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McDonald Creek Provincial Park
About This Park
Situated just south of Nakusp, McDonald Creek Provincial Park is one of a system of four provincial parks on the Arrow Lake reservoir. With facilities on the eastern shoreline, it is a holiday destination for swimming, boating, jet skiing, water skiing and fishing opportunities. It features several kilometres of fine sandy beach, waterfront sites and open grassy meadows. You can always find a quiet spot for yourself, try some beachcombing, or join in the fun at the main swimming area. A boat launch is available, offering good fishing opportunities for kokanee, bull and rainbow trout – a tempting invitation for anglers of all ages.
The Arrow Reservoir bisects McDonald Creek Provincial Park and protects lakeshore riparian habitat on the east side and forested upland habitat on the west side. This combination offers outdoor recreational opportunities in a unique forested/lakeside setting.
Established Date: April 28, 1982
Park Size: 468 hectares
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
- Park Map [PDF] (January 22, 2020)
Nature and Culture
- History: This area was originally leared for homesteading. Several remnant structures from the historic homesteads can still be found. The park now supports a second-growth forest of mostly pine and larch. It was established in 1982 as a holiday destination to offer recreational opportunities for the local community and tourists along the travel corridor. The east side of the park contains McDonald Creek, its namesake. It is located in the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket, Okanagan and Shuswap first nation traditional territories.
- Conservation: McDonald Creek Provincial Park encompasses 468 ha. The Arrow reservoir bisects the park and creates two distinct portions of protected area. The East Side protects lakeshore riparian habitat and kokanee spawning habitat associated with an alluvial fan and creek, a somewhat rare feature for interior lakes. The west side with its forested upland habitat provides critical winter range for ungulates, primarily deer and elk. Conifers of pine and larch are the primary trees found in the park. Flowers, trees and shrubs are part of the park’s natural heritage, please do not damage or remove them. Mushroom harvesting is not allowed.
- Wildlife: This park supports a diverse population of small mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks and porcupines. In late August and mid September the spawning kokanee are a point of interest to park visitors. With its critical winter habitat, elk and deer are commonly observed during the off season.
Park users 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.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
There is some wheelchair access in the park.
Pit or Flush Toilets
The park has a sani-station.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge in coin or purchased token.
The shower building is located near the entrance to the campground by the day-use parking lot. The shower building has four showers in each of the men’s and women’s washrooms in addition to a flush toilet. There is also a fully accessible family/disabled washroom complete with a shower and toilet. There are no extra charges for showers and they are for registered guests, only.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Upon entering the park, turn right to access the campground. The campground has a two-way, gravel road situated on the edge of the forest. This facility has been extended three times, so along the road you will find turnarounds at different intervals. There are 73 vehicle-accessible sites in the park including 3 doubles and 18 sites with electrical hookups. Four of the sites have tent pads. There are no pull through sites however the campground has an even mix of small to large sites and can accommodate large recreational vehicles. The majority of sites are lakefront and offer access to the beach but are not considered to have lake views. All sites are shady, set in a mixed forest of pine and larch. Extra vehicles that have been paid for can use the day-use for overnight parking.
The park offers services during the peak season from May to September. From June 23th, to September 3th, all of the sites in McDonald Creek Campground are reservable. During this period, non-occupied reservation sites can accommodate first-come, first-served customers for one, or perhaps more nights, depending on availability.
A park gate is located at the park entrance. The closet phone and store is in Nakusp, a 15 minute drive 12 km north on Highway 6.