Kokanee Creek Provincial Park is situated in the Slocan range of the Selkirk Mountains and borders the West Arm of Kootenay Lake 19 kms (12 mi) from Nelson on Highway 3A. With 257 hectares, this park has over a kilometre of sandy beaches and a large delta area. It protects the active alluvial creek fan with its marshes and extensive sandspit. Kokanee Creek bisects the landscape to form a steep canyon that can be viewed from an observation platform.
Kokanee, the Sinixt name for the red fish that swim upstream to spawn, has been a West Kootenay landmark popular with tourists and locals alike ever since. When staying at the park there is always something to do with a network of walking and hiking trails in and around the park, two adventure playgrounds, the Kokanee Visitor Centre, Kokanee spawning channel, boat launch and of course some required beach time. And that is just within the park boundary!
There are 4 campgrounds in the park to choose from:
Sandspit is the main campground offering large treed sites, paved roads, showers, flush toilets and waters stands throughout where you can fill up with fresh drinking water.
Friends Campground is where you will find 14 electrical sites in stalls suitable for small to large trailers. There are also a mix of open campsites, some are reserve, some are first come / first serve.
Redfish Campground is all first come, first serve beautifully treed sites along Kokanee Creek.
For those travelling with a large group or for special functions, Kokanee has two large group sites that must be reserved through the Discover Camping website.
The Kokanee Creek Visitor Centre is located beside the Kokanee Spawning channel – built in the mid-1970s to encourage an appreciation of nature and to educate campers and residents on the unique ecosystems plus the importance of good environmental stewardship in the preservation of the park.
Supported by the West Kootenay Eco Society, the Columbia Basin Trust, BC Parks, the local park operators and a variety of donors, the Visitor Centre is open for the peak summer months. There is a small concession that sells coffee, baked goods and ice cream treats. WiFi is available.
While most of the sites at Kokanee are in the Discover Camping Reservation system, there are still a number of first come / first serve sites.