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
  • Beach is unsupervised. Parents must be careful with children around the Kokanee Creek canyon and canyon viewpoint.
  • Winds and weather on Kootenay Lake can change quickly. Be prepared.
Park Contact West Kootenay Park Management Inc.
Phone: 250-825-4212
Fax: 250-825-4293
Email for general inquiries: information@westkootenayparks.com
Email for park specific inquiries: kokaneecreek@westkootenayparks.com

Click here to view the West Kootenay Park Management Inc web link, for additional information.

Kokanee Creek Provincial Park

Electric Hookups - Friends campground offers 13 vehicle accessible campsites with electrical hook-ups. The charge is an extra $5/night.

About This Park

Kokanee Creek Provincial Park With over a kilometre of sandy beaches and three 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 within 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 B.C. 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.

Park Size: 260 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.)
(Gate is closed during off-season - but the day-use and overflow area remain open - access to these areas are subject to snow conditions)
– Redfish June 15 – September 7
– Sandspit May 1 – September 30
– Friends May 1 – September 30
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: (Off season: If full services are provided – full fees will be in effect. If no services are provided- user maintained with no fee. See contact information below for information.)
– Redfish June 15 – September 7
– Sandspit May 1 – September 30
– Friends May 1 – September 30
Campground Reservable Dates:  
– Sandspit May 15 – May 20 and June 13 – September 1
– Friends June 13 – September 1
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
Redfish = 19
Sandspit = 112
Friends = 38
Number of Reservable Campsites:
Sandspit campground – 100% reservable
Friends campground
112
19
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.

Reservations

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.

Make A Reservation

Campsite Reservations:
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.

Group Campsite Reservations:
Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park through Discover Camping for dates starting May 1 to September 30.
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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. In southern BC on Hwy 3A, a 20-min drive, 19 km east of Nelson or if you travel west take the Kootenay Lake ferry from Kootenay Bay to Balfour. From Balfour it’s another 12 km to the park.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

  • 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 Kokanee Glacier 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.
  • Cultural Heritage: Archaeological evidence in the park indicates seasonal campsites used by First Nations people. Remains of European settlement include evidence of old homesteads and an early estate. Nearby are mining ghost towns and village museums displaying the Kootenay area history.
  • 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 way to the forested slopes of the Slocan Range of the Selkirk Mountains. Kokanee Creek bisects 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, queen’s 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, whitetail 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
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

The 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.
Cycling

Cycling

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

Fishing

Kokanee, 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.
Hiking

Hiking

There 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 destroy 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 overlooking a canyon. Due to the narrowness of the canyon, the views of the spring runoff 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.
Interpretive Programs

Interpretive Programs

A Visitor Centre is located beside the Sandspit campground and the spawning channel. There may be programs during the summer season at this park. Interested visitors should check with the park operators.
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. 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 excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Swimming

Swimming

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 parks.
Waterskiing

Waterskiing

There are waterskiing opportunities outside of the controlled area at this park.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

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 and a spawning channel for Kokanee.
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

There are windsurfing opportunities at this park.
Winter Recreation

Winter Recreation

There are cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities along the campsite roads and trails. If the delta freezes, you can also ice skate.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

A 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 preclude boat launch use in March and April.
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 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.
Electrical Hookups

Electrical Hookups

Electrical service is available in 13 sites at the Friends campground. An additional service charge of $5.00, per night, applies to these sites regardless of whether electrical service is used.
Please note: There are no fire rings in sites 137-145.
Group Camping

Group Camping

Two 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 reservable group campsites at this park.

Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.

Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $100.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

There 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 south-eastern 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 limited 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 you want 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. Visitors 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.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Sandspit 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.
Playground

Playground

A 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 opportunities.
Sani-Station/Dump

Sani-Station/Dump

A sani-station/dump, available during the collecting season is located at the Sandspit campground. The entrance is to the right of campsite #70.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Showers

Showers

Showers are available at the central toilet building in Sandspit campground located between Osprey and Chipmunk Lanes and at the toilet building in the Friends campground.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

Kokanee Creek Park has 3 campgrounds, Sandspit, Redfish and the Friends campground, that offer vehicle accessible sites. Sandspit, the largest of the 3 is located just east of the Kokanee Creek bridge on Highway 3A while Redfish is located just west of the bridge. The Friends campground is located by the Sandspit day-use/picnic area.

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.

Friends campground offers 38 sites close to the main beach, 13 sites have electrical service. Sites 137 to 145 have 30 Amp service and sites 147, 149, 151 and 153 have 30 and 50 Amp service. Please note: There are no fire rings at sites 137-145.

Services are offered in the high use season between May and September. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Park gates are located at both campground 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 2-minute drive from the park.
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.
For Electified sites:
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $30.00/party/night plus, if applicable, $5.00 electrical/night = $35.00/party/night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $15.00/senior party/night camping fee plus, if applicable $5.00 electrical/night = $20.00/party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

Sandspit campground contains a wheelchair accessible campsite, flush toilet and shower stall. All roads within the park are paved.