Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Please Note: During a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas of a park or protected area. Please read this Information Bulletin [PDF 79KB].
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact This park proudly operated by:
Osoyoos Indian Band
E-mail: oibparks@oib.ca
Phone: 778-437-2295
Fax: 250-498-6577

(This is not a campsite reservations number)

sẁiẁs Provincial Park (Haynes Point)

  • During the course of a facility improvement project in 2014, BC Parks uncovered an important archaeological site within the campground. With sẁiẁs Park now an archaeological site, the Province and Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) have agreed that sẁiẁs and sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Provincial Parks will be managed by the OIB. Park visitors can expect the same recreational opportunities as before. BC Parks and OIB continue to collaborate on management that will ensure the long term protection of the cultural heritage values in the park and the strengthen their government to government relationship.

About This Park

sw̓iw̓s park is proudly managed and operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band.

sw̓iw̓s park is located within the traditional territory of the Osoyoos Indian Band. Since time immemorial, the Osoyoos Indian Band’s Okanagan ancestors have inhabited and cared for the lands and waters within their traditional territory.

In 2015, the park was renamed to reflect the traditional Okanagan place name for the area. The nqilxʷcən/nsyilxcən place name and history of sw̓iw̓s have been passed down for thousands of years through the oral tradition of capti̓kʷl stories and teachings.

sw̓iw̓s sounds similar to “s-wee-yous” and means a place where it is shallow or narrow in the middle of the lake. The place name explains how the area was used to cross Osoyoos Lake by foot or by horse.

Lakeside campsites and privacy make this one of the most popular provincial parks in the province. Campers are encouraged to book reservations early in the season to secure campsites during the busy summer months.


Special features: sw̓iw̓s park is an important archaeological and cultural heritage site. Please help respect and protect this historically and culturally important area by following the park rules. Park guests are also reminded that the Heritage Conservation Act protects all archaeological and cultural heritage sites in the province. This includes intact or disturbed, known or unknown, recorded or unrecorded sites.

Date Established: May 17, 1962

Park Size: 38 hectares

Special Notes: Due to popularity and size of the campground, campers are only allowed to stay in this park up to a maximum of 7 days in a calendar year. Reservations are made through BC Parks’ Discover Camping reservation system.

Stay Safe:

  • The extremely hot, dry Okanagan climate can result in overexposure to the sun. Children and adults should use a sunscreen and wear a hat during long periods in the sun.
  • Caution Campers and swimmers should be aware that extreme caution is required when swimming or walking in the shallow water surrounding the park. There is potential for dangerous undercurrents. Extremely steep drop offs surround the exposed sandbar at the tip of the point. Children should be supervised at all times. Swim, wade or walk in the water at your own risk.
  • Caution: sw̓iw̓s park is subject to severe and unexpected winds on occasion. Please ensure that all tents and equipment are tied down at all times, to help prevent damage.
  • Caution: sw̓iw̓s park contains significant amounts of poison ivy. Park guests are encouraged to become familiar with this plant and avoid any contact.
Audio Files: The nqilxʷcən/nsyilxcən place name for sw̓iw̓s park was recorded by Osoyoos Indian Band Elder Jane Stelkia and Westbank First Nation Elder and language teacher Delphine Armstrong. Jane’s nqilxʷcən skʷist (traditional name) is qʷʕayxnmitkʷ xʷəstalk̓iyaʔ. Delphine’s nqilxʷcən skʷist (traditional name) is ɬək̓əmxnalqs.
Click here for the audio file.

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.)
April 1 – October 10 (gate locked during the off-season)
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: April 1 – October 10
(Entrance gate locked nightly from 11 pm – 7am)
Campground Reservable Dates: May 15 – September 10
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 41
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
41 – 100% reservable
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 reservationsare accepted at this park.
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Location and Maps

Located two km South of Osoyoos off Hwy 97 onto 32nd Avenue.

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: The present day park was created on May 17, 1962. In 2015, the Province and Osoyoos Indian Band agreed that the Osoyoos Indian Band will manage sw̓iw̓s park.
  • Cultural Heritage: The archaeological and cultural heritage values at sw̓iw̓s park tell an important story about how the Osoyoos Indian Band’s Okanagan ancestors used sw̓iw̓s as a crossing area, cultural use, and habitation site in the thousands of years prior to the arrival of European settlers in the region.

    The Okanagan ancestral remains that were disturbed and reburied on site are the oldest on record in the Osoyoos region (approximately 1,224 years old). Radiocarbon testing of faunal (i.e. animal) materials recovered from a shell midden provided important information about the diet of the Osoyoos Indian Band’s Okanagan ancestors 3,265 – 4,475 years ago. Obsidian flakes retrieved from the park were analyzed to be from the Whitewater Ridge in Oregon. The presence of the flakes in the park affirms the travel and trade routes of the Okanagan People along the Columbia River Basin.

    The cultural heritage values in the park include opportunities for the ongoing continuance of Okanagan culture through traditional, ceremonial and cultural use of the area.

    The old Hudson’s Bay Fur Brigade Trail also passed through the area nearly two centuries ago.

    OIB and BC Parks are working in partnership to ensure the long-term protection of the archaeological and cultural heritage resources within sw̓iw̓s park.
  • Conservation: The park protects species and ecosystems at risk such as peach leaf willow, antelope brush-needle and thread grass and wetlands. Wetlands are rapidly disappearing in the Okanagan Valley. The marsh area and self-guided interpretive trail are important features of the park.
  • Wildlife:The marsh area of the park is home to a variety of wildlife. Blue-listed species include the Western small footed myotis bat, barn owl, spadefoot toad and painted turtle. The tiger salamander is a red-listed species that calls the park home.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
  • There is currently no approved management plan for this area. The Osoyoos Indian Band and BC Parks are working in partnership to identify resources and opportunities to develop an innovative management plan for the park.
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Canoeing and kayaking can be used in the lake surrounding this park.
Cycling

Cycling

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

Fishing

There are 43 different species of fresh water fish in the lake i.e. trout, kokanee, large and small mouth bass, lake whitefish, etc. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

sẁiẁs Provincial Park (Haynes Point) contains a natural marsh rich in birdlife such as canyon wrens, marsh wrens, white-throated swifts and red-winged blackbirds. A gravel trail leaves from the information kiosk and enters the marsh. The gravel trail crosses a footbridge that spans a beaver dam isolating the marsh from the lake. It continues through level grassland rimmed by marsh vegetation with interpretive signs along the way explaining the value of marsh ecosystems.

The trail leads to a two-tiered viewing platform that is roughly ten feet tall and provides a commanding view of the marsh. It is a wonderful spot for viewing the variety of red and blue listed species that are a feature of the park as well as other birds in the area. The platform is eight feet by eight feet with a railing enclosed by plastic link fence for safety. There are two benches underneath the platform.

The trail continues on to 80m of boardwalk and two more ground level viewing platforms with more educational signs. 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. To protect this sensitive ecosystem, no dogs are permitted in this area.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals are not allowed at all along the trail and boardwalk in the wetland area, near the entrance to the park. Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are allowed on the pebbly pet beach found on the narrow, tree lined part of the spit just before the campground. Pets are not allowed in any other beach areas or park buildings. 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.
Swimming

Swimming

There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks. Surrounded by warm water and sandy/gravel beaches, this park is excellent for swimming and other water oriented activities. There is also a pet beach designated for pooches.
Waterskiing

Waterskiing

The warm waters of Osoyoos Lake are popular for waterskiing. Please obey posted signs regarding border crossings and marked shallow areas.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

There is a viewing platform along the marsh trail.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

There is a single launch; concrete ramp, shallow, rocky. The parking lot beside the boat launch is for vehicles with trailers only. Check with US Customs prior to going to USA on Osoyoos Lake; Boaters be aware of narrow channel at end of Haynes Point, so stay between yellow markers. Boats must stay out of marked swimming areas. Marinas in Osoyoos for private boat rentals. There is a flush toilet at the boat launch.
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 taps are located throughout the park. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has a day-use/picnic area. A narrow, shaded terrace with tables overlooks the sandy beach and north to Osoyoos. Cottonwoods separate the tables from the beach. There is plenty of paved parking and two small wooden change houses just off the narrow beach.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park only has flush toilets – no pit toilets.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This small park offers 41 vehicle accessible campsites, seven of which are double sites. Campsite reservations are accepted for all sites.  Reservations are strongly recommended for all weekend from May through September and any dates in July and August.  If a site is not reserved for that evening, a green “available for 1 night” sign will be placed on that site indicating that it is available that night. The maximum length of stay is seven days due to the size and popularity of the campground. Access to the boat launch remains open year round.

The sites are large with level gravel pads, picnic tables and fire rings. The many of the sites can accommodate larger RVs. Most of the sites are right on the lake, one of the attractions of this park. The landscape is open with sites being separated by pockets of beach and scattered cottonwood and Ponderosa pine trees for shade. The inner campsites and those at the tip of the spit are in thickets of shrubs that offer more privacy and shade and the opportunity for bird watching. The nearest services are in Osoyoos and there is a phone in the campground near site #10.

Check-in procedures:
  • Guests with reservations: Check reservation board at campground entrance for pre-assigned site number.
  • Guests without reservations: Check the reservation board for sites that may be available on a first-come, first-served basis or for one night only.
    Special note: during peak season, reservations are highly recommended as first-come, first-served sites are available on a minimal basis only.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $32.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $16.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.