bridge. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Merritt river camping in the summer

Scenic Nicola Valley views. Photo Tania Stewart.

“Rivers may not accommodate a speed boat, yet your steps away from the water.” Tania Stewart.



N’kwala campground is located beside the Nicola River. This is a popular camping location providing opportunities for canoeists and kayakers to enjoy the pace of the river. Albeit during the summer hot spells when the river levels are low, the site is still an ideal location for camping. Furthermore providing a refreshing dip in the river to cool off. With a mix of Yellow Pine and shady fir trees, along many sunny sites which can accommodate any size of camping units. Boasting 20 camping sites and located only 15 minutes from Merritt BC. 

Merritt Summer River Camping

Exploring river banks. Pic by Tania Stewart.

River Camping in Nicola Valley

Floating peacefully. Photo by TS.

Summer River Camping outside Merritt

Scenic drive through Brookmere. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Tenting or trailer is perfect. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Pet Friendly! 

Assuredly we all want to bring our pets with us on our summer adventures. All of the campgrounds mentioned are truly “Pet Friendly”

Summer River Camping Merritt Tips

  • In short pack extra clothing. After all, the weather around Nicola Valley is generally warm & dry. Sometimes it may rain or get a little cool at night. So make sure to pack clothes for all types of weather. 
  • Take advantage of outdoor attractions. During your stay, make sure to set time aside to explore all that your campsite has to offer. 
  • Overall protect yourself. It’s extremely important to protect yourself from all that Mother Nature provides, so make sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray! 
  • Cleanup. Overall packing up is the worst. Leaving paradise is hard, but making sure to leave nothing behind is crucial.  
  • Make sure your fire is completely out. 
River camping during summer months

Kids just love camping! Picture courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Exploring and adventure on the river. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Staycation Summer River Campgrounds Merritt BC

Merritt Summer River Camping can be your next vacation. River camping during summer months in the Nicola Valley provides a few options to choose from. Most important the soothing sounds of the nearby river will lull you to sleep under the stars every night. 

Take Me To The River

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Merritt Crown Epic 150

Epic Mountain Biking in Merritt, BC? Oh hell, ya! Darch Oborne is well known to anyone in Merritt who rides a mountain bike. He rides, builds trail and advocates for the advancement of riding in the Nicola Valley, and his enthusiasm for the sport is contagious.

Merritt Crown Epic 150

Over Halfway

Senior Bikepacker’s Inspiration

Darch’s first guest blog for Experience Nicola Valley recalls his experience of tackling the BC Epic 1000. The BC Epic is a gruelling 1000+km bikepacking ride from Merritt to Fernie–80% off-road. Check out that story here.

Now Darch is back to describe the new, homegrown, Merritt Crown

Lakes and Blue Skies

Lakes and Blue Skies!

“It all began back in the summer of 2017. I wanted to find a way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday—to create something that really captured our country’s landscape and freedom.

As an avid mountain biker and a proud resident of Merritt, BC, I thought of just the thing—a challenging mountain bike race that showcases this place we’re so lucky to call home.

With the help of Travis Fehr of Breathe Bikes, and with funding from the City of Merritt and Tourism Nicola Valley, I configured a route, mapped it out, and made sure all of the sections were ride-able (albeit, I figured that the 120 plus kilometres and over 11,000 feet of vertical were surely impossible for any rider to complete in less than 12 hours). This was the beginning of a route to create epic mountain biking in Merritt, BC.

A Race is Born!

We called the race The Merritt Crown for a couple of reasons. First, the course links the city’s four distinct riding areas—Coutlee Plateau, Iron Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Swakum Mountain—forming a circular shape with four distinct peaks. Secondly, we figured that anyone who could complete it deserved to be called a king or queen.

June 16th, 2018, was a proving day, when the first two riders to ever tackle The Merritt Crown set out on their way. The first was Dr Lennard Pretorius, the founder of the famous BC Epic 1000 race. The second was James Oborne, former bike shop owner in Merritt, and now an engineer in Vancouver.

Merritt Crown Epic 150

The First Crown Finishers

The following details the route, with links to Trailforks for details on the trails. The riders started at 7:00 am from Rotary Bike Park. They sped up section one to the top of JP Cool, down to the Coutlee Flats, up to the radio towers and then down Burn and the unique Windy Canyon.

Vast and Challenging


Merritt Crown Epic 150

Trailforks Crown Route

After rejuvenating with water, snacks, and smiles, they set off to section two. This leg took them up Foxfarm Road and Upper Godey Creek, then down to the Info Centre. Then up TMI (Too Much Info) and down Ridge.

Then they tackled the ascent of Hamilton Hill and rode to the Laurie Guichon Memorial, and onto the challenge of section three–the Sugarloaf Mountain area including the trails: Big Lake/Wounded Knee/Jack/Chutter.

After a quick rest at the Nicola dam, they headed off on Highway 5A to Section four—the Swakum ascent. They arrived at the top of Upper Scenic trail and began their descent back to the Park by 6:47 pm.

First Finishers

Total elapsed time: 11:47 hours– a feat accomplished—just thirteen minutes shy of twelve hours!

Now, we’re excited to say that we’re extending the challenge of epic mountain biking in Merritt, BC to you and your riding community. We’re looking for the next riders to crown. Join us on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, for the 2nd annual Merritt Crown. We expect sunny, dry trails and lots of good memories.

Register Here!

Start/finish line: Central Park, Merritt, British Columbia.

Cost: $50 entry fee

Cost Includes: 
-1 admission to post-race BBQ incl. food and beer ($18.00 for guests)
-A crown for all finishers 
-Cash prize purse for the top riders

-Some hosting available 
-Free camp areas 
-Public campgrounds 
-Fine Merritt motels and hotels”

Epic Mountain Biking in Merritt, BC