On This Page
Visitor InformationKelly 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 ContactThis park proudly operated by:
Shuswap Adams Parks Ltd.
During a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas of a park or protected area. Please read this Information Bulletin.
Downing Provincial Park
About This Park
This 14 site vehicle accessible campground was re-built in 2015 and re-opened to the public in May of 2016. 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.
Established Date: July 9, 1970
Park Size: 139 hectares
- Please respect the Downing property by keeping to the road when walking between the day-use area and the campground.
- ORVs are prohibited in this park. ORVs include ATVs, off-road motorcycles, snowmobiles and side by sides.
| Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
|Opening and Closing Campground Dates:||May 15 – September 15|
|Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:||May 15 – September 15|
|Campground Reservable Dates:||Not applicable|
|Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:||14 sites|
|Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
Know Before You Go
- Please note: The maximum unit size for this park is 30 feet.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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
Activities Available at this Park
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.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
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/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.
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.
Facilities Available at this Park
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.
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.
Cold water taps are centrally located in the campground and picnic areas. Taps are shut off during the off-season. Upgrades to the water system are planned for completion in 2017.
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
This park only has pit toilets located throughout the campground and picnic areas. This park has no flush toilets.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers 14 new gravelled campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted. Staff will be at the campground at least once a day during the camping season to collect and clean. There is no pay phone at the park and the closest store is approximately 18km away in Clinton.
Please Note: The maximum unit size for this park is 30 feet.
Please Note: The maximum unit size for this park is 30 feet.
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.