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
Visitor Information Kelly Lake is subject to strong winds throughout the year. Keep this in mind if you venture out onto the water to fish or swim.
Park Contact This park proudly operated by:
Shuswap Adams Parks Ltd.
E-mail: parkinquiries@telus.net
Phone: 250-377-8888

Downing Provincial Park

  • Updated as of July 8, 2014: Recent changes to the stream hydrology of the area has resulted in the flooding of the campground. Unfortunately, the campground is still closed, and will remain closed and no drinking water will be provided until further notice.
    • The day-use area will be open as per the operating dates indicated on this webpage.
    • BC Parks is currently working with hydrology specialists to address this issue.
    • Please note there is no camping allowed in the day-use area.
    • The nearest parks with camping facilities area Big Bar Lake Park and Green Lake Park. Privately owned campgrounds are also located in the Village of Clinton.
    • BC Parks will be investigating remedial options and the work involved before the campground can be reopened. When available, updates will be posted to this website.

Know Before You Go

The public should be alert when driving in an area that has had a recent wildfire. Be observant of washed out bridges or culverts, roads below steep banks are susceptible to landslides. Watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of debris flows. On forest land where a wildfire has occurred, avoid camping on floodplains, beside small streams, on alluvial fans or at the base of burned slopes. Rapid spring snowmelt and intense rainfall are common triggers that present a greater risk of post-wildfire events. Be aware of forecasts that may include heavy rainfall. This bulletin provides general information only, additional information resources are available at:
www.bcwildfire.ca
www.pep.bc.ca
www.gov.bc.ca/for

About This Park

Downing Provincial Park This park is a small but popular park that almost encircles attractive Kelly Lake. Views of mountains, and 2,245 metre Mount Bowman, a spectacular mountain ridge visible from the nearby Jesmond Road, give the park a remote atmosphere, though it is located close to Clinton.

The walk-in lakeside campsites are spread out over a lush, grassy field adjacent to the campground parking lot. Swimming in Kelly Lake is enjoyable from the long sandy beach. Angling for rainbow trout is a popular past time. Many visitors use the park as a stopping place as they travel the Pavilion Mountain Road, which connects the Cariboo to Lillooet. This scenic alternative to Highway 99 is unpaved, narrow and switch-backed and best suited for compact 4X4 vehicles.

The park land was donated to the people of BC by C. S. Downing in 1970, and his family still owns adjacent property. Please respect this private property by keeping to the road when walking between the day-use area and campground.

Nearby parks also offering campgrounds include Green Lake and Big Bar Lake. Visitors can also travel along the Jesmond Loop, by travelling north-west from the park to Jesmond Road. This scenic drive passes by the historic townsite of Jesmond, where the OK Corral – one of the oldest ranches in the area – is situated, and continues past Little Big Bar Lake. The loop also accesses the Jesmond fire lookout by way of a narrow four-wheel drive road, from which adventurous visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including Marble Range and Edge Hills Provincial Parks. This route eventually connects with Highway 97 and provides a scenic trip for travellers heading to Green Lake or beyond.

Park Size: 100 hectares

Special Notes: Please respect the Downing property by keeping to the road when walking between the day-use area and the campground.

Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
Opening and Closing Campground Dates: June 15 – September 5
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: June 15 – September 5
Campground Reservable Dates: Not applicable
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 18 park/walk-in sites
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
Not applicable
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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. The park is located 18 km south-west of Clinton. Turn off Hwy 97 at the south end of Clinton onto the Kelly Lake Road, which is paved as far as the park. The closest communities, towns and cities are Clinton, 100 Mile House, Ashcroft and Cache Creek.
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Nature and Culture

  • History: The park was donated by C.S. Downing in 1970, and his family still owns the adjacent property.
  • Cultural Heritage: The park is located within the traditional territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) People. While no heritage sites are known within the park, please remember it is illegal to damage such sites or remove artifacts.
  • Conservation: Although the focus is on recreation at Downing Park, it is close to two larger parks with important conservation values. The Jesmond Road, which leaves Kelly Lake Road just east of the park, winds through the corridor between Marble Range and Edge Hills Parks. The Marble Range features karst landscapes, known for limestone cliffs and outcrops, while Edge Hills is a grassland park on the east bank of the Fraser River.
  • General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Kelly Lake is very small, so any canoeing or kayaking will be limited, but relatively safe. Strong winds may be experienced anytime during the year so beware of the weather when out on the lake.
Cycling

Cycling

Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Fishing

Fishing

Kelly Lake has rainbow trout and is popular with anglers. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
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. 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 very pleasant swimming beach in the park. Swimmers need to be aware that the lake bottom drops off sharply and of the strong winds that arise on the lake. The swimming area is not roped off and there are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

There is a small, single-wide gravel boat launch located approximately 0.5 km past the day use area on the same road. Kelly Lake is fairly small and not ideal for waterskiing on.
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

Cold water taps are centrally located in the campground and picnic areas. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has a day-use/picnic area. The picnic area, situated on Kelly Lake, is located about 0.5 km west of the campground entrance. There are waterfront tables in the picnic area and a picnic shelter with additional tables. There are also fire pits, pit toilets and water taps in the day-use area.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park only has pit toilets located throughout the campground and picnic areas. This park has no flush toilets.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers 18 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted. This campground has tenting sites spread over a lush, grassy area next to the lake. The distance to walk from the parking area is minimal (less than 20 metres or 60 feet). Although there is limited parking space available for R.V.’s, the peaceful setting of this park draws such visitors to it each year.

If there is no staff at the campground upon arrival, choose a site and pay at the self-registration box in the campground. Staff will be at the campground at least once a day during the camping season. There is no pay phone at the park and the closest store is around 18km away in Clinton.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $16.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $8.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.