Nestled in the rolling mountains east of Prince George, Purden Lake Provincial Park, on the north shore of Purden Lake, is dominated by the Cariboo Mountains to the south and the McGregor range of the Rockies to the north.
Densely forested upland with open areas near the lakefront provide pleasant surroundings for a shoreline stroll, swimming or angling for the lake’s resident rainbow trout.
Established Date: August 21, 1971
Park Size: 2,521 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 1 – September 18
(Gate is closed during the off-season) (opening and closing dates subject to change due to weather/accessibility )
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:
May 1 – September 18
(opening and closing dates subject to change due to weather /accessibility)
Campground Reservable Dates:
May 19 – September 3
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
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.
Know Before You Go
For safety reasons, firearms are not permitted in the park. Purden Lake Park is closed to hunting.
Boaters are cautioned to keep a close eye on the weather, as Purden Lake is subject to sudden, heavy winds which can transform the lake surface into dangerous whitecaps.
Safe swimming practices are a must! No lifeguard is on duty therefore children should be closely watched at all times and solo swimming should be avoided.
No alcohol is allowed on the beach or in the day-use area.
All campsite reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first come, first served.
Campsite Reservations: Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
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.
History: Surveyors searching for a route for the Canadian Pacific National Railway traversed the area in 1879 and named the lake for their supervisor, M.H. Purden Bell.
Conservation: Purden Lake Provincial Park is situated within the Fraser River Basin, an irregularly shaped depression of gently rolling hills and shallow lakes covering much of North Central B.C. Here, visitors will find a remarkably diverse range of vegetation growing atop the glacial drift that blankets the landscape. White spruce and lodgepole pine can be found at lower elevations with Douglas, balsam and subalpine fir higher up. Willow, alder and birch thrive along the lakeshore. Bunchberry (dwarf dogwood) and false Solomon’s Seal carpet the forest floor while Indian paintbrush and lupine add a splash of colour to the roadsides in spring and early summer.
Wildlife: Purden Lake Park is home to black bear and moose year-round. Visitors may observe beaver, snowshoe hares, squirrels and porcupines. Bald eagles and ruffed grouse may be seen in the park and the haunting call of the common loon often breaks the evening silence. At Purden Creek the mature forest provides a natural umbrella shading the stream channel and creating excellent habitat for the spawning and rearing rainbow trout.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Fishing for rainbow trout and burbot is popular at Purden Lake Park. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Lakeside walking trails travel through a great diversity of plant life and provide scenic views of the area. 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.
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in park buildings or beach areas except for the area set aside for pets on the west end of the day-use area (Boaters beach) as indicated by signs. You are responsible for their control, 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.
Safe swimming practices are a must! Visitors are encouraged to remain within the designated area. An abrupt drop-off is marked with floats. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are waterskiing opportunities in this park. For boaters and waterskiers, a special separate beach has been developed adjacent to the swimming area.
Lakeside walking trails afford a panoramic view of the picturesque area. Visitors may observe beaver, snowshoe hares, squirrels and porcupines. Bald eagles and ruffed grouse may be seen in the park and the haunting call of the common loon often breaks the evening silence.
There are windsurfing opportunities in this park.
Facilities Available at this Park
A concrete boat launch, complete with parking allows easy access to productive angling for rainbow trout and burbot. For boaters and water-skiers, a separate beach has been developed adjacent to the sandy 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.
Cold water taps are located throughout the park. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
A large beach-side day use area features 48 picnic tables and a log picnic shelter complete with a wood stove. Swimming in the clear waters of Purden Lake and sunbathing on the sandy beach are favoured activities of visitors. Change houses are located in the day-use area.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit and flush toilets are located throughout the park.
There is a playground located in the campground.
A sani-station/dump is available during the collecting season. The sani-station is located at the campground entrance.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Vehicle Accessible Camping
The campground features paved roads to 78 sites, including 7 double units and 12 tent sites. Purden Lake can also accommodate larger RVs. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $22.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $11.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Some facilities in the park are wheelchair accessible.