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Skihist Provincial Park
About This Park
A convenient overnight camping spot for travellers on Highway #1, this is also a popular base camp for visitors enjoying river rafting, fishing, and exploring the Thompson River area. Awe-inspiring views of the Thompson Canyon and quiet strolls on the old Cariboo Wagon Road bring to mind the difficulties encountered by early travellers traversing the western mountain ranges. An introduced herd of elk thrives nearby. Arrangements for guided river rafting trips may be made in Lytton or Spences Bridge.
Skihist was established in 1956. Back then most visitors to Provincial Parks camped in tents or small trailers. Camping methods have changed and the campsites have recently been reconstructed to provide accessible accommodation for the larger camping units used today.
Established Date: March 16, 1956
Park Size: 386 hectares
Know Before You Go
- The extremely hot, dry climate can result in over-exposure to the sun. Everyone in your party should wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and a hat with a brim.
- Wood ticks are most prevalent between March and June. These parasites reside in tall grass and low shrubbery and seek out warm-blooded hosts. Although they are potential carriers of disease, they are a natural part of the environment and can be easily avoided. Your legs should be protected by wearing trousers tucked into socks or gaiters. After outdoor activity, thoroughly examine yourself. Check your pets for ticks as well.
- Roadways can be very busy. Whether you are walking, cycling, roller-blading, skateboarding or driving, please be careful. Always yield to the slowest mode of travel; e.g., cyclists yield to walkers. Obey all traffic regulations and rules of the road.
- Quiet Hours: are 10 pm to 7 am. Music, generators, etc. must be shut off completely between these hours.
- Hibachis and Campstoves: can burn the picnic tables. Please do not use them on the tables.
- Valuables: when left unattended or at night, should be stored out of sight and locked up at all times. Please report all thefts to the park staff as soon as possible.
- Traffic Safety: The speed limit within the park is 20 km/hour or less.
- Motorcycles and Bicycles: are permitted on park roads only. Motorcycles must be properly licenced and must be operated by a licenced driver only. Helmets must be worn. Unlicenced ATVs or dirt bikes are not permitted.
- Parking: is prohibited on the side of the road. Please park on the gravelled portion of your campsite or in designated parking spaces. Vehicles parked in day-use areas after 11 pm may be ticketed or towed.
- Pets: must be on leash (no longer than 2 metres) at all times while in the park. They are not allowed on beaches or in day use areas. Owners must clean up after their pets.
- Consumption of Alcohol: is prohibited except in your campsite.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- History: Skihist was established in 1956 mainly to provide overnight accommodation for travellers on Highway #1. The lush green lawns of Skihist have always invited travellers to stop and relax from the heat of the summer. The park preserves a section of the historic Cariboo Wagon road. The starting point of the road was in Yale and construction of the road took place between 1862 and 1865. The road was a narrow, treacherous track winding along the cliffs of the canyon and allowed stagecoaches and freight wagons access to the BC interior. The road linked the gold fields of the Cariboo to Vancouver.
Conservation: BC Parks uses prescribed burns as a conservation tool. The intense build-up of Ponderosa pine needles on the forest floor in Skihist park could contribute to a catastrophic fire, should one occur. The needles also change the PH balance of the soil, restricting growth of grasses and plants. Prescribed burns are used in the campground to eliminate the needle build-up and provide opportunities for new growth.
Which plants can you identify? This list will give you an idea of what species you might expect to see at the park. Print out the list, take it with you and see if you can spot them all! Good luck. View the list of plant species [PDF].
Wildlife: An introduced herd of elk thrives in the local area. Goats have been spotted on nearby hillsides.
There are many different species of birds to be found in Skihist Provincial Park. This list will give you an idea of what species you might expect to see there. Print out the list, take it with you and see if you can spot them all! Good luck. View the list of bird species [PDF].
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Campers may bring their own firewood or purchase firewood at the park. Firewood can be purchased from the Park Facility Operator in some parks or you can bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. You may pre-pay for firewood with your campsite self registration. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented and some parks may use communal fire rings. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
Please ensure that all barbeques or campstoves are used on the ground and not set on picnic tables.
Cold water taps are located throughout the campgrounds.
The day-use is located on the north side of Highway #1 directly across from the campground. There are 12 picnic tables located in a large grassy area surrounded by ponderosa pines offering lots of shade. Around the perimeter of the grass is a paved walkway which guides the visitor to a spectacular view of the Thompson River Canyon below. There is a paved perimeter trail allowing wheelchair access to some picnic tables. There is a water fountain, flush toilets and a pit toilet. Adjacent to the day-use area is a parking lot and a small area suitable for dog walking.
No campfires are allowed in the day-use area. Please ensure that all barbeques or campstoves are used on the ground and not set on picnic tables.
Pit or Flush Toilets
There are three flush toilet buildings and three pit toilets in the campground.
There is one toilet building and an additional one pit toilet next to the sani-station at the campground entrance.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted. The campground is located on a hillside amidst a ponderosa pine forest. There are 58 sites at Skihist. The campground originally had many sites consisting of two levels, limiting the camping unit size. However a campground reconstruction has recently occurred and most sites can now accommodate medium to large camping units.
Four of the 58 sites are walk-in and will accommodate only tents. These sites have parking adjacent to the site and have constructed tent pads. Each site is shaded at some point throughout the day. Lytton, 6 km away, is the closest centre with amenities.
The entrance gate is locked from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. During the camping season, overnight visitors can now pay at the campground with a self registration system – cash only accepted. Deposit cash in the envelope (change will be provided when attendant arrives if you do not have correct amount), fill out the information and place in the vault provided at the information kiosk. Please detach the receipt portion and attach to the campsite number post. You may also pre-pay firewood with your campsite self registration. Staff will be at the campground at least once a day during the camping season.