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Swan Lake Provincial Park
About This Park
Know Before You Go
- Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) are prohibited in this park. ORVs include ATVs, off-road motorcycles, snowmobiles and side-by-sides.
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 is located 35 kilometres southeast of Dawson Creek, 2 km gravel access off Highway #2.
Maps and Brochures
- Campground Map [PDF] (Dec. 5, 2018)
Nature and Culture
- History: Established in 1918, it has the distinction of being British Columbia’s third oldest park.
Conservation: Swan Lake Park provides representation of the Kiskatinaw Plateau ecosection and is covered by the boreal white and black spruce biogeoclimatic zone. Vegetation consists predominately of trembling aspen, balsam poplar, white spruce and willows.
Swan Lake is the largest water body in the Alberta plateau. The maximum depth is 7.6 metres and the mean depth is 3.1 metres.
Wildlife: The occasional moose and white tail or mule deer may pass through the park. However, black bears do frequent the area. Muskrat and beaver can be seen around the lakeshore and the Tupper River which drains into the lake through the park.
If you are interested in bird watching, an abundance of waterfowl and migratory bird populations congregate at Swan Lake. An example of birds that frequent Swan Lake include common loon, red-necked grebe, western grebe, trumpeter swan, American widgeon, sandpipers, bufflehead, coot, gulls, eastern kingbird, warblers, blackbirds, killdeer, hooded merganser, red-eyed and warbling vireo, hermit thrush, swallows, yellowlegs, scoters, lesser scaup and goldeneyes, just to name a few.
Swan Lake is popular with local anglers. Sport fish include walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and burbot. Northern pike spawn in the spring among lakeshore weeds. Yellow perch, which have been stocked, are also weed spawners, but spawn later in spring. The lake is too shallow and too warm to support cold water salmonid species such as trout and char.
Activities Available at this Park
Swan Lake provides excellent opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. Watch out for motorized boats. No rentals available in or near the park.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Anglers can try their luck fishing for walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and burbot. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
There are developed trails at this park. 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.
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 are scuba diving or snorkelling opportunities.
There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are waterskiing opportunities on the lake.
There are windsurfing opportunities on the lake.
Facilities Available at this Park
Some facilities in the park are wheelchair-accessible.
There is a boat launch and dock at Swan Lake Park that is open year-round. Be aware that during the camping season the gates are closed from 11pm to 7am, daily.
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 taps are located throughout the park. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
This park has a day-use/picnic area. Reservations for the group site picnic area are available. Reservation information »
Pit or Flush Toilets
There are pit toilets in the campground, and also in the day-use area.
There are playground facilities at this park.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.