Skagit Valley Provincial Park
Guide

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Introduction

Featuring one of the largest wilderness clusters in Canada and offering some fantastic camping and recreational activities, Skagit Valley Provincial Park is a perfect destination for RV lovers. Located close to the US and Canadian border, the land in and around Skagit Valley has a rich cultural history that dates back to when First Nations people were using the Skagit Valley around 8000 years ago. Captain Walter de Lacy of the US Army started the modern history of the park when he founded the Whatcom Trail, which followed the Skagit River and Snass Creek to the Dewdney Trail.

The park is a dream for nature lovers due to its enormous size (approximately 69100 acres or 279.64 sqkm) and it features coastal and interior forest types that includes mature and second-growth stands. As you could imagine due to the size of the park, there are thousands of animals, wildflowers, shrubs, trees and many different bodies of water that you can explore during your stay. Some of the animals to keep an eye out for include deer, black bear, cougar, coyote, grey wolf, beaver, chipmunk and marten.

For visitors looking to participate in recreational activities you have a wide range of options, including swimming, hiking, paddling, horseback riding, picnicking, birding and fishing.

There are three campgrounds within the Skagit Valley, including two that are RV friendly. Ross Lake Campground is the largest of the two with 88 sites available while Silvertip is known for being more of a primitive camping experience. Peak season at Skagit Valley Provincial Park is from May until October.

RV Rentals in Skagit Valley Provincial Park

Transportation in Skagit Valley Provincial Park

Driving

Skagit Valley Provincial Park is located in the southern region of British Columbia and extends to the US/Canada border. The park has one entry and exit point that you can find off Highway One by taking Silver Skagit Road.

Since Skagit Valley Provincial Park is so remote it is a great idea to make sure that you stock up on supplies or visit any amenities you need to while you are on Highway One. There are no towns within an hour of the park gate; you really will feel like you are in the middle of nowhere when you visit the park, because you are! The closest towns to the park are Hope (around 30 miles or 49kms away), Choate (around 37 miles or 61kms away) and Sunshine Valley (around 42 miles or 69kms). Chilliwack is the closest city to the park and is located around 58 miles (94kms) to the west.

Accessing the park can be difficult depending on the time of year that you decide to visit. During the summer time the roads are kept in better condition but during the winter you may struggle to make it to the main area of the park due to snowfall and the roads not being cleared. If you are traveling in winter make sure you call the park office before you depart to make sure that access will be available.

Parking

There is plenty of parking at Skagit Valley Provincial Park.

Public Transport

There are no public transport options that will take you to Skagit Valley Provincial Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Skagit Valley Provincial Park

Campsites in Skagit Valley Provincial Park

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Silvertip Campground

Ross Lake Campground is the smaller of the two campgrounds at Skagit Valley Provincial Park and is located closer to the entrance to the park in comparison to the Ross Lake Campground. Silvertip is known to be a cozier campground with not as many amenities available to visitors.

The campground can be found on the river side of the park when driving towards the end of Silver Skagit Road. The campground is pet friendly and those staying here will have easy access to the Skagit River.

There are no online or phone reservations available for the campground so it is a first come, first serve only location. If you are looking to stay at Silvertip Campground we recommend that you call ahead to the park office to make sure that it is open for camping during the period that you will be visiting the park.

Alternate camping

Ross Lake Campground

Ross Lake Campground is the largest of the two campgrounds at Skagit Valley Provincial Park and is also the most popular for those traveling in an RV. The campground is located right near Ross Lake so you will have easy access to the beach and the sites are wide, flat and offer privacy from other neighboring campers.

In total there are 88 sites available, all of which are primitive. Other amenities in the campground include multiple water collection points, toilet blocks, a playground and dump station access. The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get cell phone service on all of the major providers within the campground.

Since the campground is a popular destination due to its proximity to the lake we recommend that you book a reservation in advance before you begin your journey to the park. Along with reservable sites there are also some available on a first come, first served basis. Camping at Two Rivers Campground is available from May until October.

Seasonal activities in Skagit Valley Provincial Park

In-Season

Picnicking

Skagit Valley Provincial Park has a day-use/picnic area for visitors to enjoy at International Point, which is located at Ross Lake Campground on Ross Lake. The day-use/picnicking area has some great amenities, including pit toilets, newer picnic tables and parking. Please note that at the picnic area there are no barbecue attachments on the picnic tables and no campfire rings available. If you do picnic in the park make sure you have packed your own supplies.

Interpretive Programs

Visitors to Skagit Valley Provincial Park during the peak season are very lucky as there are some great interpretive programs available free of charge for you to experience. The programs are run by the park rangers are are in collaboration with North Cascades National Park and are advertised as being international interpretive programs. Most of the events are held at the International Point Amphitheater and range from things such as forest exploration, fire effects and woodpeckers.

Swimming

One of the most popular activities in the summer time at Skagit Valley Provincial Park is to go for a dip in Ross Lake. The lake has a lovely sandy beach for you to enjoy and it is also great for relaxing on once you have finished your swimming. There is no roped-off swimming area at the park, no lifeguards on duty and water levels do fluctuate so take care when entering and exiting the water.

Off-Season

Wildlife Viewing

As you could imagine Skagit Valley Provincial Park is an amazing wildlife destination due to the combination of various ecosystems and thousands of human-less acres. When looking for animals in the park keep an eye out deer, black bear, cougar, coyote, grey wolf, beaver, chipmunk and marten. Bird lovers will also be happy as over 200 different species of birds frequent the area in and around the park. These include the great blue heron, the kingfisher, eagles, owls and migratory mountain bluebirds.

Hiking

Hiking lovers rejoice! Due to the large size of Skagit Valley Provincial Park there are nearly two dozen hiking trails that you have the option to explore. These trails have a wide variance that will suit hikers of all ages and abilities and can last from as little as 20 minutes all the way up to six hours. For more information on specific trails and what the current conditions of each individual trail is in we recommend that you check out the park website.

Fishing

Ross Lake is a fantastic fishing destination that attracts anglers from all over who are looking to land the big one. The most popular species of fish caught in the lake is Rainbow Trout, which is a native species. Fishing can be done from the shoreline or from watercraft and a single wide cement boat launch is available to use at Ross Lake campground. Before you cast a line make sure that you have a British Columbia fishing license and check out the park rules and regulations.

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