are no park alerts at this time.
Visitors - Important Notice!
With over a kilometre of sandy beaches and two campsites,
Kokanee Creek Provincial Park has provincial significance
and is the number one choice for tourists’ coming
to the West Kootenays. There is always lots to do with
an adventure playground, visitor centre, spawning channel,
boat launch, group camp site, viewing platform, hiking
trails and a marina nearby. Want more? All with in an
hour’s drive you can explore historic Nelson, Ainsworth
Hot Springs, Balfour Golf Club, Kaslo with the SS Moyie
stern wheeler and finally Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
Discover south central BC but save some time for Kokanee
Creek Provincial Park. If you don’t, you’re
going to wish you did. Special Features: Kokanee Creek
canyon and old growth western cedar and grand fir.
BC on Hwy 3A, a 20-min drive, 19 km east of Nelson or if
you travel west take the Kootenay Lake ferry form Crawford
Bay to Balfour. From Balfour it’s another 15 km to
Any maps listed are for
information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be
used for navigation.
History - Kokanee Creek
Park is located on the old “Busk” estate site. Charles W. Busk was a wealthy English gentleman who came to Nelson in the late 1800’s. He had acquired a large tract of land with lake frontage 14 miles from Nelson. From plans drawn by English architects, Busk built a large mansion that once sat on a rise a short way up Glacier Park Road. As a country squire and gracious gentlemen, Mr Busk enjoyed entertaining guests but also had many interests in surveying, mining, fruit ranching and Scouting. He lived an eloquent, lavish life style. After 1913 the romance of his new way of life had dulled and it is estimated he went through three fortunes. Sadly, within a few years he died, disillusioned by most of his ventures, withdrawn and ignored by friends whom he once had entertained so lavishly. The park as it is seen today was originally established in 1955.
Heritage - First nations
history is known by not documented however many arrow points
have been found in the park. The park is located in the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket
and Sinixt first nations traditional territories. Two archaeological
sites indicating seasonal campsite use by the native Kootenay people
have been identified in the park. Remains of European settlement
include evidence of old homesteads and an early estate. Nearby are
mining ghost towns and village museums showing the Kootenay area
Conservation - With
257 hectares, Kokanee Creek Park has extensive sandy beaches and
a large delta area. Backed by a gentle rising upland, this area gives
to the forested slopes of the Slocan Range of the Selkirk Monuntains.
Kokanee Creek dissects the landscape to form a steep canyon. The
park protects the active alluvial creek fan with its marshes and
extensive sandspit. Both the englemann spruce/subalpine fir and the
interior cedar/hemlock biogeoclimatic zones occur here. Prime growing
conditions within the park produce a diverse mix of vegetation with
magnificent specimens of fir, hemlock and pine. There are both pure
and mixed stands of deciduous trees as well as many of the common
understory plants including wild rose, queens cup and skunk cabbage.
Flowers, trees and shrubs are part of the park’s natural heritage, please do not damage or remove them.
Wildlife - The Kokanee Creek Delta ecology includes many species of plants and animals. A variety of habitats support coyotes, beaver, whitetale and mule deer and a large number of birds ranging from the tiny rufous hummingbird to the great blue heron. Many of the birds are migratory but kingfishers, woodpeckers and dippers can by seen throughout the year. The park also has important man-made and some natural spawning channels for kokanee salmon, which spawn in large numbers in the late summer.
Park visitors should always be aware of bears and other wildlife in our park environment. Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife. Please view all wildlife from a distance.
General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
is unsupervised. Parents must be careful with children around
the Kokanee Creek canyon and canyon viewpoint.
and weather on Kootenay Lake can change quickly. Be
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 accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Group campsite and/or
group picnic site reservations are accepted at this park.
Parks: Fees, park listings, what
you should know before you go and other useful links.
Kootenay Park Management Inc.
Phone: (250) 825-4212
Fax: (250) 825-4293
Email for general inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email for park specific inquiries: email@example.com
Click here to view a non-government
web link, for additional information.
Creek Park has two campgrounds - Sandspit and Redfish
that offer vehicle accessible sites. Sandspit the
larger of the two is located just east of the Kokanee
Creek bridge on Highway 3 while Redfish is located
just this side of the bridge. An overflow area with
a capacity for an additional 36 units is located
by the Sandspit day- use/picnic parking lot.
Sandspit campgound is where the majority of the
facilities are concentrated. After you exit Highway
3 turn right to the park gatehouse. Staff are available
to check reservations and direct you to a campsite.
This campground is situated in a diverse forest
of both conifers (cedar, hemlock, pine) and deciduous
(cottonwood, birch, aspen) trees. The mixed forest
provides plenty of shade. A blend of medium to large
sites can accommodate large rigs and extra vehicles.
The campsites, with 18 doubles, are evenly spaced
on four parallel lanes called Gopher, Osprey, Chipmunk
and Porcupine. These lanes bisect the outer lane
referred to as Park Lane.
Redfish campground has intimate, mostly shaded,
small vehicle accessible sites within a cedar hemlock
forest. Two of the sites have tent pads but there
are no pull through or doubles.
Services are offered in the high use season between
May and September. This park offers vehicle accessible
reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served
sites are also available. Park gates are
located at both entrances. Pay phones are conveniently
located at the Visitor Centre and the first toilet
building in Sandspit campground. Kokanee Park Store/Marina
and the Crescent Beach Resort are both a 5-minute
drive from the park.
Accessible Camping Fee: $24.00 per party /night
Senior's Rate (Shoulder Season only):
$12.00 per senior's couple/night
of Operation - 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.)
1 - September 30
(gate is closed during off-season - but the day-use and
overflow area remain open - access to these areas are subject to snow conditions)
Dates with Full Services and Fees:
1 - September 30
(Off season: no fee, no services; user maintained
in overflow area only)
13 - September 4
Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
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.
wilderness, backcountry or walk-in camping.
group campsites are located adjacent to the Redfish
day-use parking lot. Together these sites can accommodate
100 + visitors and are considered multi use sites
for both camping and picnicking. Adjacent to these
sites is an 800sq ft grassy area used for softball,
which allows easy access to the Redfish day-use
picnic area. Centrally located are an enclosed picnic
shelter with a wood burning airtight stove and tables,
pit toilets, water tap, big barbeque and fire ring.
Launching car top boats, canoes and kayaks is possible
at this location. There are group campsites at this
park. Click here
for reservation information.
Camping Fee: $24.00 per party / night
Camping Fee: $50.00 per group / night
are two day-use/picnic areas both located on Kootenay
Lake. The most popular is situated beside the north
end of Sandspit campground. The beach is sandy, 1
km long and has a wonderful large sandbar at its
tip. There are several picnic tables along the shore
line, 60 feet from the waters edge, evenly spaced
among cotton wood and pine trees. The trees offer
shade and the beach can become very hot during mid
day. Behind the tables is a large, open grassy area
suitable for recreational sports and family gatherings.
Nearby and conveniently located are an adventure
playground, toilet change house, horseshoe pit, two
fountains with taps, pit toilet and six barbeque
stands. Parking is available for 240 vehicles. If
tables by the beach, come early as this beach is
popular with local residents.
The smaller day-use/picnic area is the Redfish site.
The access road is directly across from the Redfish
campground entrance on the opposite side of Highway
3. A short drive will bring you to the 40 vehicle parking
lot. This location is also where you will find the
group picnic and/or group campsite with the shelter
and grassy area. The beach with picnic tables is just
a short walk from here and is approximately 300 metres
long, described as a mixture of rough sand and gravel.
use the pit toilets and water tap by the group sites.
There is no recognized swimming area or change house.
Both these day-use/picnic areas are popular but please
remember there are no fire pits. A dog beach is beside
the boat launch at the northeast end of the park.
campground contains a wheelchair accessible campsite,
flush toilet and shower stall. All roads within
the park are paved.
well water is available for cooking and drinking.
Nine taps are randomly located in both campgrounds.
Sandspit day-use/picnic area has two water fountains.
Redfish day-use/picnic area shares a water tap with
the group sites. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
campground has three toilet buildings, the day-use/picnic area has
one toilet/change house and a pit toilet. Redfish campground has one
toilet building and a pit toilet. Redfish day-use/picnic area shares
the pit toilets with the group sites.
toilet shower building with 10 showers is located
in the centre of Sandspit campground.
There is no charge for this facility.
sani-station/dump, available during the collecting
season is located at the Sandspit campground. The
entrance is to the right of campsite # 70.
Use Fee: $2.00 per discharge
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.
||There are no electrical hook-ups in this park
Visitor Centre is located beside the Sandspit campground
and the spawning channel. There are scheduled interpretive
programs during the summer season at this park.
are 9.5 km of easy hiking and walking trails within
the park. The majority of these trails are located
around the campground, visitor centre, spawning channel,
lake shoreline and through the delta. A walking bridge
across Kokanee Creek can link you to roads and trails
to Redfish campground. 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.
The most popular are three connected trails located
on the west side of Highway 3, opposite the Sandspit
campground entrance. Canyon Trail follows the east
side of Kokanee Creek, passes through mature cedar/
hemlock trees and leads you to a set of stairs and
terraced viewing platform over looking a canyon. Due
to the narrowness of the canyon, the views of the spring
run off are spectacular. The connecting Pine and Woodland
trails take you through a forest of yellow pine and
birch. The trails combine to make a circle route. All
the trails are considered easy to moderate. Depending
which route you choose, hiking times range from 30
to 60 min.
In addition, Kokanee Glacier Park is 16 kms away and
contains over 100 kms of beginner to advanced hiking
trails in spectacular alpine terrain.
large adventure playground with swing set, monkey
bars, slide, spring horses, and platforms is located
between the Sandspit campground and day-use area.
The equipment is set in pea gravel with benches and
tables nearby for resting or picnicking. On one edge
is a large grassy area suitable for other recreational
The two day-use/picnic areas Sandspit and Redfish
offer extensive sandy beaches. The water of Kootenay
lake is considered cool and refreshing. Here, in
shallow areas on the large sand bar the water is
warmer. Sandspit beach has a lagoon, which is warm
but also a bit slimy. Its popular for wading to
find minnows and tadpoles but not recommended for
swimming. The only roped off swimming area is at
Sandspit. The sandy shoreline provides excellent
opportunities for swimming, sun bathing and water
skiing. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial
delta provides many opportunities to canoe or kayak
and enjoy the abundant birdlife in the park.
The lake can be accessed by the day-use/picnic areas
or the boat launch at the north-east end of Sandspit
beach. Kootenay Lake can have sudden wind or weather
changes. Be prepared.
wharf to assist with launching and singlewide concrete
boat launch can be found at the north-east end of
the Sandspit day-use/picnic area. The 20 unit parking
lot can accommodate overnight storage of vehicles
or boat trailers. A nearby marina will keep your
boat overnight. Both water skiing and windsurfing
are popular activities on Kootenay Lake. NOTE: Low
water levels precludes boat launch use in March and
rainbow and bull trout are found in Kootenay Lake.
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must
have an appropriate licence. Check the BC
Fishing Regulations Synopsis for quotas and restrictions.
must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory
in British Columbia.
animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or
park buildings. A dog beach is beside the boat launch at the north-east end
of the park. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their
Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues
and the potential for problems with bears.
There is a viewing platform at the end of Canyon Trail on Kokanee Creek.
There is an abundant bird population on the delta or along the creek
a spawning channel
There are cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities along the campsite
roads and trails. If the delta freezes, you can also ice skate.
SCUBA diving or snorkelling opportunities.
windsurfing opportunities at this park.
waterskiing opportunities outside of the controlled area at this park.
hunting in the park.
climbing or rock climbing opportunities.
There are no
spelunking or caving opportunities in this park but there are at nearby Cody
Caves Provincial Park.
cabins, yurts or lodges for public use.