Encompassing 728 hectares (2.81 square miles), Paul Lake Provincial Park can be found within a mixed forest of Douglas-fir, pine and aspen in British Columbia. The park, which was established in 1961, can be found southwest of Heffley Lake and to the northeast of Kamloops.
It is said that the lake is named for Jean Baptiste Lolo, who was also known as St. Paul or Chief Paul and who was an interpreter at Fort Kamloops. He was viewed as a chief by the local Secwepemc people, though he was of Iroquis and French-Canadian origin. The park is a popular destination, with plenty of recreation opportunities available throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy a hike, swim in the lake, relax on the beach and explore the lake by boat. Fishing is also a popular activity, with the lake stocked with Rainbow trout. In addition, there are a myriad of attractions in the area for tourists to visit.
About a half hour drive from Kamloops, Paul Lake Provincial Park is a perfect place to steer your RV toward for your next adventure, regardless of the time of year that you are traveling.
To travel to Paul Lake Provincial Park from Kamloops, take BC-5 N for 2.6 km (1 mile). Then, take Paul Lake Rd for 19.9 km (12.64 miles) and turn right to enter the park.
Parking is available throughout Paul Lake Provincial Park.
Public transportation is not available to Paul Lake Provincial Park.
Paul Lake Campground is the perfect home base for your adventure at Paul Lake Provincial Park. With 90 individual campsites set among trees, RV’s and trailers up to 32 feet long can be accommodated. Each site includes a picnic table and a fire pit and toilets are located throughout the campground. Since the gate to the park is locked between 11pm and 7am, you won’t have to worry about late arrivals interrupting your relaxation time at your campsite. Campsites are able to be reserved and are also available on a first-come, first served basis. Set up your RV, trailer or tent and relax in this serene location.
If you are seeking a place for a large get-together, consider the Paul Lake Group Site at Paul Lake Provincial Park. Able to accommodate anywhere from 15-50 individuals, as well as 20 tents and five RV’s, the group site is ideal for gatherings in a beautiful setting. The group site includes a large grassy area, a hand pump for water and a picnic shelter among trees. The group site is close to the lake, offering easy access to the water recreation offered by the park. The site is able to be reserved from April 1 to October 29. Consider this location for your next event and experience the beauty of the park with other individuals in your life.
With more than 7 km (4.61 miles) of hiking trails, stretch your legs and explore Paul Lake Provincial Park on foot. From one of the trails, you can explore the lakeshore up through a mature forest of Douglas-fir trees, traveling to the top of Gibralter Rock (a 900-meter or 2952 foot increase in elevation). Upon reaching the summit, you will be treated to amazing views of the lake and Harper mountain and may even catch a glimpse of ospreys, swallows and the white-throated swift. The last 300 meters is steep, offering an opportunity to get your blood pumping as you take in the scenery. There is also a nature trail and an alternative route to the summit from the campground.
Another popular activity at Paul Lake Provincial Park is swimming. A dip in the lake will help you to cool off after a hike or time playing on the park’s 400 meters (1312 feet) of sandy beach. Marker buoys designate the area available for swimming (boaters must remain outside of this area). Swimming is at your own risk, as there are no lifeguards at the Provincial Parks. Paul Lake Provincial Park offers an open-air shower so that it is easy to rinse off after your swim, and changing rooms and washrooms are available. Enjoy a quick dip or relax in the cool water as you take in the park’s natural setting.
During your visit to Paul Lake Provincial Park, take the time to get out on the lake and explore the park by water. Boat rentals are available at the park (check in with the Park Operator or Host for information) and canoeing and kayaking opportunities are available. Make sure to bring along your fishing pole; while out on the water, you can try casting a line as the lake is stocked with rainbow trout. Make sure to obtain an appropriate fishing license before getting started!
During the winter when there is snow on the ground you will still find ample opportunity to enjoy Paul Lake Provincial Park. Bring along your cross-country skis and dress in layers. The park’s trails can be explored on skis and doing so will provide you with a whole different perspective of the park as you view it blanketed in snow. Bring along a thermos with a hot drink or soup that you can enjoy during a break or after you finish skiing.
An excellent activity to engage in during the winter months is snowshoeing. Preparing is easy; all you have to do is dress in layers (including a pair of warm socks), and strap on your snowshoes. Then, you are good to go. Stomp around on the park’s trails as you explore the park in its winter glory. Enjoy viewing trees in the forest that are covered in snow while you get a good workout. Keep in mind that there are no facilities open in the park during the winter months so bring all that you will need with you.
Less than a 30-minute drive from Paul Lake Provincial Park is the city of Kamloops. Home to around 90,000 people, Kamloops has plenty to see and do. When visiting Paul Lake Provincial Park during the winter, you can also enjoy a quick trip to the city to explore and even go skiing at the nearby Sun Peaks Resort. The resort includes a ski and snowboard hill, as well as a cross country ski area. After you ski or snowboard, stop for something warm and to relax at a restaurant in the city.