A convenient overnight camping spot for travellers on Highway 1, this is also a popular base camp for visitors enjoying river rafting, fishing, and exploring the Thompson River area.
Enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the Thompson Canyon and quiet strolls on the old Cariboo Wagon Road amongst the western mountain ranges. An introduced herd of elk thrives nearby.
Skihist Park was established in 1956. Back then most visitors to provincial parks camped in tents or small trailers. Camping methods have changed and the campsites have recently been reconstructed to provide accessible accommodation for the larger camping units used today.
Arrangements for guided river rafting trips may be made in Lytton or Spences Bridge.
The extremely hot, dry climate can result in over-exposure to the sun. Everyone in your party should wear sunscreen and a hat with a brim.
Wood ticks are most prevalent between March and June. These parasites reside in tall grass and low shrubbery and seek out warm-blooded hosts. Although they are potential carriers of disease, they are a natural part of the environment and can be easily avoided. Your legs should be protected by wearing trousers tucked into socks or gaiters. After outdoor activity, thoroughly examine yourself. Check your pets for ticks as well.
Roadways can be very busy. Whether you are walking, cycling, roller-blading, skateboarding or driving, please be careful. Always yield to the slowest mode of travel (e.g., cyclists yield to walkers). Obey all traffic regulations and rules of the road.
Quiet Hours are 10pm to 7am. Music, generators, etc. must be shut off completely between these hours.
Hibachis and campstoves can burn the picnic tables. Please do not use them on the tables.
Valuables when left unattended or at night, should be stored out of sight and locked up at all times. Please report all thefts to the park staff as soon as possible.
The speed limit within the park is 20km per hour or less.
Motorcycles and Bicyclesare permitted on park roads only. Motorcycles must be properly licenced and must be operated by a licenced driver only. Helmets must be worn. Unlicenced ATVs or dirt bikes are not permitted.
Parking is prohibited on the side of the road. Please park on the gravelled portion of your campsite or in designated parking spaces. Vehicles parked in day-use areas after 11pm may be ticketed or towed.
Consumption of alcohol is prohibited, except in your campsite.
Total number of campsites
Total vehicle-accessible sites: 58
This park offers vehicle-accessible campsites on a first come, first served basis. Campsite reservations are not accepted.
The campground of 58 sites is located on a hillside amidst a ponderosa pine forest. Previously, many sites consisted of two levels which limited the camping unit size. After recent campground reconstruction, most sites can now accommodate medium to large camping units. Four of the 58 sites are walk-in and will accommodate tents only. These sites have parking adjacent to the site and have constructed tent pads. Each site is shaded at some point throughout the day.
The entrance gate is locked from 11pm to 7am. During the camping season, overnight visitors can pay at the campground with a self registration system payable in cash only. Deposit cash in the envelope (change will be provided when attendant arrives if you do not have correct amount), fill out the information and place in the vault found at the information kiosk. Please detach the receipt portion and attach to the campsite number post. You may also pre-pay for firewood with your campsite self registration. Staff will be at the campground at least once a day during the camping season.
Lytton, 6km away, is the closest centre with amenities.
Vehicle-accessible camping fee
$23 per party per night
BC seniors’ rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)
$11.50 per senior party per night
For information on the BC seniors’ rate, see the camping fees page.
A sani-station and dump is available during the collecting season.
Sani-station use fee: $5 per discharge
Campers may bring their own firewood or purchase firewood at the park. Firewood can be purchased from the park facility operator in some parks or you can bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. You may pre-pay for firewood with your campsite self registration.
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. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small.
Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking. Please ensure that all barbeques or campstoves are used on the ground and not set on picnic tables.
Campfire bans may be in place. Before lighting a fire, check for bans or restrictions on BC Wildfire Service and on local or Indigenous government websites.
The day-use is located on the north side of Highway 1, directly across from the campground. There are 12 picnic tables located in a large grassy area surrounded by ponderosa pines offering lots of shade. Around the perimeter of the grass is a paved walkway which guides the visitor to a spectacular view of the Thompson River Canyon below. There is a paved perimeter trail allowing wheelchair access to some picnic tables. There is a water fountain, flush toilets and a pit toilet. Adjacent to the day-use area is a parking lot and a small area suitable for dog walking.
Campfires are not permitted in the day-use area. Please ensure that all barbeques or campstoves are used on the ground and not set on picnic tables.
Pit or flush toilets
There are three flush toilet buildings and three pit toilets in the campground.
There is one toilet building and an additional one pit toilet next to the sani-station at the campground entrance.
On the top loop of the campground there is a trailhead providing access to approximately 8km of hiking trails. These trails provide excellent views of the canyon and mountains as well as wildlife observation opportunities.
One trail leads to Gladwin Lookout, where goats may sometimes be viewed on the opposite hillside. This takes about one and a half hours round trip. The second trail is a loop above the campground bringing the hiker back out onto the Cariboo Wagon Road. This takes two to three hours.
Bears are known to frequent this area, so bring bear spray and make your presence known. Carry lots of water in this hot, dry climate. There is no water source on the trail.
There are kayaking opportunities on the Thompson River. Put-ins are located along Highway 1 and at Spences Bridge.
There are opportunities for fishing at various points along Highway 1. Visitors fish for trout, steelhead and salmon.
California big horn sheep, bears and elk may be sighted in the area. Bird watching is excellent. There are spectacular views of the Thompson River canyon from the campground and the day-use area.
Pets on leash
Pets and 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.
Adjacent to the day-use area is a parking lot and a small area suitable for dog walking.
Bicycling is allowed only on paved roads and designated trails in this park. Visitors can cycle around the park roads but keep in mind that the campground is located on the slope of a hill and cycling may be too difficult for some. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Skihist 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.
This park is situated above the Thompson River on Highway 1, 6km east of Lytton.
Skihist was established in 1956 mainly to provide overnight accommodation for travellers on Highway 1. The lush green lawns of Skihist have always invited travellers to stop and relax from the heat of the summer.
The park preserves a section of the historic Cariboo Wagon road. The starting point of the road was in Yale and construction of the road took place between 1862 and 1865. The road was a narrow, treacherous track winding along the cliffs of the canyon and allowed stagecoaches and freight wagons access to the BC interior. The road linked the gold fields of the Cariboo to Vancouver.
BC Parks uses prescribed burns as a conservation tool. The intense build-up of Ponderosa pine needles on the forest floor in Skihist park could contribute to a catastrophic fire, should one occur. The needles also change the PH balance of the soil, restricting growth of grasses and plants. Prescribed burns are used in the campground to eliminate the needle build-up and provide opportunities for new growth.
Which plants can you identify? This list will give you an idea of what species you might expect to see at the park. Print out the list, take it with you and see if you can spot them all! Good luck. View the list of plant species [PDF] .
An introduced herd of elk thrives in the local area. Goats have been spotted on nearby hillsides. There are many different species of birds to be found in Skihist Park. This list will give you an idea of what species you might expect to see there. Print out the list, take it with you and see if you can spot them all! Good luck. View the list of bird species [PDF] .
Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
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.