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Skagit Valley Provincial Park
About This Park
The Skagit Valley was carved during the ice ages by advancing continental glaciers and is characterized by excellent outdoor recreation opportunities in a natural, wilderness-like setting. Visitors can enjoy hiking along 50 km of trails, river and lake fishing, camping, picnicking, and horseback riding.
Know Before You Go
- Swimming: Campers and swimmers should be aware that swimmers itch may be present within Ross Lake. For more information on the treatment and prevention of swimmers itch, check out the BC Healthfiles page.
- The Skagit River is susceptible to extreme water level velocities during the spring and summer run-off season.
- Access is by a loose surfaced (gravel/dirt) public road. Please drive safely.
- Bears are very active in this park. Please read the bear safety information.
- Ross Lake campground is located on a reservoir. The level of the water in the reservoir fluctuates greatly. July and August are the only months when the lake is at full pool, other times there is no water at all on the Canadian side.
- For information on the US park, please phone North Cascades National Park at 1-360-854-7200 or visit their website.
- It is illegal to operate an uninsured/unlicenced motor vehicle in any provincial park, recreation area or campground.
- Nearest sani-station facility is located in Hope, B.C.
- Quiet Hours are 10 pm to 7 am: Music, generators, etc. must be shut off completely between these hours.
- ATVs and other off road vehicles (including those registered under the ORV Act) are not permitted within the park or on the Silver Skagit Road.
- Harvesting of any natural resource (including fungus fruiting bodies or Mushrooms) is prohibited within the park.
South Fraser Trail Conditions Report [PDF]
(November 9, 2022)
(scroll down to the Skagit Valley Provincial Park entry)
Reservoir InformationRoss Lake campground is located on a reservoir. The level of the water in the reservoir fluctuates greatly. July and August are the only months when the lake is at full pool. Other times there is no water at all on the Canadian side.
All campsite and group site reservations must be made through the BC Parks reservations system. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Group Campsite Reservations
Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park.
From the community of Hope, travel westbound on Flood Hope Road, then turn left (south) onto the Silver Skagit Road to get to the park.
Coming from the west on BC-1 E/Trans-Canada Hwy. Take exit 168 toward Flood Hope Road, turn right onto Flood Hope Road, then right onto the Silver Skagit Road to get to the park.
Silver Skagit Road provides access to the park. It is 37 km from Highway #1 to the entrance portal and a further 23 km to Ross Lake Reservoir and the Canada-USA border. Silver Skagit Road is a well maintained, loose surface road that provides access to several active logging areas before the park entrance. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution and to use headlights at all times. Watch for wildlife and be aware of logging trucks and other industrial equipment. Extra caution should be taken after rain when road surfaces can become muddy and slippery. ATVs and uninsured vehicles are not permitted on Silver Skagit Road.
Note: There are no commercial facilities in the Skagit Valley. No food, lodging, gas or any other goods or services are available. Visitors should be equipped with supplies and fuel before leaving Hope or Silver Creek for Skagit Valley Provincial Park. There is no cell phone service after the first few kilometers of the Silver Skagit Road.
Maps and Brochures
- Management Planning Information
Approved Master Plan for Skagit Valley Park [PDF]
This is not the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
Activities Available at this Park
Canoeing and kayaking are possible at Ross Lake when the reservoir is full, but not recommended on the Skagit River. Water in Ross Lake is low during spring, fall and winter and may change rapidly at any time as the lake is a hydroelectric reservoir. The edge of the lake is normally below the international border until sometime in June. Water levels may rise by 30-60cm (1-2 feet) or more per day during spring freshet.
Bicycles are permitted on all roadways, the Centennial Trail and Skagit River Trail in Skagit Valley Park. Unless otherwise signed, all other trails located within the park are designated for hiking use only. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
- South Fraser Trail Conditions Report [PDF] (November 9, 2022) (scroll down to the Skagit Valley Provincial Park entry)
Horseback riding is permitted on the Skagit River Trail, Centennial Trail and to the boundary of E.C. Manning Park on the Skyline II Trail. Horseback riding is not permitted on the Skyline II in E.C. Manning Park. There is an eleven-unit horse camp near Whitworth Meadows near the Skyline II Trail head. There are approximately 30 kilometres of horse trails in Skagit Valley Park.
Hunting is permitted in the park. Please confirm with the Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis for specific details. All hunters require applicable hunting licences.
There are interpretive programs offered in this park. You can check the information shelters for program schedules or check the schedule posted below.
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.
There is swimming and a grassy beach at Ross Lake. There is no roped-off swimming area. See Important Notices for water levels. Water in the reservoir is low during spring, fall and winter. The edge of the lake is normally below the international border until sometime in June. Campers and swimmers should be aware that swimmer’s itch may be present within Ross Lake. For more information on the treatment and prevention of swimmer’s itch, check out the HealthLinkBC page. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Facilities Available at this Park
There is a wheelchair-accessible pit toilet available at the Whitworth Horse Camp.
There is a single wide cement boat launch at International Point Day-use Area. Boats can be left in the water or on the beach overnight at owner’s risk. Boaters should be aware that water in the reservoir is low during spring, fall and winter and may change rapidly at any time as Ross Lake is a hydroelectric reservoir. The edge of the lake is normally below the international border until sometime in June. Water levels may rise by 30-60cm (1-2 feet) or more per day during spring freshet. Waterskiing is not advisable because of the amount of woody debris and numerous stumps that are just below the surface of the water when the lake is full; at lower water levels these stumps are exposed. See Important Notices for water levels. Personal watercraft are not allowed on Ross Lake Reservoir. Personal watercraft are defined as small, normally jet powered vessels which the operator sits astraddle or stands upon.
For important information regarding boating on the US portion of the Ross Lake Reservoir, including a new restriction on the types of motors permitted within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area; please click on this link: http://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/boating-on-ross-lake.htm
Campfires are permitted in the campground fire rings only. While 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.
Cold water hand pumps are located in all the campgrounds. A cold water tap is located in the horse camp. The taps and hand pumps are shut off during the winter.
All water is tested weekly and is suitable for drinking unless posted otherwise.
There is a group campsite located across from the Ross Lake campground, close to the International Point day-use area. There is one covered shelter. The site can accommodate from 15 to 50 people. Reservation information »
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $80.00/group site/night, plus $5/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15). Children under 6 are free!
This park has a day-use/picnic area at International Point on Ross Lake. The day-use/picnicking area has pit toilets, parking, and a 1.5 ha grassy beach area. There are no picnic tables and no campfire rings available. There is a twelve-sided information kiosk that relates the history and natural values of the park.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit toilets are available in all campgrounds, at International Point Day-use Area, and at some trailhead/fishing access parking lots. There are no flush toilets.
There is a playground at Ross Lake campground/International Point Day-use Area. There is also a 1.5 hectare grassy area.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle-accessible campsites, reservations are accepted at Ross Lake, and first-come, first-served campsites are also available.
There are three frontcountry campgrounds in this park: Silvertip Campground at 42 km (43 sites), Ross Lake Campground at 60 km (88 sites) and Whitworth Horse Campground at 54 km that has 11 pull-through sites with corrals/hitching posts. There are no sites in this park with electrical, water or sewer hookups.
There is parking available for two vehicles at each site. There is no extra parking available.
If there are no staff to direct you to a campsite, choose an unreserved site with no camping receipt posted on the campsite number post; staff will come around to collect fees. Cash is the only form of payment accepted onsite.
There is no cell phone service after the first few kilometres on the Silver Skagit Road. Make plans for meeting other members of your party before arriving in the park. The closest store and pay phone are in Hope, approximately 60 km away.
The gates to each campground are closed and locked during the winter months (October to May).
There are no winter camping opportunities offered in this park. The Silver Skagit Road is not plowed during the winter and develops significant potholes during this time.
There are four backcountry campsites in this park: Delacy Camp and Harlequin Flats on the Skagit River Trail, Nepopekum Camp at the juncture of the Centennial and Nepopkum trails, and Galene Camp at the end of the Galene Lakes Trail. Delacy, Harlequin Flats and Nepopekum campsites each have two tent pads, a picnic table, a garden throne (toilet), and a bear cache for food/attractant storage. Galene Camp has two tent pads, a garden throne, and a bear cache.