This park is the safest harbour on Kootenay Lake where boaters often gather to weather out the summer storms. The water is warm in the bay for swimming and some of the best fishing for trophy “gerrard” trout is nearby. There is an extensive network of hiking trails through the park and along the Pilot Peninsula. It is an easy walk to the historic Pilot Bay lighthouse which has been restored by area volunteer groups. Primarily marine accessed, the park can be reached by road.
Use is restricted to small pleasure craft only. Mooring buoys do not have the capacity to accommodate large vessels.
Pilot Bay and Sawmill Cove are used as a domestic water supply.
Discharge or dumping of sewage is not permitted and is punishable by law.
(Canadian Shipping Act – SOR/91-661)
(Park Act – RSB 1996 CHAPTER 344 SECTION 14)
For further information, contact:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 604 666-0384
or the Ministry of Environment at 250 387-1161
There are backcountry campsites in the park, but no facilities are provided. This park is user-maintained and you must pack out what you pack in and follow Leave No Trace ethics.
Fees for overnight camping apply year-round.
Backcountry camping fee: $5 per person per night (age 6+)
The BC Parks backcountry permit registration service allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home. Although this does not reserve a campsite, it provides the convenience of prepaying for your 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 available in this park – fees apply.
This park has a day-use/picnic area.
This park only has pit toilets; no flush toilets.
Campfires are allowed in the park. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t 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. Please bring a portable stove for cooking.
Excellent moderate year-round hiking in and around this park. Check our Trail Report [PDF] for bear and/or safety information. 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.
There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are opportunities for canoeing or kayaking in this park on Kootenay Lake.
Some of the best fishing for trophy “Gerrard” trout is nearby. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
There is no viewing platform but there are several natural viewing areas along the lake.
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times. 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 waterskiing opportunities on Kootenay Lake.
There are windsurfing opportunities on Kootenay Lake.
Off Hwy 3A, Balfour BC; a 10 minute drive south of Kootenay Bay ferry terminal. The closest community is Crawford Bay.
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.