Uniquely situated against the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and featuring several lakes with various recreational opportunities, Premier Lake Provincial Park is set up as a great RV camping destination. Located 12 km (7 miles) east of Skookumchuck, off Highway 95, British Columbia, this provincial park is a premier destination in East Kootenay for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, flora and nature observation, cycling, swimming, hunting, wildlife viewing, and photography.
Facilities and amenities available at Premier Lake Provincial Park include 57 RV campsites available on either reservation or first-come first-served basis, picnic areas, restrooms with showers, water taps, garbage stations, wheelchair accessible areas, playground, boat launch, and firewood.
Established in 1940, Premier Lake Provincial Park was named after Mr. William Smithe’s title, the Premier of British Columbia between 1883 to 1887. This site was used by the Ktunaxa (Kootenay) First Nations as a camping location and food fishery.
In addition to Premier Lake, this park features four smaller lakes: Canuck, Yankee, Cats Eye and Quartz. All these lakes are distinct and popular for their emerald green color.
Located 12 km (7 miles) east of Skookumchuck, off Highway 95, along paved and gravel roads, Premier Lake Provincial Park is accessible by RVs, trailers, and other motorized vehicles. The roads within the park are paved and connect the campground areas and points of interest. There are no driving restrictions within the park.
There are two parking areas for RVs, trailers, and cars in Premier Lake Provincial Park. One of the parking lots is located in the southern portion of Premier Lake Campground while the other campground is around the day-use area/dock. RV parking in the day-use parking lot is limited and on some busy days there may be no parking spaces available.
There are no public transportation services to Premier Lake Provincial Park.
Premier Lake Campground II in Premier Lake Provincial Park features 16 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. None of the campsites is equipped with RV hookups. RV length limit at the campground is 18 feet (6 m). Amenities in this part of the campground include restrooms, firewood, wheelchair accessible areas, picnic tables and fire grill, and a parking lot nearby.
All the campsites in this part of the campground are available on first-come first-served basis.
Premier Lake Campground I in Premier Lake Provincial Park features 41 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. None of the campsites is equipped with RV hookups. RV length limit at the campground is 32 feet (10 m), however RV vacationers with larger rigs can call the park ahead to find out if space is available. Amenities in this part of the campground include water taps, restrooms, firewood, Ball Diamond/Play Field, access to trailheads, picnic tables and fire grill.
22 campsites in this part of the campground are reservable, while the remaining 19 campsites are available on first-come first-served basis.
Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are popular activities in Premier Lake Provincial Park, particularly on Premier Lake. Two locations - the Rod and Gun day-use area, and the main boat launch adjacent to the campground, are launch sites for canoes, kayaks, and car-top boats. Hence RV campers can choose which of the two areas to begin their adventure. Launching of small watercraft on to Quartz Lake is via an access point on the lake at its northern end.
There is a boat speed restriction of 16 km/h (10 mph) at the south end of Premier Lake.
Premier Lake Provincial Park features scenic hiking trails that connect three lakes in the park – Yankee Lake, Canuck Lake, and Turtle Lake. The trails in the park are short and looped, offering easy hiking possibilities for RV campers and families to the three picturesque lakes. All hikers are advised to stay on designated trails and obey posted signs along the trails for their own safety. Furthermore, taking shortcuts is not recommended as it destroys soil structure and plant life.
Premier Lake Provincial Park features forests of Douglas fir that extend from the shoreline as well as Western larch which are more commonly found along the ridges in the park. These resplendent flora in the park exemplify East Kootenay ecosystems and provide scenic views for RV campers in the park.
Premier Lake Provincial Park is also rich in wildlife including elk, whitetail and mule deer, and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Birds in the park include osprey, eagle, king fisher, heron, forest birds and water fowl.
Premier Lake Provincial Park offers cycling opportunities for RV campers on all the park roadways and along the Yankee-Canuck Lakes Loop Trail. Along the Yankee-Canuck Lakes Loop Trail, cyclists are advised to exercise caution and practice ‘low impact cycling’. In other words, cyclists are asked to avoid using the trail in wet conditions, so as to minimize the occurrence of skidding. All cyclists are also required to have bicycle helmets while riding in the park.
Premier Lake Provincial Park offers RV campers the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the cool water of Premier Lake. Moreover, campers can enjoy enclosed swimming in the wharves, which has a small sandy beach. No lifeguards are on duty at the beaches in Premier Lake Provincial Park.
At certain periods during lawful game hunting seasons in Premier Lake Provincial Park, RV campers and visitors at the park are allowed to enjoy hunting for game in the park.