Tunkwa Provincial Park is a beautiful and primitive park located in Logan Lake, British Columbia. Before Tunkwa Provincial Park became a popular place for camping and recreation, its primary purpose was to support, protect, and conserve the area’s fragile landscape. The park is home to many species of fish and wildlife, and the animals thrive in the park’s wetlands, grasslands, and forested areas. The natural environment continues to flourish because of the park’s ongoing conservation efforts, and today, the park is a blend of conservation and recreation, bringing visitors to the facilities from locations both near and far.
Tunkwa Provincial Park is known for its unique campgrounds featuring informal campsites that don’t follow the traditional structure of most provincial parks and campgrounds. All of the campgrounds support both individual camping and group camping. The group camping areas are large areas of land providing groups the flexibility to arrange themselves how they see fit within the given space. The flex space and the individual campsites weave seamlessly through the designated campgrounds giving visitors the feeling of camping in the wild. The campgrounds are open during the park’s extended operational dates, offering more shoulder season camping opportunities for people who like to camp during the less crowded times of the year.
Although the campgrounds close during the colder months of the year, people come to Tunkwa Provincial Park year-round. The off-season activities like hunting, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, birding, wildlife watching, and snowmobiling are almost as popular as the seasonal activities. No matter what time of year you visit, you will experience and enjoy some of the region’s simplistic and natural beauty.
Tunkwa Provincial Park is located 206 miles (333 km) northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The route takes drivers over mountain passes, some which may have sharp turns, steep climbs, and long downgrades. The drive is mainly highway until you reach Logan Lake. The last ten miles from Logan Lake to Tunkwa Provincial Park is on an unpaved road. If you are driving an RV or towing, take proper precautions by monitoring weather conditions and slowing your speed if necessary.
Once you arrive at the park, find a campsite, and set up your camp for the night. The park staff monitors the campgrounds and will collect payment when they pass through. Staff members stop by each campground at least one time a day. If you arrive outside of the park’s operational hours, follow the same procedure. Tunkwa Provincial Park does not lock its gates overnight.
British Columbia’s provincial parks do not asses daily parking fees, but there may be fees for areas of interest within the park. These fees are additional costs on top of the overnight camping fee.
The Leighton Campground is a first-come, first-served campground that permits camping during the park’s primary operating season. It is separated into two sections, Leighton and Leighton North camping areas. The campground is pet-friendly and offers informal-style camping. Campers may choose either individual campsites or group campsites that allow up to four groups of campers clustered together. Many sites accommodate RVs and trailers over 60 feet in length. All of the sites are unserviced and have fire pits and picnic tables. Campers who want to have a fire should bring wood or purchase wood from the park operator. The park operator monitors all three campgrounds and is in each campground one time a day. The campground has vault toilets and pumps for drinking water. There isn’t a dump or fill station, so you will need to take care of your tanks before and after visiting the park. In British Columbia, generator use is only permitted between the hours of 9:00 am to 11:00 am and from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The Tunkwa Campground is a pet-friendly, first-come, first-served campground that permits camping during the park’s primary operating season. It is the largest campground, and it is close to Tunkwa Lake and one of the park’s two day-use areas. The Tunkwa Campground is structured like the Leighton camping areas, but the Tunkwa campground doesn’t have drinking water taps. The informal camping area has places for individual and group campers. The sites are big, with some spaces accommodating RVs and trailers over 60 feet in length. There are no electrical sites, but there are fire rings and picnic tables to help create the camping atmosphere. Campers who want to have a fire should bring wood or purchase wood from the park operator. The park operator monitors all three campgrounds and is in each campground one time a day. The campground’s only amenity is the vault toilet. There isn’t a dump or fill station, so you will need to take care of your tanks before and after visiting the park. In British Columbia, generator use is only permitted between the hours of 9:00 am to 11:00 am and from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Are you an RVer with a toy hauler? Tunkwa Provincial Park is the perfect location to camp and ride off-road vehicles like four-wheelers or dirt bikes. The campsites at the park are big enough to fit even the largest toy haulers, so bringing your gear with you won’t be a problem. Although the park prohibits riding ATVs on park roads and campground roads, there are all-terrain trails near the north end of the park close to the Leighton Campground. The proximity of the ATV staging area to the campground will help jumpstart your day out on the trails. If you plan on riding an ATV, come prepared with your safety equipment!
Campers looking for family-friendly activities that mix light exercise with nature should walk the trails around Tunkwa and Leighton Lakes. The park’s trail system is relatively easy with pathways leading to viewpoints overlooking the water. The trails connect in a 2.6 mile (4.3 km) circuit that traverses around the water, through the campgrounds, and next to some of the wetland areas. Because much of the trail is not shaded, hikers should prepare for the full sun by bringing sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water.
The two lakes, Tunkwa Lake and Leighton Lake, are both popular bodies of water for paddlers and boaters. Both lakes permit small motorized boats and encourage slower speeds and quiet engines to preserve the sounds of nature while maintaining a peaceful environment for other paddlers or anglers. Tunkwa Lake restricts boat motors to a maximum of 10 horsepower, and both lakes prefer slower, trolling speeds. Bring your boats to either of the boat launches to access the water. Both lakes have gravel launches making it easy to get into the water quickly.
Wildlife viewing is an activity that makes people of all ages giddy with excitement. Even though park guests know there is a possibility of spotting wildlife during their stay at Tunkwa Provincial Park, when an animal appears, it doesn’t diminish the feeling of seeing an animal in its natural habitat. The park’s wetland and grassland landscapes create the ideal habitat for birds and waterfowl like Canadian geese, mallards, snipes, and mountain bluebirds. Small yellow-bellied marmots are especially prevalent in the park because they favor tall grasses and rock piles, the type of landscape that is abundant at Tunkwa Provincial Park. If larger animal sightings are more to your liking, don’t worry, moose, white-tailed deer, and mule deer wander through the campground and wetland areas frequently.
Anglers love both Tunkwa and Leighton Lakes because they are popular trout fishing areas. Both lakes offer excellent fishing conditions, but Tunkwa Lake is one of the top ten provincial rainbow trout fisheries, so there are generally more anglers searching for their next big catch on Tunkwa Lake. People may fish from fishing boats, canoes, or the shoreline and all anglers must clean their fish in the water since the park doesn't have a fish-cleaning station. Before heading to the water, ensure you come prepared with the appropriate British Columbia fishing license.
During the winter, the park’s roads and hiking trails become a favorite place for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The flat terrain winding through the campgrounds and around the lake helps support ideal snowshoeing and cross country skiing conditions as long as there is enough snow on the ground. The ATV trails located near the north end of the park, near the Leighton Campground, become snowmobile trails during the winter. The well-plowed roads, as well as the snowmobile staging area, support snowmobiling, so there isn’t much to get in the way of having a day of snow-filled fun. The park doesn’t have winter rentals, so all winter recreation seekers should come prepared with the equipment needed to have a safe and exciting day in the snow.