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Park ContactThis park proudly operated by:
EK Parks Ltd.
Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Whiteswan Provincial Park is bear country!
BC Parks is promoting a ‘BARE Campsite’ program in the park and is asking all park users to help out by not leaving any unattended wildlife attractants in their campsites. Wildlife attractants include, but are not limited to: coolers (empty or full), garbage, BBQs, stoves, food, dishes/pots, fish/fish remains, pet food, gas/oil products, bird feeders, and toiletries. It is a legal requirement to properly store all wildlife attractants and keep a BARE campsite. When you leave your site unattended for any length of time or when you go to sleep at night please keep a BARE campsite. The BARE Campsite program is in place for your safety and to help keep the wildlife in our parks alive and well.
About This Park
The shining waters of two mountain lakes, Whiteswan and Alces, and a natural hot springs are the focal points of Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park. Five lakeside or riverside campgrounds, 3 boat launches, an historic lakeside hiking trail and abundant wildlife viewing opportunities makes this a perfect setting for a camping holiday.
Visitors may watch a moose feeding in the fog-shrouded water of Alces Lake, admire spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and enjoy angling in some of the most productive lakes in the region for trophy rainbow trout. After a day in the backcountry or on the lake, relax in the soothing waters of Lussier Hot Springs located near the park entrance at km 17.5 on the Whiteswan Forest Service Road.
Know Before You Go
- Use extreme caution on the Whiteswan Lake road at all times. Extreme care must be taken when driving the canyon portion (km 15 to km 18) of the access road to the park. For improved safety turn your headlights on. Be aware that mine ore trucks and oversized loaded logging trucks are on the route. Always give them the right of way!
- Mountain and lake weather can change rapidly, be prepared. Visitors should be aware that high winds can come up quickly, use caution while boating.
- There is no public phone or cell phone service at Whiteswan Park.
Boating and Fishing
Location and Maps
Please note: Any maps listed are for information only; they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park is located within the Kootenay Ranges of the Rocky Mountains, 22 km southeast of the Village of Canal Flats, the nearest community. Access is from Highway 93/95, turn east 4.5 km south of Canal Flats onto the gravel Whiteswan Forest Service Road. Whiteswan Lake is about 25 km from the highway; the hot springs are located near the west boundary of the park at kilometre 17.5.
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
Cultural Heritage: Whiteswan Lake was an important seasonal hunting camp of the K’tunaxa (Kootenai) native people and their use of the area dates back at least 5,000 years. During the 1800s and early 1900s trappers, prospectors and guides worked in the area and soothed their work worn bodies in the hot mineral waters of Lussier Hot Springs.
The area surrounding the park is part of the Kootenay Region working forest. Logging and mining currently provides jobs for many people living in the region, as well recreation and tourism have become important aspects of the economy.
- Conservation: In May and June, spawning Rainbow trout can be seen in the inlet and outlet creeks of Whiteswan Lake. In the summer of 2001, wildfires swept through the forests north and west of the park. These fires, while seemingly “destructive,” are recognized as part of a natural cycle of renewal that ensures the long term viability of diverse ecosystems and their inhabitants.
- Wildlife: Exploring the back roads of the Kootenay Ranges offers sightings of mountain goats and bighorn sheep, moose, elk, deer, grizzly and black bears. Common loons, red-necked grebes, belted kingfishers, blue herons, bald and golden eagles and many other bird species can be seen on the lakes and in the surrounding woodlands.
Activities Available at this Park
There are paddling, canoeing and kayaking opportunities at this park.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
The fishery at Alces and Whiteswan Lakes are of one of the highest quality rainbow trout fisheries in the East Kootenays. Whiteswan Lake also provides ice fishing opportunities.
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
The North Shore Trail is a pleasant outing that travels through a Douglas Fir forest and provides views of Whiteswan Lake and surrounding mountains. The total one-way distance of the trail is 8 km from the Alces Lake campground to Home Basin Campground. The trail can also be accessed from a trailhead at the east end of Alces Lake, approximately 2km by trail from the Alces Lake Campground. Where the trail crosses Cave Creek, a short branch trail leads to the Cave Creek Campground.
Whiteswan Lake Park is open to hunting Management Unit 4-24. Please check the BC Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis for more information.
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 a swimming beach area at Home Basin day-use area but this swimming area is not marked swimming area. Use caution in the area. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
Facilities Available at this Park
Site 35 at Home Basin Campground is a wheelchair-accessible campsite. Located adjacent to this site is a wheelchair-accessible pit toilet.
There are 4 boat launches – Home Basin and Packrat Point which are concrete; Alces and Inlet Creek which are gravel. To ensure a quiet and relaxing experience, no towing is allowed on Alces or Whiteswan Lakes. Electric motors only are allowed on Alces Lake.
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 may use communal fire rings. Bring a portable stove for cooking.
Water is provided via a filtered surface water tap, and a ground water hand pump in Home Basin Campground. Each of the other four campgrounds in the park have water provided by a ground water hand pump. It is recommended to boil water before drinking.
This park has 3 day-use/picnic areas located at Packrat, Home Basin, and White River campgrounds. A day-use area at Lussier Hot Springs has a parking lot and pit toilet.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit toilets are located centrally in each campground; Home Basin (6), Inlet Creek (2), Packrat Point (2), Alces (4), Cave Creek (2) and White River (2).
A sani-station/dump is available during the operating season at the entrance to Alces Campground.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
The park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted. There are 114 campsites located at five campgrounds: Alces Lake (28 campsites) at km 21 offers sunny lakefront campsites; Packrat Point (16 campsites) at km 24 and Inlet Creek (16 campsites) at km 28 are located on the east side of the road across from Whiteswan Lake; White River (17 campsites) is located near the northeastern entrance of the park alongside the White River; and, Home Basin (37 campsites) is located at the northwestern corner of Whiteswan Lake accessed by the Moscow Creek Forest Road and offers some lakefront campsites.
Alces Lake, Packrat Point, White River
Backcountry camping facilities are provided at Cave Creek Campground located about half way along the north shore of Whiteswan Lake. The site can be accessed by boat or canoe from boat launches provided at Packrat Point or Home Basin, or backpackers can hike in on the North Shore trail from the trailhead at the east end of Alces Lake (3.5 km) or from the Home Basin Campground (2.5km).
Facilities include 6 graveled tent pads, 5 picnic tables, 2 pit toilets, several fire rings, and food storage lockers. Please practice low-impact camping techniques – “Leave No Trace” if you pack it in, pack it out! If firewood is not provided please use dead trees and branches from the forest floor and do not cut live trees! Persons visiting Whiteswan Provincial Park are reminded that the park is a wilderness area, without supplies or equipment of any kind. All arrangements for supplies and transportation must be made beforehand.
Advance self-registration is required at fee payment stations located at Home Basin, Alces Lake, and Packrat Point Campgrounds or purchase your permit online.
BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home. Although the system does not reserve a campsite, the system provides visitors the convenience of prepaying for their trip and not having to carry cash. We encourage all visitors to register online so we can reduce the need to collect fees in the field.
Winter camping is permitted in all of the campgrounds in Whiteswan Lake Park; however with the exception of Inlet Creek Campground, the vehicle-accessed campgrounds are gated in the winter season. Winter camping in a gated campground will require a short walk to the campsites.
Inlet Creek is a large open area beside the Whiteswan Forest Service Road with picnic tables and fire rings around the perimeter. This area is not regularly plowed so depending on the amount of snow it may not be possible to drive into the campground.
No fees are charged for camping at Whiteswan Lake Park during the off-season if no services are provided.
Attention Winter users – The trail leading down to the hot pools can become very slippery during the winter, please use caution during your visit.