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
Park Contact West Kootenay Park Management Inc.
Phone: 250-265-3592 (May 1 to October 15)
Fax: 250-265-3590
Email for general inquiries: information@westkootenayparks.com
Email for park specific inquiries: mcdonaldcreek@
westkootenayparks.com


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

McDonald Creek Provincial Park

Upgrades are being made to the camping opportunities and services at McDonald Creek Park:
  • In 2013, 9 additional campsites and a playground were added.
  • In 2014, BC Parks will be adding a shower building, sani-station, and additional camping sites (some with power) in the current overflow camping area.
  • This upgrade work will occur during the spring and summer with an estimated completion by Fall 2014.
  • During the upgrades, the Park will be open and available for regular use beginning May 2nd.
  • BC Parks is looking forward to providing enhanced camping opportunities for the 2015 camping season.

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, water front 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.

Park Size: 468 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.)
May 2 – September 29
Gate is closed during the off-season
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: May 2 – September 29
Campground Reservable Dates: May 9 – September 14
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 46
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
25
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 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 at this park and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
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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. Located in the southern interior of BC, on the east and west shores of the Upper Arrow Lake, 10 km south of Nakusp on Highway 6. The park facilities are only in the eastern section of 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: This area was originally leared for homesteading. Several remnant structures from the historic homesteads can still be found. The park now supports a 2nd 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.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

There are opportunities for canoeing or kayaking in this park. Users access the lake from either the boat launch or the waterfront sites.
Cycling

Cycling

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

Fishing

There are kokanee, bull and rainbow trout angling opportunities at this park. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Check the BC Fishing Regulation Synopsis for restrictions and quotas.
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. There is no off leash area in this 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

As the park is on the Arrow Lake reservoir, the water does fluctuate. In the spring during low water, the shoreline is muddy and not considered attractive to swimmers. However at peak season, during July and August when the water is high, the beach is sandy and is popular for sunbathing, swimming and beach combing. The combined shoreline on the east and west encompasses over 6 km and is complemented with natural sandbars and coves. The eastern shore, where all the day-use /picnic facilities are concentrated is the most popular. The western shore although equally as sandy is less used as logging roads or boats are required to accesses it. The water can be described as refreshing to cool. There is no roped off swimming area. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Waterskiing

Waterskiing

There are excellent waterskiing and jet skiing opportunities on Arrow Lakes.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

During the spawning season, you can see kokanee.
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

Windsurfing opportunities are available on Arrow Lakes.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

The boat launch is located at the south end of the park, accessed by turning turn left at the park entrance. This concrete plank, singlewide ramp is only useable during high water. A nearby 25 vehicle parking lot is available for overnight parking. There is no wharf but boats are beached during the day. Both car top and power boats can be seen on the lake.
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 water is available for cooking and drinking. The park has chlorinated, treated water pumped from the reservoir. Four taps are conveniently located in the park, three in the campground and one in the day-use/picnic area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

One day-use/picnic area is located before the campground on a sandy/grassed bench. This area has 6 tables, 2 pit toilets and a water tap. During high water the beach is sandy with the tables 50 metres from the waters edge. Although this area is recognized as the main day-use/picnic site, many visitors do picnic along its entire 800 metre shoreline. This day-use/picnic area has limited facilities and contains no change house or barbeque stands. A day-use /picnic parking area is nearby.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park has seven pit toilets - no flush toilets. Three sets are located at the start, middle and end of the campground. The two at the start of the campground are shared with the day-use/picnic area. One is at the boat launch.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

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 38 vehicle accessible sites in the park including 3 doubles. Four of these 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 can be parked in the day-use parking area.

The park offers services during the peak season from May to September. Reservations are accepted, as well as first-come, first-serve campsites are available. 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.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $21.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $10.50 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

There is some wheelchair access in the park.