Kakwa Protected Area showcases ice-clad mountains, extensive alpine meadows and a section of the Continental Divide. Main physical features include Mount Sir Alexander (3270 m), Mount Ida (3189 m) and Kakwa Lake.
Summer activities include camping, hiking, fishing, and horseback trips. Winter activities include snowmobiling and wilderness ski tours. The wide range of species diversity gives excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing. Visitors interested in photography will appreciate the incredible beauty of the remote area. Winter visitors should note limited access routes apply.
Kakwa Provincial Park, together with Kakwa Wildlands Park in Alberta and Willmore Wilderness Park in Alberta, make up the first Interprovincial Park for B.C. and Alberta called “ Kakwa – Willmore Interprovincial Park [PDF 1.2MB] .”
More information on the Alberta parks, Kakwa Wildlands and Willmore Wilderness parks:
There are 12 backcountry campsites, with pit toilets and fire circles provided. The backcountry campsites are all on a first-come, first-serve basis; reservations are not accepted. During the winter season, campers may use the cabins but usage is on a first-come, first-served basis; be prepared for winter conditions.
There are two areas at the south end of Kakwa Lake that have been designated for camping: one is for hiker traffic (West side of Wapumun Creek) and the other is for horse traffic (East side of Wapumum Creek). These sites each have a pit toilet and fire circle, horse users are requested to cross Wapumun Creek at one specially marked location only: at the blue bamboo poles near the north end of the creek where it flows into Kakwa Lake. The creek is a crucial spawning creek for the Rainbow trout that inhabit Kakwa Lake, and horses crossing along the creek would damage the spawning beds. Horse users please do not let horses swim in the lake in front of the cabin as this area is a source of drinking water for park visitors. The park is a user maintained park, so pack out whatever you have packed into the park. Please cooperate and keep the park pristine for future visitors.
There is one public use cabin located at Kakwa Lake (53°59’54.21"N 120°10’34.62"W) that will sleep approximately 10 people; a second rustic public cabin exists at Jarvis Lakes (54° 5’34.19"N 120°13’32.08"W) that sleeps approximately 8-10 people. Both cabins are available on a first-come, first-served basis year-round, but if fully occupied, the public needs to be prepared to camp outside in a tent. Please keep the cabins clean and tidy.
There is also an emergency shelter located North of Buchanan Creek (53°53’49.68"N 120°17’49.30"W).
This protected areaonly has pit toilets; no flush toilets.
No firewood is available. Visitors can supply their own firewood. Campfires are allowed in designated campsites at the south end of Kakwa Lake, only. It is not permitted to gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important 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. It is recommended to bring a portable stove for cooking.
A number of hiking routes exist within Kakwa Provincial Park, but these trails are unmarked and not maintained. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
At present little is known about the fishery in Kakwa Lake. Anglers are asked to limit their catch in order to preserve angling opportunities in years to come. Kakwa and Cecilia Lake are closed to angling November 1 to April 30. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
There is no viewing platform but there are amazing mountain views and wildlife habitats. Visitors should be prepared for any kind of mountain weather conditions.
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in 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.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Kakwa Protected Area. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.
Horseback riding is permitted in Kakwa Provincial Park. There is an area at the south end of Kakwa Lake designated for horse traffic camping (East side of Wapumum Creek). The site has a pit toilet and fire circle, horse users are requested to cross Wapumun Creek at one specialy marked location only: at the blue bamboo poles near the north end of the creek where it flows into Kakwa Lake. The creek is a crucial spawning creek for the Rainbow trout that inhabit Kakwa Lake, and horses crossing along the creek would damage the spawning beds. Horse users please do not let horses swim in the lake in front of the cabin as this area is a source of drinking water for park visitors. The park is a user maintained park, so pack out whatever you have packed into the park. Please cooperate and keep the park pristine for future visitors.
There are climbing opportunities and visitors should be experienced.
Hunting is allowed in the park. Please check the BC Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis for more information.
Visitors can backcountry ski and snowshoe along the trails in the park. Visitors should be trained in avalanche awareness.
Kakwa winter use: Snowmobiling is a popular winter recreational use of the park from both B.C. and Alberta, mostly in the Kakwa and Cecilia Lakes areas. Popular snowmobiling areas are the watersheds of Babette, Cecilia and Kakwa Lakes, McGregor Pass, Mt. Ruth, Sheep Pass, Mt. Sir Alexander and there are many open ridges and meadows.
Areas open to snowmobiling are zoned as Nature Recreation Zones and snowmobiling is permitted during snowmobiling season from Dec 1st to April 15/30th each winter. For information about where snowmobile is allowed in the park. View a snowmobiling zoning map [PDF 7.7MB] .
Overnight snowmobile users are restricted to the cabin at Kakwa Lake and should be aware that cabins are being used by BC Parks staff regularly. Users must supply their own wood for fuel from outside of the park. Snowmobile tent camps are not permitted in Kakwa Provincial Park.
There is no public access road into the park. In B.C., the Walker Creek Forest Road from Highway 16 currently provides access to the Bastille River at km 75, Bastille River is 10 km away from the park boundary. From Grand Prairie, the 112 km Kakwa River Forestry Road leads to the eastern boundary of Alberta’s Kakwa Wildland Park. Both approaches require long trips with no facilities and are only recommended for the most experienced snowmobilers. The role of the Kakwa Management Plan is to ensure that legitimate wilderness recreational snowmobiling occurs.
Avalanche training is strongly recommended for any winter recreational activities in the park. If you plan to snowmobile in Kakwa Provincial Park you need to be prepared with emergency equipment as it is an isolated area and distances are great.
This protected area is located approximately 70 km north of McBride in British Columbia. The Kakwa Provincial Park can be accessed from McBride in B.C., Grand Prairie in Alberta, or by air charter. The closest communities, towns and cities are McBride, Prince George and Valemount.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.