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Premier Lake Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Construction Works Notice
Emergency works to fix a sinkhole within a segment of the road that serves as the approach to the boat launch from the day-use parking lot are underway. This work is scheduled between Monday, April 27nd and Tuesday, May 5th. Please refer often to this website for any updates.
About This Park
Nestled against the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Premier Lake is one of the key recreational fishing lakes in the East Kootenay. The emerald green lakes of Premier and four smaller lakes, Canuck, Yankee, Cats Eye and Quartz offer a unique and varied fishing experience in a secluded and pleasant park atmosphere.
The area is rich in wildlife. Premier Ridge, west of the lake, is an important wintering range for elk, whitetail and mule deer, and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Forests of Douglas fir and western larch are common in the park. Osprey, eagle, heron, king fisher, numerous forest birds and water fowl can also be seen.
Premier Lake Park, situated 72 km north of Cranbrook, contains 57 vehicle/tent camp sites and is located at the south end of the lake. There are no drive-through sites. There is an information shelter located at the entrance to the park but no telephone.
Established Date: April 26, 1940
Park Size: 837 hectares
Know Before You Go
- Mountain and lake weather can change rapidly – be prepared. Visitors should be aware that high winds can come up quickly.
- No skiing or towing is permitted at the south end of Premier Lake. There is also a boat speed restriction of 16 km/hour at the south end of the lake.
Parking for trucks and trailers in the day-use parking lot is limited
This park is becoming increasingly popular with boaters; parking for trucks and trailers in the day-use parking lot is limited and on some busy days there may be no parking spaces available.
To avoid this problem, all visitors are encouraged to use car-top boats that don’t require the use of a trailer, and overnight users with trailered boats are encouraged to store boat trailers at their campsites, rather than in the day-use parking lot, if the site size allows it.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- History: Established in 1940, this park was named after Mr. William Smithe’s title, who was the Premier of B.C. from 1883 to 1887.
- Cultural Heritage: This site was used by the Ktunaxa (Kootenay) First Nations as a camp area and food fishery.
- Conservation: Forests of Douglas fir extend from the shoreline while stands of Western larch are common along the ridges. Premier Lake Park also contains four smaller lakes: Canuck, Yankee, Cats Eye and Quartz. Staples Creek fish ladder and fish collection station provides eggs for the Kootenay Fish Hatchery Signs along Staples Creek interpret the life cycle of the rainbow trout. Bird and ungulate wildlife viewing opportunities abound and the Douglas Fir and Western Larch forests exemplifies East Kootenay ecosystems.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in the playground, beach, day-use areas or park buildings.
Exceptions: Pets are permitted at the Rod and Gun day-use area and the Quartz Lake day-use area; dogs may be off leash at these sites but must be under control at all times so as to not disturb wildlife or other park users. 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.
Facilities Available at this Park
The boat launch located at the far end of the day-use area, is concrete slab with limited moorage at the floats. The boat launch is most suitable for small boats and trailers. Users are advised to use caution on the ramp and to avoid backing off the end of the concrete slab.
This park is becoming increasingly popular with boaters; parking for trucks and trailers in the day-use parking lot is limited and on some busy days there may be no parking spaces available. To avoid this problem all visitors are encouraged to use car-top boats that don’t require the use of a trailer, and overnight users with trailered boats are encouraged to store boat trailers at their campsites rather than in the day-use parking lot if the site size allows it. Please note that boating restrictions are in place on the southern half of the lake. In this area towing (waterskiing) is restricted and boat speeds are limited to 15 km/h or less. Please refer to the BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.