Crooked River Park is found an hour drive north of Prince George. The Crooked River lies within the Fraser Basin, a terrain of gently rolling hills and shallow lakes covering much of North Central B.C. Three beautiful lakes are contained within this 963 hectare park.
A popular area at the park is Bear Lake. The fine, sandy beaches along the lake offer some of the best swimming spots in the region. There are also superb opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping and nature study.
Visitors like to hike to nearby Square Lake or along the Crooked River which was a pathway for early explorers. A natural feature in the park is Livingston Springs, a cold water springs that run year round.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available.
All campsite reservations must be made the BC Parks reservations system. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first come, first served.
This park offers 65 vehicle accessible campsites. This campground will accommodate larger RVs. Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available.
Long-stay camping is available for sites 1-16 and 30-43. A minimum of 4 consecutive weeks must be booked. The long-stay program is available from May 15 to September 11 in this park. Please contact the park operator to check availability.
|Vehicle-accessible camping fee||$22 per party per night|
|BC seniors’ rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)||$11 per senior party per night|
|Long-stay camping||$65 per week|
For information on the BC seniors’ rate, see the camping fees page. Information on long-stay camping is available on the Frontcountry Camping webpage.
Cold well water is available for cooking and drinking. Taps are located throughout the campground and day-use area.
During the collecting season a sani-station and dump is available. The sani-station use fee is $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.
There is a day-use and picnic area along the north shore of the lake. It has flush toilets, running water, a sandy beach, picnic tables, garbage cans, a picnic shelter, horseshoe pits (bring own horseshoes) and an adventure playground. The paved and gravel parking lot can accommodate 530 vehicles.
Pets are not allowed in the day-use areas. Alcohol is not permitted in the day-use area.
Crooked River Park offers 9km of marked trail to explore. There are three main trails to chose from, each taking about an hour round trip.
One trail takes visitors to and around Square Lake, an excellent spot for nature viewing. A second trail overlooks the Crooked River, the park’s namesake. This meandering river, once the corridor of the famous explorers Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser, is popular with canoeists. The third trail encircling Bear Lake is a great place for an evening stroll. Get the park brochure and map for more details.
For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
The 460 metres of natural sandy beach of Bear Lake is the main attraction for swimmers and sunbathers. Nearby change houses, picnic tables, and firepits make it easy to spend a full day enjoying this area. The pristine setting is safe and quiet since powerboats are not permitted in the park. There are no lifeguards on duty.
Crooked River, Square Lake and Hart Lake provide good angling for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden or Rocky Mountain whitefish. The gate to Hart Lake parking lot is open at this time. Only Square Lake is available for ice fishing and is a popular lake among the locals. Hart Lake is closed to ice fishing.
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Please view the freshwater sport fishing regulations synopsis regarding the amount of fish allowed to be kept.
The abundant trail system allows access to lakes and Crooked River, which has much wildlife and scenic viewing possibilities. The pine forests, lakes and wetlands of the park provide excellent habitat for a number of mammals and birds. River otters, beavers, muskrats, squirrels and chipmunks are the most common residents. Lynx, red fox, coyote and black bear may also be seen. Many birds frequent the park including bald eagles, ospreys, tanagers and chickadees. In winter, the Crooked River is a wintering ground for trumpeter swans.
Pets and domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in the day-use area, 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 the potential for problems with bears and other wildlife.
Bicycles are allowed on all park roads, however, they are only allowed on trails that are signed for bicycle use (very few trails are signed for bikes).
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are permitted on signed or designated trails within Crooked River Park, provided they meet the definitions and criteria for e-bike use as outlined in the BC Parks cycling guidelines.
This is a great place to windsurf as only non-motorized vessels are allowed in the park.
All hiking trails and the campground loops are available for snowshoeing. Only Square Lake is available for ice fishing and is a popular lake among the locals. Hart Lake is closed to ice fishing.
The park is located 70km north of Prince George on Highway #97. This is approximately a one hour drive. The closest communities are Bear Lake and Prince George.
This park proudly operated by:
Crooked River Park was originally established to protect its attractive lakes and surrounding landscape. The lakes are a result of the melting of the glacial ice blocks.
The Crooked River was once the corridor of the famous explorers Alexander MacKenzie and Simon Fraser.
The gently undulating landscape is covered by a layer of glacial drift which supports a sub-boreal spruce zone. The forest cover within the park boundaries consists mainly of lodgepole pine, alder, birch, aspen, and spruce. It sits atop a sand and gravel soil, the result of thousands of years of glacial activity in the area. Help protect the park land. Please leave the park as you have found it so that future visitors may also enjoy the park.
The forests, lakes and wetlands of the park provide excellent habitat for a number of mammals and birds. River otter, beaver, muskrat, squirrels, and chipmunks are the most common residents. Lynx, red fox, coyote, and black bear may also be seen. Many birds frequent the park including bald eagles, ospreys, tanagers, and chickadees. In the winter, Crooked River is visited by trumpeter swans. Park users should always be aware of bears and other wildlife in our park environment. Never feed or approach the wildlife. For more information on staying safe, visit the wildlife safety page.
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.