Featuring beautiful beaches, exciting fishing opportunities and great camping amenities, Steelhead Provincial Park is an RV lover's paradise. The modern history of the park dates back to when the First Nations people began fishing in the area over 10,000 years ago and they are still very involved in protection and interpretation of heritage sites and artifacts in and around the park. The current site of the park is one of the oldest homesteads in the southern interior of British Columbia and there are many historic buildings and a cemetery still located on site.
Officially opened in 1995, Steelhead Provincial Park is a hub of activity during the summertime. Visitors to the park have the chance to go swimming, boating, fishing, windsurfing and waterskiing. Off the lake you can also have a picnic, explore the trails and view the local wildlife.
Before its life as a provincial park, there was a private campground on the grounds of Steelhead Provincial Park. Because of this, RV lovers will be able to connect to both water and electrical hookups during their stay, which is a very special feature that is not common in British Columbia provincial parks. All 44 campsites at Steelhead Campground on a first-come, first-served basis only so no reservations are accepted at any time.
Steelhead Provincial Park is located in the southern region of British Columbia Island and is situated right off the Trans-Canada Highway. The park has one entry and exit point and finding the park is very easy since the entrance road is an exit off the highway.
While there are some small towns located near the park, most of the services and amenities that you may need to access are in the city of Kamloops (around 29 miles or 47kms). Because of this we recommend stopping into the city on the way to the park rather than driving out to the lake and then trying to find stores. Some of the small towns close to Steelhead Provincial Park include Savonai (around one and half miles or three kms away), Walhachin (around 11 miles or 19kms away) and Ashcroft (around 29 miles or 47kms). The closest city to the park is Nanaimo, which is around 59 miles (95km) to the east.
Accessing the park is extremely easy as the road into the park is right off the highway. The campground is a little different to most parks in British Columbia as there are little to no trees within the campground, which means you will have no trouble with overhanging branches damaging your RV. During the winter the park gate is closed so you will not be able to drive your RV into the park.
There is plenty of parking at Steelhead Provincial Park.
There are no transportation options that will take you to Steelhead Provincial Park.
Steelhead Campground is the only campground at Steelhead Provincial Park and is unique as it used to be a private campground before the park was created. Because of this, the campground is set up more like a traditional RV park where there are wide open spaces throughout the campground that gives you little to no privacy from your neighbors.
Despite the lack of privacy at the campground there are some great amenities, including 10 out of the 44 campsites having the option to connect to both water and power hookups while a further 22 also overlook the lake. Other amenities include multiple water collection points, campfire rings and clean showers. 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.
Sites at Steelhead Campground are only available on a first come, first served basis and no reservations are allowed. Because of this we recommend calling the park office before you begin your journey to get an update on how many sites are taken. Steelhead Campground is open from May until mid-October.
There is no better way to spend a hot summer day at Steelhead Provincial Park than by cooling off in the lovely waters of Kamloops Lake. The lake is known for having warm water and the sandy beach is also great for sun bathing. There are no marked swimming areas on the lake but please be aware that it does flow out to the river so there may be strong currents at certain times. There are also no lifeguards on duty so remember to swim to your ability.
Along with exploring the waters of Kamloops Lake you can also grab your watercraft and explore what's on top. There are several different boating options for visitors to the park, including paddling, windsurfing and waterskiing. One of the most popular boating activities to do is to canoe or kayak from Steelhead Park to Cache Creek. If you want to launch a large boat you will have to do so in the town of Savona but there is a small launch for canoes, kayaks and car-top boats.
If you want to have a picnic during your visit to Steelhead Provincial Park we recommend that you check out the day-use facilities. Here you will find 10 picnic tables available on a first come, first saved basis and they are located right near the river. Please note that there is very little shade at the day-use area so make sure you are prepared for the sun by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen.
If you love to fish then you are in luck as Kamloops Lake is one of the premier fishing destinations in North America. Fishing from the shoreline is very popular, as is taking out a boat and casting out in some harder to reach places. There is a wide variety of fish caught in the lake, including rainbow trout, salmon and of course steelhead. All people fishing in British Columbia must have a fishing license if they wish to try their luck at catching the big one.
The Kamloops area is a very popular hiking destination due to the incredible views over the lake and wide open spaces. While there are no super long trails within Steelhead Provincial Park there are many short trails that will allow you the chance to explore around the lake or through the opens that the park encompasses. If you do choose to explore, please note that you must keep to the designated trails to avoid destroying plant life and soil structure.
Despite the park being limited in terms of forested areas there are still some birds to be spotted if you are a keen birder. Some of the more frequent areas that birds are spotted are down by the lake and on some of the small trails near the campground. Common species seen include pine siskin, American robin, bald eagle, peregrine falcon and the common merganser. If you do want to do some birding at the park please bring your own binoculars as none are available to rent from the park office.