An ideal destination for family fun, Champion Lakes Park offers an all-inclusive recreational package to visitors. This includes fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming and hiking. Over 6km of trails link three lakes together. 3rd Lake, with its two day-use areas, is known for warm water and is popular with the local communities. Champion Lakes Golf and Country Club is a quick 20 minute drive from the park.
Champion Lakes Park takes its name from the lakes and creek within it. It is located in the Selkirk Mountains, 18km north-west of Fruitvale. The special features of this park include the chain of picturesque small lakes, old growth forest and an example of forest succession.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available.
All campsite reservations must be made through the BC Parks reservations system. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first come, first served.
The park has one campground situated between 3rd and 2nd lake. None of the sites are on the lakeshore but some have lake views with short access trails to the 3rd or 2nd lake loop trails. Champion Rd and Lake Rd form the outside loop with 2 inner roads know as Centre and Theatre Road.
The campground has 95 vehicle accessible sites, 13 of those are doubles. There are no pull through sites. The campground has an even mix of small to large sites and can accommodate large recreational vehicles. Approximately 10 of the vehicle accessible sites have tent pads with 8 sites designed for tenters only. All the sites are evenly spaced and found amongst a mixed forest of fir, larch and pine.
There is limited parking available for extra vehicles in the larger sites. This park offers services during the peak season of May to October. Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available. Visitors can select any non-reserved site and staff will come to collect fees.
A park gate is located at the park entrance and is closed between the hours of 11pm and 7am. There are no pay phones in the park. The closest store is in Fruitvale 18km west on highway 3B.
|Vehicle-accessible camping fee||$25 per party per night|
|BC seniors’ rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)||$12.50 per senior party per night|
For information on the BC seniors’ rate, see the camping fees page.
Cold well water is available for cooking and drinking. Six water taps are randomly located in the campground with a single water tap at each day-use area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
An adventure playground with swing set, monkey bars and slide is located adjacent to the Campers beach at the west end of 3rd lake. The equipment is set in sand.
Powered boats are not permitted on all three lakes due to the concern over the spread of milfoil. This includes boats with electric motors.
Launching sites for canoes, kayaks and cartop boats are located across from the picnic areas on the 3rd Lake and near the westerly end of the 2nd Lake. The shoreline along both boat launches is in its natural state and is therefore not developed for canoes, kayaks or boats to be beached overnight.
3rd Lake boat launch is a single launch site with a concrete plank ramp. It has a 15-vehicle boat and trailer parking area. Vehicles and trailers can be left overnight.
2nd Lake boat launch is a rustic, gravel single launch site with parking available above the site. The site can accommodate 15 vehicles and boat trailers. Since it is remote, leaving vehicles and trailers overnight is not recommended.
During the collecting season a sani-station and dump is available near the campground entrance and a fee is charged for the service.
Sani-station use fee: $5 per discharge.
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.
This park has two day-use and picnic areas on 3rd Lake called Main beach and Campers Beach. Fire pits and BBQ stands are not available.
Main Beach is located on the south-west side of the lake near the park entrance. It is approximately 200m long with compact sand, grassy areas and a small buoyed wading area. There are 30 picnic tables 25m back from the water’s edge. A toilet and change house, enclosed shelter with heater, 2 pit toilets, water tap and group picnic area are located nearby. Parking for 180 vehicles is available.
Campers Beach is located on the south-east end of the lake. The turn-off for the access road is located in the campground beside campsite 91. A small parking lot can accommodate 20 vehicles. The beach is approximately 100m long with compact sand. A large unmaintained grassy area makes up the majority of the day-use area. An adventure playground, set in sand with swing set, slide and monkey bars is nearby. Other facilities on site include 6 picnic tables, 2 pit toilets and a water tap.
Four sets of pit toilets and three flush toilet buildings are conveniently located throughout the campground. Main Beach day-use area has a flush toilet and two pit toilets. Campers Beach day-use area has two pit toilets.
A total of 6.5km of gentle trails connect the lakes and encompass 3rd and 2nd Lake. Facility development is concentrated around 3rd Lake. 2nd and 1st Lake remain in their natural states. There is also a trail that leads to a lookout. For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroy plant life and soil structure.
3rd Lake Loop trail follows the shoreline, is 1.5km long, takes approximately 40min to hike and is popular for travelling from Main beach to Campers beach.
2nd Lake Loop trail is the most popular trail and can be accessed from three locations. The parking lot of Campers beach day-use area, beside campsite #82 and from 2nd Lake boat launch. The trail is approximately 2.5km with a 45min hiking time. This trail has several boardwalks, passes through old growth forest and offers scenic views of marsh grasslands. 2nd Lake itself has shallow places covered in pond lilies with reed flats found in the marshy areas. A viewing area with bench can be found at the north end of the lake.
1st Lake Loop trail starts from the 2nd Lake boat launch parking lot. It starts on 2nd Lake trail then branches off and follows the creek between 2nd and 1st Lake. It continues along the east shore of 1st Lake and returns through the forest to your original starting point from the boat launch. Allow yourself 1 hour for the 2.5km hike. This trail is the most serene of the three loops and in the fall offers spectacular fall colour when the larch turn yellow and begin to lose their needles.
Lookout Trail is approximately 750 metres with a moderate to steep grade. Depending how long you spend at the top, it is a 40 to 60 minute round trip and offers picturesque views of the lakes below.
There are two beaches on 3rd Lake. Campers beach on the west end and Main beach day-use on the east end. Main beach has the only buoyed wading area and swim float wharf. Warm water and a combined 300 metres of compacted sand beaches provide excellent sunbathing and swimming opportunities.
Caution: There is a sharp drop-off at the Main beach. There are no lifeguards on duty.
Canoes, kayaks and rowboats are welcome. Both 3rd and 2nd Lake have easy access via the boat launches. An approximate 250 metre portage from the 2nd Lake boat launch is required to reach 1st Lake.
Rainbow trout are stocked in the lakes. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Check the BC Fishing Regulations Synopsis for quotas and restrictions. Ice-fishing is allowed during the winter season.
Western painted turtles of Champion Lakes. Be sure to take time to check out the interpretive panels along the 3rd Champion Lake Road on the importance of conserving the Western painted turtle population. The panels were the result of a working partnership between Columbia Basin Trust, Wildsight, RAP Park Contracting, Pink Dog Designs and most importantly, Salmo Elementary School. The goal of the program is to encourage better stewardship practices to follow while enjoying the local park.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has a fun, hands on, Learn to Fish Program that teaches basic angling skills to youth under 16 years old. Check back to this page or ask the park operator for information.
Viewpoints located at both 2nd and 3rd Lake as well as a lookout at the top of the Lookout trail, overlook the park. All three locations have a park bench. Loons and mallards are common through the summer rearing young in addition to a large variety of forest bird species.
Pets and 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. There is no off leash area in this park. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to the potential for problems with bears and other wildlife. During the winter months, domestic animals are not allowed on the mechanically-set ski tracks.
Bicycles may use trails and roadways. Mountain bikers should always yield the right-of-way to other trail users. Should you encounter hikers on any trail, please yield the right-of-way. Helmets must be worn. Just outside of the park are good cross-country skiing trails that would be suitable for mountain biking.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Champion Lakes Park. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.
The Beaver Valley XC Ski Club maintains approximately 5km of set trails within the park throughout the winter months. These trails connect with a further 10km of trails outside of the park.
Ice-fishing is allowed during the winter season.
Located in south central British Columbia. Access to this park is 6km north-west of Fruitvale off Highway 3B or 8km west of the junction of Highway 3 and 3B. From the turn off, it’s 12km (20min drive) to the park entrance.
This park proudly operated by:
RAP Park Contracting Ltd.
Base camp phone:
In the early 1900s, the area belonged to The Columbia and Western Railway but reverted to the crown in 1919. During the 30s and 40s the local rod and gun club stocked the lakes and improved trails to allow access for recreation. The park was established in 1955 and the lakes and creek are named for James W. Champion, an early settler and orchardist of the area. Champion Lakes Park lies in the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket, Okanagan and Sinixt first nation traditional territories.
Champion Lakes Park is located adjacent to the Bonnington Range of the Selkirk Mountains. This 1426 hectare park lies in the interior cedar-hemlock biogeoclimatic zone. This accounts for the varied plant species that grow in its lake-marsh-dry land successional sites. Conifers such as alpine fir and yellow pine, which do not normally grow in the same vicinity, may be seen in the park close together. The park also protects old growth forest. Flowers, trees and shrubs are part of the park’s natural heritage, please do not damage or remove them.
This park supports a diverse population of small mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks and porcupines. Moose, deer and bears are occasionally observed. Birds are quite prevalent with nighthawks, woodpeckers, Canada jays, belted kingfishers, western tanagers and Oregon junkos being the most common. Loons, mallards, widgeons and the great blue heron are more likely to be seen early in the season. In spring and fall, migrating waterfowl specifically Canada geese rest on the lakes during their journeys north and south. The park support sites suitable for painted turtles.
Park users should always be aware of bears and other wildlife in our park environment. Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife. Please view all wildlife from a distance. Visit the wildlife safety page for more information on staying safe.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.