Stands of Ponderosa pine interspersed with open areas of bunchgrass characterize this recreation area that lies astride the Kettle River between the Okanagan Plateau and the Monashee Mountains. The abandoned right-of-way of the historic Kettle Valley section of the Canadian Pacific Railway, completed in 1916 to link the Pacific coast with southern Alberta, passes through the site. On the east bank of the river is evidence of the once flourishing gold and silver mines.
In the summer, excellent canoeing or inner tube riding although there are some hazards on the river. In the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are favourite pastimes.
Established Date: July 6, 1972
Park Size: 179 hectares
Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
Opening and Closing Campground Dates:
(campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security, etc.)
April 28 – October 1 (weather dependant)
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:
April 28 – October 1 (weather dependant)
Campground Reservable Dates:
May 17 – September 4
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
campsites number 1 through to 85 are reservable. (Some site numbers in the reservable section have changed)
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.
Know Before You Go
If you decide to walk parts of the historic Kettle Valley Railway, the bridge across the river is still intact, however, caution is advised at all times on and around the bridge.
Please note: The numbers on the campsites have recently been revised. Please check the park map for the revised campsite numbers.
Poison Ivy: A low plant white three glossy, bright green leaves and white berries. Wear shoes when hiking, especially in underbrush. Calamine lotion is an effective treatment.
All campsite and group site reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.
Campsite Reservations: Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
History: One of Canada’s most historic and scenic railway routes runs through this park. The Kettle Valley Railway opened in 1916 and discontinued service in 1973 and the track was removed between the towns of Midway and Penticton in 1980. This track now makes an excellent trail. On the east bank of the river is evidence of the once flourishing gold and silver mines.
Cultural Heritage: There is evidence of First Nations use of the area. Some ancestors have been repatriated into the park and there are archaeological restrictions on development.
Conservation: The park protects two red listed plant communities: old growth cottonwood and dry Ponderosa pine bunchgrass. The area is an important winter ranger for deer and there is also a high incidence of cavity nesting birds throughout the park.
Bicycles must keep to roadways and designated trails. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
There is a bait ban on the Kettle River above Cascade Falls from April 1 to Oct 31. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
One of Canada’s most historic and scenic railway routes runs through this park. The Kettle Valley Railway opened in 1916 and discontinued service in 1973 and the track was removed between the towns of Midway and Penticton in 1980. This track now part of the Trans Canada Trail, a shared-use recreation trail that will wind its way through every Province and Territory forming the longest trail of its kind in the world, spanning approximately 17,898 kilometres. It will accommodate five core activities: walking, cycling, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling (where possible/desired). If you decide to walk parts of the historic Kettle Valley Railway, the bridge across the river is still intact, however, caution is advised at all times on and around the bridge. 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.
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 in the river is available, as well as, tubing along the river currents. Always be cautious. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
The open forest and Kettle Valley Railway, make for great cross-country skiing, though the area generally receives only moderate snowfall. Depending on snowfall, there are snowshoeing opportunities as well. There are no designated trails other than the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR).
Facilities Available at this Park
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 located throughout the park. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
There is one large group campsite at this park. The group camping area is accessed from the road to the day use just past the turn-off to the regular campground. The gravel road is gated and leads to a fenced gravel parking loop. There is room for roughly ten vehicles along the loop, more in the open center of the loop. Surrounding the fenced parking is a band of lawn then open Ponderosa pine/bunchgrass forest. There are 13 tables on the lawn area that has potential for tenting with plenty of shade provided by the Ponderosa pines.
There are two flush toilets, one wheelchair accessible pit toilet just off the parking as well as two taps and two fire rings. There is also a half-wall log frame shelter with cement floor. Inside are a stove, sink, counter and six tables. The area is on a terrace above the river and there are benches along the edge overlooking the river. The group campsites are open from May 5 to October 1. Reservations are accepted.
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Read the Youth Group policy about Criteria for Youth Groups.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $120.00/group site/night,
plus $5/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
Children under 6 are free!
This park has a day-use/picnic area situated right on the beautiful Kettle River. There is a gravel parking lot though no vehicles over 24 feet or trailers are permitted due to space restrictions. There is a hand pump for water near the parking as well as two pit toilets. A short, 30m walk from the parking lot brings visitors to the river and 10 picnic tables with excellent views of the river. The tables are separated by shrubs and well shaded. There is a tap near the tables. The amount of beachfront varies with water level. A 2 km trail follows the river.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit and flush toilets are located throughout the park.
The adventure playground is quite popular in this park. A horseshoe pitch is also available.
is available during the collecting season. Drinking water is available here.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
There are hot showers in the new toilet & shower building which is located at the old sani-station area. There is no extra charge for showers and they are for registered guests only.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
All sites are vehicle accessible. Sites 1-85 are reservable and sites 86-114 are for first-come, first-serve camping. There are twelve double sites located throughout the park. The sites are arranged in three main loops. The sites are located in the beautiful, open Ponderosa pine/bunchgrass forest with the red-orange bark of the trees contrasting sharply with the bland grass. This forest type gives the campground an open, spacious feeling. The exception is the loop of sites 21-53, which offer a significantly different camping feel. These are smaller sites that are very private and found in thick Douglas fir with many shrubs separating the sites. The newest loop of sites 88-114 are some of the most open sites in the park.
Guests with reservations: Check reservation board at campground host site to confirm pre-assigned site number.
Guests without reservations: Select any vacant first-come, first-serve site (sites 86-114) or if you are looking for a one night stay, select any vacant site marked with a one night only tag. If you are unsure of a site’s availability, please ask a Park Operator or the Park Host for assistance.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $30.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $15.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Site 78 is wheelchair accessible. The pad around the table is paved and there is paved access to the site and to the toilet as well.