Winds whispering through the pine forests, waves lapping at the shoreline, Gwillim Lake Provincial Park provides a peaceful outdoor experience.
Set in the picturesque Rocky Mountain Foothills on Highway 29, a half-hour’s drive from Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge and the massive Northeast Coal development, visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, fishing and a viewpoint that provides a panoramic vista of the superb Rocky Mountain scenery.
Please note: This park is being maintained by a local community organization or business. Services and/or facilities may vary from provincial standards.
Date Established: November 26, 1981
Park Size: 32,326 ha
Know Before You Go
Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) are prohibited in this park. ORVs include ATVs, off-road motorcycles, snowmobiles and side-by-sides.
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.
Conservation: Located in the Hart Foothills ecosection, Gwillim Lake Provincial Park houses a diverse array of both coniferous and deciduous tree species. Lodgepole pine, white spruce, trembling aspen, paper birch and balsam poplar are found along the lakeshore intermixed with low wetlands of black spruce, willow and alder. Forests at higher elevations consist of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir that open up into parklands and alpine meadows higher up.
Wildlife: The deep blue waters of Gwillim Lake are home to bull trout, mountain whitefish, lake trout, Arctic grayling, and northern pike. Due to low nutrient levels, the lake has a low regeneration capability for fish populations and is not able to sustain heavy fishing pressures. Please obey the catch limits posted in the B.C. Environment Fishing Regulations Synopsis. If you are an early riser, you might get a glimpse of a moose or deer foraging for food. The wetlands at the east end of the lake attract a large variety of waterfowl and shorebirds and the park is home to a small population of bald eagles.
Approved Master Plan[PDF 1.43MB] for Gwillim Lake Provincial Park is available online in pdf format.
Activities Available at this Park
Canoes and kayaks are welcome. Beware of easterly winds that create high waves in the open water.
There are climbing or rock climbing opportunities.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Anglers can try their luck fishing for lake trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish, Arctic grayling, northern pike and burbot. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Ice fishing is allowed during the winter season but visitors should be aware that the park road from Hwy #29 to the lake is snowed in usually until late April or early May. Snowmobiles have been used to travel this 1km of road. Please note: the school camp road is private and there is no access to the park from this road.
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.
Horseback riding is permitted in the Elephant Ridge addition to Gwillim Lake Park. Please contact the Fort St. John Ministry of Environment office for a letter authorizing horseback use in the park.
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 wildlfie issues and the potential for problems with bears.
There are SCUBA diving or snorkelling opportunities.
There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are waterskiing opportunities.
There are wildlife viewing opportunities.
There are windsurfing opportunities.
There are snowshoeing and backcountry skiing opportunities.
Facilities Available at this Park
There is a boat launch complete with turnaround and a large parking area for vehicles with trailers.
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.
A hand pump is located in the park. The hand pump may be removed during the off-season.
This park has a day-use/picnic area.
Pit or Flush Toilets
This park only has pit toilets – no flush toilets.
An adventure playground is situated in the middle of the campground.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $20.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $10.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Wilderness, backcountry or walk-in camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided.
There are wheelchair accessible facilities at this park.