Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact Sea to Sky Park Services Ltd
Email address: info@seatoskyparks.com
Phone: (604) 986-9371

Click here to view Sea to Sky’s web link, for additional information.

Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park

  • June 6, 2013 - Please note: the Birkenhead Lake sani-station is closed until further notice, sorry for the inconvenience.
  • Campfires in the day-use area parking lot, lawn and beach areas are not permitted at any time (including when snow covered).
  • Trail improvement work may be in progress on the Birkenhead Lake Trail. A contracted trail crew and mechanized equipment such as a small to mid-sized excavator may be encountered. Visitors are asked to make eye and verbal contact with the crew or equipment operator on site before safely passing through the construction activity zones. There may be travel delays. The project includes repairing trail sections damaged by rock slides and erosion, removing 40 year old wooden culverts and replacing the main footbridge over Sockeye Creek, approximately mid-way (4 km) along the trail.
  • Birkenhead Lake walk-in wilderness campsite is now closed. Very large, dead Douglas fir trees have been identified as potential hazards to camping or remaining in the area for long periods. At the same time, these trees provide a unique, high value habitat to animals as they decay and break apart. There are no plans in the near future to build a new wilderness site at this location. Camping remains available in the main and high density campgrounds.

About This Park

Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park was first established in 1963 to provide lakeside camping and other recreation experiences for travellers between Whistler and Lillooet. The park was expanded in 1996 from 3,642 hectares to 9,755 hectares, adding significant conservation values of the Sockeye Creek watershed. The park was again expanded by 684 hectares in 2008 to include more of the alpine headwaters of the western side of the Sockeye Creek watershed.

The park protects important habitat for a variety of wildlife, including spotted owls, mountain goats, black bears and grizzly bears. Old growth forests, subalpine and alpine environments, large and small lakes all contribute to the park’s diversity.

Park Size: 10,439 hectares.

Bear Safety Advisory

Bears are very active in this park. Read the bear safety information.

Volunteer Host Opportunity

Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park offers volunteer host opportunities. Click here for more information.

Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
Opening and Closing Campground Dates:  
Main campground May 15 – September 15
High density campground campground remains accessible in the fall after the main campground closes but may does not offer full services such as water, regular garbage collection, security, firewood sales or regular garbage collection. Please bring your own firewood and do not collect firewood from within the park. Be “bear aware”. A reminder: there is no cellular phone coverage in the park. Throughout the year until snowfall. The main park road is not plowed during winter.
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: May 15 – September 15
Off-season: no fee, no services
Campground Reservable Dates: May 16 – August 31
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 91
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
46
Note: The above information is for the campground only. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit. Check the “Attention Visitor Notice” above for park alerts.

Reservations

All campsite reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.

Reserve a site

Campsite Reservations:
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Located 22 km West of D’Arcy. 90 km North of Whistler, 145 km North of Squamish. Take Highway 99 from Pemberton northeast to Mt. Currie, turn off Highway 99 to D’Arcy. Just before D’Arcy (about 50km from Mt. Currie) there are highway signs indicating a turn off on to a gravel road that leads to Birkenhead Lake. From there it is a 17 km drive along a gravel road. The nearest communities, towns and cities are D’arcy, Pemberton and Mt Currie.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Canoes and kayaks are welcome but be aware of strong winds which can blow up suddenly on the lake. There are no developed, boat accessible campsites on the lake. Daily and hourly canoe rentals are available on site. For more details, please contact the park facility operator.
Cycling

Cycling

Bicycles must keep to roadways and designated mountain bike trails.
Birkenhead Lake Trail: The 8-kilometre gravel trail to Birkenhead Lake Estates at the south end of the lake joins up with Birkenhead Road and Tenas Valley logging road. This trail is used by both hikers and cyclists.
Cautionary note: There may also be horseback riding on the west half of the Birkenhead Lake trail up to Sockeye Creek.
Fishing

Fishing

Good fishing for Kokanee and Rainbow Trout. There are no Dolly Varden in Birkenhead Lake.
Please note: fishing regulations require anglers to release all Bull Trout caught. Bull Trout are on the endangered species list. Some anglers have mistaken the Bull Trout species for a Dolly Varden. Since the Bull Trout species has suffered, there is currently a recovery program in place and the park is requesting the public's assistance. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.

Caution Note: The lakeside Wilderness Trail and the Birkenhead Lake Trail: approximately 1.0 km from the trail head at the parking lot, both of these trails cross a 50 metre section of a rock debris avalanche path. Trail users must use caution when crossing over loose rock rubble and may be required to ford the stream. Crossings should be avoided during periods of prolonged, heavy rain.

Wilderness Trail: A 2-kilometre hiking trail through old growth forest leads to a flat, treed area with views of the mountains across the lake and views back of the day use area beaches. A short section connects with the Birkenhead Lake Trail, allowing for a longer hike or a loop back to the trailhead.

Birkenhead Lake Trail: The 8-kilometre trail to Birkenhead Lake Estates at the south end of the lake joins up with Birkenhead Road and Tenas Valley logging road. This trail is used by both hikers and cyclists. There may also be horseback riding on the west half of the Birkenhead Lake trail up to Sockeye Creek. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on this trail.

Goat Lookout Trail: This 1-kilometre trail on the south side of the valley is a bit rough and steep in places, but offers a view of the lake at it’s end and in the spring and fall mountain goats may be seen on the cliffs above the campground. Cautionary Note: During the spring snow melt (April - June), Phelix Creek water levels rise and may crest the log bridge approximately 100 metres from the start of the trail. High water conditions may require temporary seasonal closure of the trail. Best you otherwise hike the trail in the mornings during May and June.
Interpretive Programs

Interpretive Programs

Programs may be scheduled in the park. Check the notice board in the park for updates.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. However, there is one designated open area at the far end of the day-use area for dogs. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Swimming

Swimming

There is a sandy beach and swimming is available in this cold water lake (August is usually the warmest water month). Please stay within the swimming area identified by the marker buoys. There are currently no swimming floats. There are NO LIFEGUARDS on duty at provincial parks.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

There is no viewing platform but mountain goats can be seen in the spring on the high cliffs to the north, above the day use area and campground.
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

This park provides good windsurfing opportunities.
Winter Recreation

Winter Recreation

During the winter season, the 2km road from the park gate to the lake is good for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

There is a concrete double-wide boat launch available in the day-use area at this park. Vehicle and trailer parking is available overnight. A floating dock is next to the boat launch. Boats can be left in the water (tie-up space is limited on the dock) or beached overnight at the owners own risk.  There is no nearby marina to moor boats. Waterskiing on the lake is not recommended.
Campfires

Campfires

While campfires are allowed and campfire rings are provided at each campsite, we encourage visitors to conserve wood and protect the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using campstoves instead. Firewood can be purchased in the park or you may bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary from park to park. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

A pressurized, treated water system is now available. Potable water is available at taps in the main campground, the high density campground and the sani-station.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

There is a day-use/picnicking area with picnic tables and parking area. Some of the picnic tables have barbeque attachments; bring your own briquettes. There are no fire pits in the day-use area and open fires are not permitted. There is a sandy beach. There are no phones in the park. A pay telephone is located at D’Arcy, 22 km (13 miles) away on Portage Road.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit toilets are available in both the day-use and campground areas. No flush toilets at this park.
Sani-Station/Dump

Sani-Station/Dump

During the collecting season a sani-station/dump is available and a fee is charged for the service.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers vehicle accessible campsites, 7 of which are double sites. There are no pull through sites. There is room for a maximum of 2 vehicles per site (extra vehicle fee applies). No extra parking is available. There is no gatehouse. There is a locked gate in the off season, generally from late October to early May, however you may still hike in and camp. There are no facilities or services available, and no fees, in the off season. A sani-station is available and operational only during the full service camping season.

If there is no staff available to direct you to a site, check the reservation board at the park entrance, then choose a site with no reservation or camping receipt posted at the campsite. Staff will come around to collect fees. The closest store is D’Arcy approximately 22 kilometres on the Pemberton Portage Road. The nearest pay phone is also in D’Arcy. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $18.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $9.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

There are no developed walk-in or boat-in wilderness campsites in this park.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

There is a wheelchair accessible gravel trail located near the beach. There are no toilets or campsites that are wheelchair accessible.