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EK Parks Ltd.
Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Whiteswan Provincial Park is bear country!
BC Parks is promoting a “BARE Campsite’ program in the park and is asking all park users to help out by not leaving any unattended wildlife attractants in their campsites. Wildlife attractants include, but are not limited to: coolers (empty or full), garbage, BBQs, stoves, food, dishes/pots, fish/fish remains, pet food, gas/oil products, bird feeders, and toiletries. It is a legal requirement to properly store all wildlife attractants and keep a BARE campsite. When you leave your site unattended for any length of time or when you go to sleep at night please keep a BARE campsite. The BARE Campsite program is in place for your safety and to help keep the wildlife in our parks alive and well.
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.
Established Date: August 2, 1978
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 21st to November 30 (snowfall dependant)|
|Alces Lake campground – 28 sites||April 21st to October 1st|
|Packrat Point campground – 16 sites||April 21st to October 1st|
|White River campground – 17 sites||April 21st 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 1 to September 30|
|Alces Lake campground – 28 sites||May 1 to September 30|
|Packrat Point campground – 16 sites||May 1 to September 30|
|White River campground – 17 sites||May 1 to after Labour Day (actual date depends on weather and visitation)|
|Inlet Creek campground – 16 sites||May 1 to after Labour Day (actual date depends on weather and visitation)|
|Cave Creek Backcountry – 6 tent pads||May 1 to September 30|
|Campground Reservable Dates:
Not applicable. All sites in the park available on a first-come, first serve basis
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
- 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.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
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.
Activities Available at this Park
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 1 to January 2 (check regulations for closures).
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Alces Lake, Packrat Point, White River
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.
Advance self-registration is required at fee payment stations located at Home Basin, Alces Lake, and Packrat Point Campgrounds or purchase your permit online.
BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home. Although the system does not reserve a campsite, the system provides visitors the convenience of prepaying for their trip and not having to carry cash. We encourage all visitors to register online so we can reduce the need to collect fees in the field.
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.
Attention Winter users – The trail leading down to the hot pools can become very slippery during the winter, please use caution during your visit.