Visitors - Important Notice!
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A true wilderness experience, Cathedral Park comprises an
expanse of jagged mountain peaks, azure lakes and flower-dappled
alpine meadows that is definitely for the adventurous. Located
between the dense, wet forests of the Cascade Mountains
the desert-like Okanagan Valley, this mountainous park offers
a rich variety of terrain, flora and fauna. Fascinating
formations--including a jumble of columnar-jointed basalt
forms and massive, wind-eroded quartz monzonite towers--make
this an excellent spot for the experienced hiker. The lakes
in the park look like turquoise jewels in a granite setting.
Each of the close-knit group of lakes--Quiniscoe, Ladyslipper,
Scout, Pyramid, Glacier, and Lake of the Woods--has a unique
charm. Equally as beautiful are the tranquil Haystack Lakes,
which are within a days hike of the main lake areas.
Cathedral Park offers fishing, camping, wilderness camping, hiking, and mountaineering.
Cathedral Protected Area was established on April 18, 2001,
to enhance the ecological viability of Cathedral Park and
to protect low elevation forests. This small protected area
is an addition to the existing park. The new area provides
no additional facilities.
hectares for the Park and 353 hectares for the Protected Area
are not permitted in Cathedral Provincial Park.
be aware of the following camping
Lake Resort Limited operates a lodge and cabins on Quiniscoe
Lake and provides transportation by four-wheel-drive from
Ashnola River to Quiniscoe Lake (for a fee).
Topographic Series Maps Sheet 092H/01 (Ashnola) at a scale
of 1:50,000 covers the Cathedral Lakes area.
on the south by the British Columbia-Washington State border,
on the east by Ewart Creek, and on the west and north by the
Ashnola River, Cathedral Park is southwest of Keremeos. Access
is via Highway 3: three kilometres west of Keremeos, the Ashnola
Road leaves the highway and crosses a red covered bridge,
10 kilometers further the pavement ends and the Ashnola Forest
Service Road begins and follows the Ashnola River into the
park. This road extends 48 kilometres upstream to the south
end of the Ashnola Valley. There are three hiking routes that
provide access to the park's core from the Ashnola River corridor:
Ewart Creek, Lakeview, and Wall Creek. These routes are described
on the hiking page. No vehicles into core area on private
access road, hike-in only to core area.
jeep service, operated by Cathedral Lakes Resort, provides
transportation between their privately owned holdings on the
Ashnola River and Quiniscoe Lake in the parks core area,
a distance of 16 kilometres.
Any maps listed are for
information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be
used for navigation.
Heritage - There are over 800 lithic artifacts including flakes of basalt, white siltstone and various types of chert that are of provincial significance as well as multiple sites of bone fragments. European history is also evident in the four historic cabins dating from the early 1900’s.
- Conservation - Cathedral Park encompasses the variety of terrain and flora and fauna that is typical of the transition zone between the rain forest of the Cascade Mountains and the more arid Okanagan Valley. It contains habitat for 14 red/blue-listed plant species, 3 red/blue-listed mammals and 2 red-listed bird species (Sandhill crane and Prairie falcon). Forest cover is also varied. Douglas-fir predominates in the lower levels, interspersed with stands of cottonwood and aspen along the waterways. Lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce prefer higher ground, giving way to sub-alpine fir, balsam fir and Lyall's larch. Flowers abound here, with heather and lupine and other varieties being fairly common at higher levels.
- Wildlife - The list of wildlife in the park is lengthy. Hikers may see larger mammals such as mule deer, mountain goat and California bighorn sheep and the park encompasses grizzly and black bear habitat, though sightings are rare. The red-listed badger is also found in the park. Even casual visitors are apt to hear the whistle of a marmot as it suns itself on rocky outcroppings, or be accompanied by the chatter of squirrels and the raucous call of the whiskey jacks that frolic and flit along the forested trails. Most of the lakes and waterways support populations of rainbow and cutthroat trout.
- General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
considering a visit to Cathedral Provincial Park are reminded
that the park is a wilderness area without supplies of any
kind. Hikers should be in possession of suitable maps. All
visitors must be prepared for outdoor living and be aware
that freezing temperatures and snow may occur during any
month. Equipment, such as tents and sleeping bags, must
be able to withstand periods of inclement weather. Suitable
clothing, including good waterproof/windproof raingear and
insulating layers like fleece and down, is a must even if
temperatures are warm in the Okanagan Valley. Anyone considering
an overnight or longer hike should inform a responsible
person or agency of their intentions. This information should
include estimated departure and return times.
Safety Information (park
safety, hazards, wildlife safety information, health risks)
parks that accept reservations,
all vehicle accessible campsites (with the exception of
group sites) must be reserved through Discover
are not accepted at this park, all campsites are on a
first-come, first-served basis. For parks that accept
reservations or information on the reservation service,
Parks: Fees, park listings, what
you should know before you go and other useful links.
Gibson Pass Resort Inc.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
park offers limited vehicle accessible campsites
on a first-come, first-served basis.- To access
the Lakeview Trailhead Campground, turn left at
13 km on the Ashnola Forest Service Road. Another
500m down this dirt road is the gravel trailhead
parking lot. There are three walk-in sites along
the river downstream from the footbridge. The sites
are within 20 metres of the parking lot and are
rustic, having only fire rings and no picnic tables
or constructed tent pads. Two pit toilets are on
the other side of the parking lot. Overnight parking
is permitted for self-contained units. The sites
are used most often as an overnight stop by people
intending to hike into the Core Area and wanting
an early start.
campground is two kilometres further west along
the Ashnola River almost at 16 km. There is no camping
fee, campsites are user-maintained and there is
a limited number of picnic tables, fire rings and
2 pit toilets.
All dates are subject
to change without notice
and Closing Campground Dates: (campground
is accessible but may not offer full services
such as water, security, etc.)
- October for Core area and Buckhorn campground
Dates with Full Services and Fees:
- October 7
Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
vehicle sites at Buckhorn campground;
approximately 70 walk-in sites in the Core Area
of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
|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.
the Lakeview Trail, wilderness, backcountry or walk-in
camping is allowed only at Twin Buttes, Haystack
Lakes, and Lindsey Creek . No facilities are provided
at these sites and there is no fee.
within the park's core area is restricted to designated
sites near Lake of the Woods, Pyramid Lake and Quiniscoe
Lake. There is a backcountry
camping fee and all sites are first-come, first-served.
Sites are usually accessible from June to September.
Lake, Lake of the Woods and Pyramid Lake :
Camping Fee: $5.00 per person / night, for all persons 13 years of age or older
Lake has 30 sites designated by number posts. The
sites are spread out along the southern shore of
the lake amongst Engelmann spruce, Lyall's larch
and Sub-alpine fir. Boulders and rock outcroppings
are strewn about the area, evidence of the area's
glacial history. The sites feature framed earth
tent pads to minimize the impacts of camping by
keeping people in designated areas. The sites are
grouped together in clusters of three or four in
order to share the 12 picnic tables and 13 fire
rings. There are four pit toilets in the campground,
one is near the lodge access road, a second is behind
the ranger cabin between sites 4 and 7 and the other
two are further along the lake beside the trail
to sites 21-25. A firewood corral is located near
the lodge access road approximately 100m from the
campsites. Campers are reminded to conserve firewood.
There are four wire mesh food caches on the ground
to protect supplies from rodents and birds. They
are not bear proof.
of the Woods has 28 sites with framed earth tent
pads along the northeast shore of the lake amidst
smaller fir and larch trees. As a result, the sites
are more open and less shaded than at Quiniscoe.
The terrain is similarly rocky. This is a more rustic
campground with two pit toilets and no tables or
fire rings. Fires are prohibited. The location of
the sites affords spectacular views of Lakeview,
Pyramid and Quiniscoe Mountains, as well the jagged
peaks of Grimface Mountain, the Macabre Tower and
the Boxcar. There are two wire mesh food caches.
Lake is the smallest and quietest of the campgrounds
with 12 sites. The lake is nestled between the two
sloping flanks Pyramid Mountain. The sites are in
a thicker forest of large spruce similar to Quiniscoe.
Some of the sites are located on a point overlooking
the lake. The sites have framed earth tent pads
but no tables or fire rings. There are two pit toilets
and two wire mesh food caches.
information shelter is located between the private
lodge and the ranger cabin. At this shelter are
self-registration envelopes and a metal vault. Upon
arrival, campers should fill out the registration
form and deposit their fee in the vault. This is
for all three camping areas. To reduce the visitor
impact on the park, please view the following camping
Lakes Lodge offers day-trips into the Core Area driving
up from the Ashnola at 8:00am and returning at 3:30.
Contact them for further details.
are no wheelchair accessible facilities at this park.
water is not available in the park. All surface water
must be treated by boiling, adding iodine tablets or
park only has pit toilets - no flush toilets.
is a wilderness area and visitors must be prepared.
Freezing temperatures and snow can occur in any month
and campfires cannot be relied upon for cooking or as
a source of heat. Campers must bring portable stoves
for cooking. Fires are prohibited at Lake of the Woods
and Pyramid. Firewood can
be purchased from the Park Facility Operator in some
parks or you can bring your own wood. Fees for firewood
are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation
and ground cover, please don't gather firewood from
the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park.
Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants
and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil.
You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping
your campfire small.
||There are no electrical hook-ups in this park.
are no regularly scheduled interpretive programs at
are several well-defined hiking trails in this park. Hikers will
require at least a full day to hike one-way into the
core area. For your own safety and preservation of the
park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails.
Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
park does not have a playground.
you can swim here, be aware that the lakes are glacier
fed and the water is very cold. There are no
lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Cathedral Lodge on Quiniscoe Lake only allows their
Lodge clients use the rowboats and canoes - no rentals
to campers. Belly-boats are being seen more frequently
though users should be aware of the distances to the
various lakes and the hiking involved in reaching them.
park does not have a boat launch.
lakes in the park are not stocked by the provincial
hatcheries but they still support healthy populations
of rainbow and cutthroat trout. This can be attributed
to the abundance of spawning habitat in streams and
along the lakeshores. In the fall, spawning trout can
often been seen from small footbridges as the trail
crosses the outlets of Ladyslipper Lake, Pyramid Lake
and Lake of the Woods. Ladyslipper is reputed to have
the best fishing in the park. Though the fish are generally
small (6-10 inches), they are plentiful. No special
restrictions apply. Anyone fishing or angling in British
Columbia must have an appropriate
is not permitted.
riding is authorized by letter
of permission into Twin
Buttes and Haystack Lakes. However, there is no camping
at the lakes, only at Twin Buttes. Maximum group size
is four people and six horses and the maximum stay is
three nights. Users must bring pelletized feed and hobble
and move their horses regularly to prevent overgrazing
and trampling. Access to Snowy Protected Area from Ewart
Creek to the Juniper Creek junction is permitted with
no letter required. The Core Area is closed to horses.
are not allowed in Cathedral Provincial Park.
Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or
other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential
for problems with bears.
There are no viewing platforms but the scenery in the park is spectacular
wherever you go. Hiking along the rim offers 360 vistas of the Cascade
Mountains and the Okanagan Mountain Range. The peaks of Manning Provincial
Park can be seen in the distance on clear days. The trails up to the rim
travel through mixed forests of beautiful larch that turn golden in the
fall. Stone City, the Giant Cleft and the Devil’s Woodpile are fantastic
rock formations that highlight the unique geology of the park.
winter recreation opportunities.
SCUBA diving or snorkelling opportunities.
Provincial Park is open to the discharge of firearms from August 25
to April 15. The Core Area of the park is closed to the discharge of
firearms. Hunters are permitted to carry unloaded firearms or bows
only when in transit to an open area outside the Core Area during lawful
hunting season. Please check the BC Hunting
and Trapping Regulations for more information. Horses are only permitted from Ewart Creek to Twin
Buttes and their use requires
the Matriarch and Macabre Tower offer mountaineering opportunities
for experienced climbers.
spelunking or caving opportunities.
Contact Cathedral Lakes Lodge for more information on their facilities. There
are no public cabins in the park. The ranger cabin at Quiniscoe Lake
is for staff only.