The car-top boat launch at the park is being renovated this spring. It is expected that the launch will be ready for use when the park gates open for visitors.
About This Park
Paul Lake Provincial Park is nestled in a mixed forest of Douglas-fir, pine and aspen. The park offers a large campground, a sani-station and an adventure playground. In addition there is a popular day-use area with beach and cartop boat launch, and over seven kilometres of hiking trails. This lovely lakeshore campground is within a half-hour drive of Kamloops and there are many tourist attractions in the area.
Easy access, beautiful scenery, plentiful fishing and a diversity of outdoor recreational activities make Paul Lake a popular destination.
Arrive early, as the campground fills up quickly!
Date Established: May 11, 1961
Park Size: 728 hectares
Know Before You Go
When hiking to Gibraltar Rock, remember that there are dangerously steep cliffs at the top of the bluff. Keep well back and watch your children.
The trail to Gibraltar Rock offers magnificent views of the lake and mountains.
The Paul Lake group campsite is located at the opposite end of the lake from the main campground.
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 are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
History: The original 402 hectares was designated as a park in 1961, with an additional 268 hectares added in 1996. The park addition was created as a result of recommendations made in the Kamloops Land and Resource Management Plan.
Conservation: The 1996 addition to Paul Lake Provincial Park adds interior Douglas-fir forests, including stands of old growth. It protects habitat for the falcon, white-throated swift, bald eagle, coyote and mule deer.
Wildlife: A popular area for bird-watching, with osprey, swallows, and white-throated swifts. The park protects habitat for the falcon, white-throated swift, bald eagle, coyote and mule deer.
The approved management plan for Paul Lake Provincial Park [PDF 93.12KB] is available online in PDF format. DISCLAIMER: This is NOT the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
Activities Available at this Park
Canoeing and kayaking opportunities are available in this park.
Cycling is permitted on roads in the park but is not permitted on the hiking trails.
Paul Lake is stocked with blackwater and pennask strains of rainbow trout. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
The park has over 7 km of hiking trails. The trails take you from the lakeshore up a gentle grade through a mature Douglas-fir forest to the summit of Gibraltar Rock, 900 metres in elevation. The last portion of the trail (about 300 metres) is somewhat steep but there are rest stops along the way. Be aware of steep cliffs near top of the Gibraltar Rock trail. The summit gives spectacular views of the lake and Harper Mountain, as well as a bird’s eye view of ospreys, swallows and the rare white-throated swift. You may wish to take the alternate return route by way of the 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. Click here for a Trail Map [PDF].
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has a fun, hands on, Learn to Fish Program that teaches basic angling skills to youth under 16 years old. Check back to this page or ask the Park Operator for more information.
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in park buildings. On the beach, pets are restricted to a signed area near the east end of the parking lot. 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.
The park has 400 metres of sandy beach and marker buoys indicate the area along the beach where swimming is allowed. Boaters are restricted to outside of this area. Changing rooms, an open air shower and washrooms are provided. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Bird watching is popular throughout the park. Scenic views of the lake and nearby Harper Mountain are visible from the top of Gibraltar Rock. When hiking to Gibraltar Rock, remember that there are dangerous, steep cliffs at the top of the bluff. Keep well back and do not leave children unattended.
The trails provide an opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. However, there are no winter facilities provided.
Facilities Available at this Park
Car-top boat launch; boaters must stay outside the buoyed swimming area.
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.
Campfires must not exceed half a metre in height. Keep fires small, save trees and conserve firewood. Do not leave your campfire unattended. This is a high-risk forest fire area.
Cold water taps are located throughout the park. There are no hose hookups for campers/trailers. Taps are shut off during the off-season. View the Annual Drinking Water System Reports [pdf]:Paul_Lake
There is a group campsite consisting of a large grassy area, a hand pump and a picnic shelter surrounded by trees. the group campsite is reservable year-round. The group campsites are open from March 31 to October 30 and are reservable from April 1 to October 29. Click here for reservation information.
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 $80.00/group site/night,
plus $5/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
Children under 6 are free!
The day-use/picnic area has a superb sandy beach, change houses, pit and flush toilets, cold water taps, an open air shower and BBQ’s. The gate to the day-use area is locked between 11pm and 7am.
Group Picnicking Fee: $35.00 per group
Horseshoe pits and an adventure playground are located in the campground.
A sani-station/dump is available during the collecting season.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers 90 vehicle accessible campsites nestled amongst the trees on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are also accepted.
There are three double sites and no pull through. If staff is not around when you arrive at the campground, choose your site and pay later when they drop by to collect.
The gate to the park is locked between 11:00pm and 7:00am. Only registered campers are allowed in the campground after 11:00pm and quiet time is between 10:00pm and 7:00am. The nearest public telephone is in the day use or at Pinantan Country Store, five minutes from the park; turn right at the park entrance.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $18.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $9.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Some facilities in the park are wheelchair accessible.