The 30,688-acre (12,419 ha) Nazko Lake Provincial Park is located on the Chilcotin Plateau in British Columbia. Nazko Lake is a wilderness park and provides its visitors with a rustic camping experience. The park was once managed by the Forest Service as a canoe route only. It became a park in 1995 due to the recommendations from the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan. Wildfires ravished the park in 2017, causing it to close for a period of time. It reopened in 2019.
The 12-mile (20 km) canoe chain is a feature that draws visitors to the park. The chain spans six of the park’s lakes and canoeists will enjoy seeing the different shorelines of each lake as well as the many animals that reside in the park. Fishing and hunting are popular activities as well, but visitors should check regulations and licensing requirements in advance of their stay. Many different types of wildlife may be observed in the park from the endangered American White Pelican to mule deer and moose.
Nazco Lake Provincial Park is open year-round. There are three rustic camping areas in the park, as well as walk-in sites off of the canoe trail. The park is rarely serviced and is mostly user maintained. Park guests should clear all trash and take it with them when they leave the park. Pets are allowed but must be leashed and kept under control. The campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis only.
Nazko Lake Provincial Park is located on the northern end of the Chilcotin Plateau. In a remote location, visitors coming to the park will feel away from it all. The small village of Alexis Creek is about a 31-mile (50 km) drive from Nazko Lake.
There are two routes into the park, both of which are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles. The main route is a dirt road which can become muddy and slippery when wet. During rainy weather, the alternate route is recommended. Use headlights if taking this secondary route as it is an active logging road.
While two-wheel drive vehicles should have no issues reaching the park, it is not advisable to go beyond Deerpelt Lake. The park and roads are unsuitable for large RVs and travel trailers.
There are three rustic campgrounds that are located off of Deerpelt, Summit, and Loomis lakes. Note that Loomis and Summit lakes aren’t part of the canoe chain. There are no hookups or potable water within the park, so bring extra supplies for your stay.
The campsites do have picnic tables as well as a campfire ring. While campfires are permitted, it is encouraged to limit use to conserve wood as well as the environment. There are pit toilets near the campsites. Additional walk-in campsites are located along the canoe chain.
The park is mostly user maintained, so be sure to clear and take any trash with you. During your stay put away and secure any trash or food. Garbage and leftover food may attract black bears causing problems for you and other campers.
The park is open year-round. You’ll want to check road and weather conditions prior to heading out during the winter months. The park does not take reservations. Campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis only.
Cycling is permitted at the park, however, cyclists must stay on the roadways only to help protect the park and environment. While out cycling, stop to explore the lakes and different topographies of each ranging from rocky shores to thick forests. You’re bound to see wildlife while out cycling and if encountered, be sure to keep a safe distance.
Hunting is permitted at the park throughout most of the year with the exception of July through August. Mule deer and waterfowl are commonly hunted, though there are many other types of animals that draw hunters to the area as well. Review all hunting regulations and ensure you have any necessary licensing prior to your visit.
Nazko Lake is home to many different types of wildlife. The endangered American White Pelican frequents the park from spring to fall, though it does not nest there. Birdwatchers will also enjoy catching the sight of bald eagles and loons. While on the canoe chain or near the lake shores, visitors may spot a river otter or beaver. Mule deer and moose may be seen grazing near the forest.
The six portage trails along the canoe chain are perfect for enjoying short hikes to explore the area around each lake. The trails range from .01 miles (20 meters) to half a mile (800 meters). These trails are marked with white diamonds at each end. While out hiking, stay on the designated trail.
Anglers will enjoy visiting the park during the springtime. The spring months provide the greatest fishing opportunity for rainbow trout. For those planning to fish from a boat, there is a car-top boat launch at Nazko Lake. A fishing license is required, so don’t forget to pack yours or stop to pick one up along the way.
One of the popular features at Nazko Lake is the canoe chain. This chain has over 12 miles (20 km) of waterways to explore and spans through 6 of the park’s lakes. Canoeists will enjoy seeing the different shorelines of each lake from rocky cliffs to forests. There are portages along the chain, but they’re easy to hike and most are marked. It is recommended to park at Deerpelt Lake to access the canoe chain using a path down to the lake. There is no boat launch at Deerpelt Lake.