Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact Kootenay Park Services Ltd.
E-mail: ekparks@telus.net
Phone: 1 250 422-3003

Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park

  • Updated: August 18, 2014 – Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park is OPEN!
    Road closures limiting access to Whiteswan Lake Park, due to nearby Wildfire Suppression activities, have been lifted due to excellent progress on the Whiteswan complex fires. All day-use areas and campgrounds within the Park have been re-opened.

    Fires continue to burn in close proximity to the Park, visitors are requested to drive with caution on all Forest Service Roads through the Park as Wildfire suppression staff and vehicles are working in the area. The Whiteswan FSR is currently closed beyond the 32km marker (east of Whiteswan Lake Park) for wildfire suppression activities, a map of this closure area can be found here. [PDF 1.79MB]

Know Before You Go

Boating and Fishing

  • No towing is allowed on the lakes and no power boats are allowed on Alces Lake. Alces Lake is a fly fishing only lake.
  • Read the current fishing regulations.
  • Snowmobiles are allowed on the lake only for access to the winter fishery.
  • Read the fishing and boat launch information below

Stay Safe

  • Use extreme caution on the Whiteswan Lake road at all times. Extreme care must be taken when driving the canyon portion (km 15 to km 18) of the access road to the park. For improved safety turn your headlights on. Be aware that mine ore trucks and oversized loaded logging trucks are on the route. Always give them the right of way!
  • Mountain and lake weather can change rapidly, be prepared. Visitors should be aware that high winds can come up quickly, use caution while boating.
  • There is no public phone or cell phone service at Whiteswan Park.

Lussier Hot Springs

Lussier Hot Springs, long a favourite of campers and wilderness pilgrims can be accessed from the Whiteswan Forestry Road by a short hike down to the Lussier River. A change room/ toilet is located at the parking lot. No liquor or dogs or garbage are permitted at the springs and bathers must wear bathing suits. Park Rangers make regular patrols to Lussier Hot Springs. Please help keep this wildland hot springs clean. Please be aware, Lussier Hot Springs are natural, and subject to climactic conditions may sometimes run cool.

About This Park

The shining waters of two mountain lakes, Whiteswan and Alces, and a natural hot springs are the focal points of Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park. Five lakeside or riverside campgrounds, 3 boat launches, an historic lakeside hiking trail and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities makes this a perfect setting for a camping holiday.

Visitors may watch a moose feeding in the fog-shrouded water of Alces Lake, admire spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and enjoy angling in some of the most productive lakes in the region for trophy rainbow trout. After a day in the backcountry or on the lake, relax in the soothing waters of Lussier Hot Springs located near the park entrance at km 17.5 on the Whiteswan Forest Service Road.

Park Size: 1994 hectares

Campground Opening and Closing Dates
With the exception of Inlet Creek Campground (which is open year-round), vehicle-accessed campground gates are closed during the off-season; walk-in camping is permitted. Backcountry camping at Cave Creek Campground is permitted year round but access to it will depend on snow levels and the condition of the ice on Whiteswan Lake. Camping fees do not apply in the off season if no services are provided.
Home Basin campground – 37 sites April 1st to November 30 (snowfall dependant)
Alces Lake campground – 28 sites May 1st to October 1st
Packrat Point campground – 16 sites May 1st to October 1st
White River campground – 17 sites May 1st to after Labour Day (actual date depends on weather and visitation)
Inlet Creek campground – 16 sites Year-round
Cave Creek backcountry Year round
Campground Full Service Dates:
Please note that all sites are available on a first-come, first serve basis
Home Basin campground – 37 sites May 15 to October 1
Alces Lake campground – 28 sites May 15 to October 1
Packrat Point campground – 16 sites May 15 to October 1
White River campground – 17 sites May 15 to after Labour Day (actual date depends on weather and visitation)
Inlet Creek campground – 16 sites May 15 to after Labour Day (actual date depends on weather and visitation)
Cave Creek Backcountry – 6 tent pads May 15 to October 1st
Campground Reservable Dates:
Not applicable. All sites in the park available on a first-come, first serve basis

 

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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. Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park is located within the Kootenay Ranges of the Rocky Mountains, 22km southeast of the Village of Canal Flats, the nearest community. Access is from Highway 93/95, turn east 4.5 kilometres south of Canal Flats onto the gravel Whiteswan Forest Service Road. Whiteswan Lake is about 25 km from the highway; the hot springs are located near the west boundary of the park at kilometre 17.5.

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

  • Cultural Heritage: Whiteswan Lake was an important seasonal hunting camp of the K’tunaxa (Kootenai) native people and their use of the area dates back at least 5,000 years. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s trappers, prospectors and guides worked in the area and soothed their work worn bodies in the hot mineral waters of Lussier Hot Springs.
    The area surrounding the park is part of the Kootenay Region working forest. Logging and mining currently provides jobs for many people living in the region, as well recreation and tourism have become important aspects of the economy.
  • Conservation: In May and June, spawning Rainbow trout can be seen in the inlet and outlet creeks of Whiteswan Lake. In the summer of 2001, wildfires swept through the forests north and west of the park. These fires, while seemingly “destructive”, are recognized as part of a natural cycle of renewal that ensures the long term viability of diverse ecosystems and their inhabitants.
  • Wildlife: Exploring the back roads of the Kootenay Ranges offers sightings of mountain goats and bighorn sheep, moose, elk, deer, grizzly and black bears. Common loons, red-necked grebes, belted kingfishers, blue herons, bald and golden eagles and many other bird species can be seen on the lakes and in the surrounding woodlands.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

There are paddling, canoeing and kayaking opportunities at this park.
Cycling

Cycling

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

Fishing

The fishery at Alces and Whiteswan lakes are of one of the highest quality rainbow trout fisheries in the East Kootenays. Whiteswan Lake also provides ice fishing opportunities; however, there is no fishing from December 1st to January 2nd (check regulations for closures). Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

The North Shore Trail is a pleasant outing that travels through a Douglas Fir forest and provides views of Whiteswan Lake and surrounding mountains. The total one-way distance of the trail is 8 km from the Alces Lake campground to Home Basin campground. The trail can also be accessed from a trailhead at the east end of Alces Lake, approximately 2km by trail from the Alces Lake campground. Where the trail crosses Cave Creek, a short branch trail leads to the Cave Creek campground.
Hunting

Hunting

Whiteswan Lake Park is open to hunting Management Unit 4-24. Please check the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations for more information.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in 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 and the potential for problems with bears.
Swimming

Swimming

There is a swimming beach area at Home Basin day-use area but this swimming area is not marked swimming area. Use caution in the area. There are NO LIFEGUARDS on duty at provincial parks.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

There are 4 boat launches – Home Basin and Packrat Point which are concrete; Alces and Inlet Creek which are gravel. To ensure a quiet and relaxing experience, no towing is allowed on Alces or Whiteswan Lakes. Electric motors only are allowed on Alces Lake.
Campfires

Campfires

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. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please do not 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. Bring a portable stove for cooking.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Water is provided via a filtered surface water tap, and a ground water hand pump in Home Basin Campground. Each of the other four campgrounds in the Park have water provided by a ground water hand pump. It is recommended to boil water before drinking.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has 3 day-use/picnic areas located at Packrat, Home Basin, and White River campgrounds. A day-use area at Lussier Hot Springs has a parking lot and pit toilet.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit toilets are located centrally in each campground; Home Basin (6), Inlet Creek (2), Packrat Point (2), Alces (4), Cave Creek (2) and White River (2).
Sani-Station/Dump

Sani-Station/Dump

A sani-station/dump is available during the operating season at the entrance to Alces Campground.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

The park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted. There are 114 campsites located at five campgrounds: Alces Lake (28 campsites) at km 21 offers sunny lakefront campsites; Packrat Point (16 campsites) at km 24 and Inlet Creek (16 campsites) at km 28 are located on the east side of the road across from Whiteswan Lake; White River (17 campsites) is located near the northeastern entrance of the park alongside the White River; and, Home Basin (37 campsites) is located at the northwestern corner of Whiteswan Lake accessed by the Moscow Creek Forest Road and offers some lakefront campsites.
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.
Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Backcountry camping facilities are provided at Cave Creek Campground located about half way along the north shore of Whiteswan Lake. The site can be accessed by boat or canoe from boat launches provided at Packrat Point or Home Basin, or backpackers can hike in on the North Shore trail from the trailhead at the east end of Alces Lake (3.5 km) or from the Home Basin Campground (2.5km).

Facilities include 6 graveled tent pads, 5 picnic tables, 2 pit toilets, several fire rings, and food storage lockers. Please practice low-impact camping techniques – “Leave No Trace” if you pack it in, pack it out! If firewood is not provided please use dead trees and branches from the forest floor and do not cut live trees! Persons visiting Whiteswan Provincial Park are reminded that the park is a wilderness area, without supplies or equipment of any kind. All arrangements for supplies and transportation must be made beforehand.
Backcountry Camping Fee: $5.00 per person / night for all persons 6 years of age or older.
Backcountry Registration System
Advance self-registration is required at fee payment stations located at Home Basin, Alces Lake, and Packrat Point Campgrounds.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

Site 35 at Home Basin Campground is a wheelchair accessible campsite. Located adjacent to this site is a wheelchair accessible pit toilet.
Winter Camping

Winter Camping

Winter camping is permitted in all of the campgrounds in Whiteswan Lake Park; however with the exception of Inlet Creek Campground, the vehicle-accessed campgrounds are gated in the winter season. Winter camping in a gated campground will require a short walk to the campsites.
Inlet Creek is a large open area beside the Whiteswan Forest Service Road with picnic tables and fire rings around the perimeter. This area is not regularly plowed so depending on the amount of snow it may not be possible to drive into the campground.
No fees are charged for camping at Whiteswan Lake Park during the off season if no services are provided.