On This Page
Park ContactThis park proudly operated by:
Shuswap Adams Parks Ltd.
Downing Provincial Park
About This Park
This park is a small but popular park that almost encircles attractive Kelly Lake. Views of mountains, and 2,245 metre Mount Bowman, a spectacular mountain ridge visible from the nearby Jesmond Road, give the park a remote atmosphere, though it is located close to Clinton.
This 14-site vehicle-accessible campground was re-built in 2015 and re-opened to the public in May of 2016. Swimming in Kelly Lake is enjoyable from the long sandy beach. Angling for rainbow trout is a popular past time. Many visitors use the park as a stopping place as they travel the Pavilion Mountain Road, which connects the Cariboo to Lillooet. This scenic alternative to Highway 99 is unpaved, narrow and switch-backed and best suited for compact 4x4 vehicles.
The park land was donated to the people of BC by C. S. Downing in 1970, and his family still owns adjacent property. Please respect this private property by keeping to the road when walking between the day-use area and campground.
Nearby parks also offering campgrounds include Green Lake and Big Bar Lake. Visitors can also travel along the Jesmond Loop, by travelling north-west from the park to Jesmond Road. This scenic drive passes by the historic townsite of Jesmond, where the OK Corral – one of the oldest ranches in the area – is situated, and continues past Little Big Bar Lake. The loop also accesses the Jesmond fire lookout by way of a narrow four-wheel drive road, from which adventurous visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including Marble Range and Edge Hills Provincial Parks. This route eventually connects with Highway 97 and provides a scenic trip for travellers heading to Green Lake or beyond.
Established Date: July 9, 1970
Park Size: 139 hectares
Know Before You Go
- Kelly Lake is subject to strong winds throughout the year. Keep this in mind if you venture out onto the water to fish or swim.
The public should be alert when driving in an area that has had a recent wildfire. Be observant of washed out bridges or culverts, roads below steep banks are susceptible to landslides. Watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of debris flows. On forest land where a wildfire has occurred, avoid camping on floodplains, beside small streams, on alluvial fans or at the base of burned slopes. Rapid spring snowmelt and intense rainfall are common triggers that present a greater risk of post-wildfire events. Be aware of forecasts that may include heavy rainfall. This bulletin provides general information only, additional information resources are available at:
- Please note: The maximum unit size for this park is 30 feet.
- Please respect the Downing property by keeping to the road when walking between the day-use area and the campground.
- ORVs are prohibited in this park. ORVs include ATVs, off-road motorcycles, snowmobiles and side-by-sides.
Nature and Culture
- History: The park was donated by C.S. Downing in 1970, and his family still owns the adjacent property.
- Cultural Heritage: The park is located within the traditional territory of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) People. While no heritage sites are known within the park, please remember it is illegal to damage such sites or remove artifacts.
- Conservation: Although the focus is on recreation at Downing Park, it is close to two larger parks with important conservation values. The Jesmond Road, which leaves Kelly Lake Road just east of the park, winds through the corridor between Marble Range and Edge Hills Parks. The Marble Range features karst landscapes, known for limestone cliffs and outcrops, while Edge Hills is a grassland park on the east bank of the Fraser River.
- General Wildlife, Marine & Outdoor Ethics Information
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers 14 new gravelled campsites on a first-come, first-served basis; campsite reservations are not accepted. Staff will be at the campground at least once a day during the camping season to collect and clean. There is no pay phone at the park and the closest store is approximately 18km away in Clinton.
Please Note: The maximum unit size for this park is 30 feet.