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Vehicle-accessible camping

Each of the campsites at Paarens Beach has a picnic table and fire ring. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. 

Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $22.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $11.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.

Long stay camping

Full Season. Please contact the Park Operator for information and to book one of these sites. 

Long-stay camping available. $90/week

Information on other parks participating in this program, or a link to the Long Stay Policy document, is available on the Frontcountry Camping Policies and Fees webpage.

Accessibility information

Accessibility information is available for this park.

Drinking water
Cold water taps are locate throughout the park. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
There is a playground with accessible features in the day-use/picnic area.
Boat launch
A concrete boat launch is located at the south end of the park. The park’s boat launch opens up for you the renowned fishing of the whole Stuart-Trembleur-Takla Lake chain, 180 km of some of the finest rainbow fishing in the province.

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.

Picnic areas
This park has a day-use/picnic area with picnic table tables, a playground, a change house and a log picnic shelter with tables and a wood stove. At 70 kilometres in length, Stuart Lake has a lot of shoreline to explore. Lots of sandy beach and a roped-off swimming area for the kids. Plenty of room for water sports with eight hundred metres of beachfront. Windsurfing is becoming a popular activity on Stuart lake. There are horsehsoe pitches, a volleyball net, and play equipment for kids, located in the grass field across from the beach.
Pit or flush toilets
This park only has pit toilets - no flush toilets.

Visitors can enjoy excellent hiking trails in this area and the splendid view of Stuart Lake from the top of Mount Pope, just northwest of the village of Fort St. James. 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.

Mount Pope

Undoubtedly the most popular hiking destination in the area is Mount Pope. From the 1472 metre summit the panoramic view of Fort St. James, Stuart Lake, and the snow-capped Omineca Mountains to the north is unbeatable. Although the first part is relatively steep (climbing 300 metres in elevation), the overall slope is roughly 13% with periodic viewpoints along the way. The entire elevation gain of the six-kilometre trail is 791 metres. Allow four to six hours for the return trip. 

The original trail was first established by the Carrier Indians. The local band would keep sentries on the mountain to watch the north end of Stuart Lake for war parties coming down from Babine Lake. According to Carrier legend a tribe of little people once lived in the mountain. After killing them all off in a war, the Carrier would offer gifts of salmon to the ghosts of the little people to ensure abundant salmon runs would continue. 

The mountain is named after Major Franklin L Pope. In 1865, while surveying a route for the Overland Telegraph to Siberia, Pope was separated from his Carrier guides and spent the night alone on the mountain. \

Tulle Lake 

Another interesting hike in the Fort St. James area is the Tulle Lake trail network featuring 15 kilometres of interconnecting trail to three lakes with good fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. For the extremely energetic hiker with extra time to spend the historic Nautley/Sowchea Pack Trail intersects the Tulle Lake trail system. This 45 kilometre trail was used for generations as an early trade route between villages on Fraser and Stuart lakes. 

The relative flat of the Nechako Plateau gives way to the rolling hills around Fort St. James. Mount Pope (1472 metres) overlooks Stuart Lake to the west and signals the beginning of the Omineca Mountains rising to the north. 

The beach area provides excellent swimming and sunbathing opportunities. There are 800 metres of natural sandy beach with a roped-off swimming area for children. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are opportunities for canoeing or kayaking in this park; however, boaters are cautioned to keep a close eye on the weather as Stuart Lake is subject to sudden heavy winds that can transform the lake surface into dangerous whitecaps.

Part of the Fraser River watershed, the Stuart-Takla chain of waterways is famous for its fishing. Twenty pound rainbow trout, lake char, and dolly varden can all be taken from Stuart Lake. Ling cod (burbot) and kokanee are also popular. A 27 pound rainbow and a 35 pound char have been reported out of Takla Lake as well. There are many smaller lakes within an hours drive of Fort St. James holding rainbow, whitefish, char, or kokanee. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.

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.
Although Paarens Beach does not have any mountain biking opportunities within the park, the sport is gaining in popularity around the Fort St. James area. A small handout is available locally which can direct you to several popular mountain bike routes. Ask about the Whitefish Bay or Teardrop Road circuits. For the adventuresome biker the historic Nautley/Sowchea Pack Trail has recently been opened up. This 45 kilometre trail was used for generations as an early trade route between villages on Fraser and Stuart Lakes.

Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Paarens Beach Provincial Park. 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.

With a 70 km long lake and a good boat launch in the park, there are excellent waterskiing opportunities.
Windsurfing is becoming very popular in this park with the 70 km long lake.