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EK Parks Ltd.
Wasa Lake Provincial Park
About This Park
A family vacation destination since the 1950s, Wasa Lake village advertises the warmest swimming lake in the Kootenays. Wasa Lake Park offers camping, swimming, hiking, cycling, boating and nature viewing opportunities. There is an 8 km wheelchair and bike accessible trail around the lakeshore and a 2.7 km self-guided interpretation trail.
World class attractions such as Fort Steele Heritage town, guest ranches, ski hills and golf courses are nearby. In addition to being a popular recreation spot, the park protects a representative grassland ecosystem. It includes a portion of North America’s most northern ponderosa pine forest set amid blue bunch wheatgrass meadows that provide habitat for a wide diversity of animals and plants.
Know Before You Go
- Mountain and lake weather can change rapidly, be prepared. Visitors should be aware that high winds can come up quickly.
All campsite reservations must be made 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.
Explore Parks: Fees, park listings, what you should know before you go and other useful links.
This park is located in south eastern British Columbia, 40 km north of Cranbrook or 102 km south of Radium Hot Springs and 1 km east of Highway 93/95. The closest communities are Kimberley located 35 km north west and Cranbrook located 40 km south of Wasa Lake.
Nature and Culture
- History: Wasa Lake Provincial Park was established in 1955 to provide recreational access to the warmest swimming lake in the Kootenays. The Wasa area was logged by the railway in the early 1900s and irrigated for years through a ditch and flume system begun in 1915. Later cattle ranching became the agricultural mainstay. Wasa village provides tourist facilities and services.
- Conservation: Wasa Lake Park is situated in the gentle terrain of the widening Rocky Mountain Trench. This 144 hectare park protects a representative area of the most threatened ecosystem type in the world; fire maintained temperate grasslands. Of the seemingly endless ocean of native grasslands that greeted the early settlers to our country, less than 5% remains and only a fraction is protected. These bunchgrass meadows host unique species such as curlews and sharp tailed grouse. During June and July, enjoy a spectacular diversity of wildflowers and birds. Intensive grassland restoration is occurring on two land blocks within this park.
Activities Available at this Park
Canoeing is possible; however, caution must be used due to power boats on the lake.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia. There is an 8 km “Wasa Lions Way” paved path and secondary road trail around the lake that accommodates cyclists and pedestrians. A self guided mountain bike loop takes you from Wasa Lake to Lazy Lake. The “Lazy Lake Bike Loop” is a 33-kilometre ride which takes you up Wolf Creek Road to Lazy Lake and back to Wasa Lake on Lazy Lake Road. Mountain bikes are recommended.
A Children’s bike park is located within the campground at the south end, near site 89, for the use and enjoyment of families staying in the campground.
Perch and bass fishing is available in this freshwater lake. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Forest of the Rainshadow Self-guided Interpretive Trail is a 2.7 km loop, 1 hour, nature walk for the whole family starting at the amphitheatre located in the campground. There is an 8 km “Wasa Lions Way” paved path and secondary road trail around the lake that accommodates hikers and cyclists. For your personal safety and the preservation of the Wasa Park grasslands, please obey posted signs and keep to designated trails as shortcutting trails destroys 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, day-use areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.
Exceptions: Wasa Lake Park now has a dog friendly day-use area. The dog beach is located at the south end of Campers beach. This area is user maintained; owners are required to clean up after their pets. Signage is present and dog waste disposal-bags are provided on site.
There are four buoyed swimming access areas in the day use areas of the park. Warm waters and 2000 metres of developed gently sloping beaches provide excellent sunbathing and swimming areas, change rooms, picnic tables and washrooms are provided.
There are no lifeguards in provincial parks.
Wasa Lake provides waterskiing opportunities. Waterskiiers are not allowed in the buoyed swimming areas of the lake but a skier’s beach is accessed via the Horseshoe day-use areas.
There are windsurfing opportunities on Wasa Lake.
Facilities Available at this Park
Wheelchair-accessible facilities include the flush toilet building in the campground, amphitheatre, day-use areas and lower of part of the nature trail.
A boat launch is located on the east shore across from the campground at Camper’s Beach. It consists of a concrete pad capable of launching a large boat.
Firewood can be purchased from the park operator in some parks or you can bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please do not gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented and some parks use communal fire rings. Bring a portable stove for cooking.
Ten cold water taps are located randomly throughout the campground. Each day-use area of the park also has a cold water tap. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
This park has four day-use/picnic areas, including 45 picnic sites.
Camper’s Beach is located across from the campground and has a pit toilet, change house, picnic tables, sandy beach and a grassed area.
Horseshoe Beach is located 2 km north of the campground and has picnic tables, sandy beach, grassed area and a flush toilet building.
Grey Change Beach
Adjacent to Horseshoe Beach, Grey Change Beach has a day-use area, picnic tables, grassed area, a pebbly beach and one pit toilet. At the very north end of the lake is another day-use area. The Grey Change day-use area is open year-round.
Main Beach has a large sandy beach, grassed area, picnic tables, paved parking, and two pit toilets.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit and flush toilets are located throughout the park. Change houses are located at each day-use area.
There is an adventure playground located within Camper’s Beach day-use area. A Children’s bike park is located within the campground at the south end, near site 89, for the use and enjoyment of families staying in the campground.
A sani-station is located at the north end of the lake on Wasa Lake Park Drive and is available during the operating season.
Hot showers are available at Wasa Lake, located near the front entrance of campground.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Wasa Lake campground is located on the east side of the lake 1 km from Highway 93/95. The campsites accommodate both long recreation vehicles and tents. There are no drive-through sites. Information/interpretive shelters and telephone are located at the entrance to the campground. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.