The Champion Lakes are a series of three small lakes that form the headwaters of Landis Creek, which flows northward to join Champion Creek, a tributary of the Columbia River. This 1,408-hectare park sits at about 1,000 metres above sea-level, between the Columbia River and Beaver Creek in the Bonnington Range of the Selkirk Mountains. The largest of the three lakes (1,500 metres long) lies at the centre of the park, while the two smaller lakes (800 metres long) lie in the east and west portions.
Surrounding vegetation is typical of the moist Interior cedar-hemlock biogeoclimatic zone, including stands of alpine fir and yellow pine, which do not normally grow in the same vicinity of each other. The park provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, black bears, porcupines, snowshoe hares, pikas and beavers. Birdlife is just as diverse, with nighthawks, Canada jays, grouse, belted kingfishers, woodpeckers, chickadees, western tanagers and Oregon juncos. In the spring and fall, migrating waterfowl rest on the Champion Lakes during their exhausting journeys north and south.
Open May to September, Champion Lakes Provincial Park offers excellent fishing, two beaches, many miles of hiking trails, weekend interpretation programs, and an adventure playground.
There are some hiking trails connecting the lakes and leading to the Lookout, offering views of the surrounding natural scenery. Just outside the park are some trails that are suitable for mountain biking in the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. A local Ski Club maintains tracks in the Park throughout the winter months.
Canoeing and kayaking is popular on the lakes, but powerboats are prohibited. 3rd lake boat launch is a single launch site with a concrete plank ramp. It has a 15-vehicle boat/trailer parking area and vehicles/trailers can be left over night. 2nd Lake boat launch is a rustic, gravel single launch site with parking available above the site. The site can accommodate 15 vehicles/boat trailers. Due to its remoteness it is not recommended to leave vehicles/trailers overnight.
A children’s playground is located at the west end of the third lake. For those who like to get away from it all in a civilized fashion, a golf course can be reached in five minutes.
The chain of three small lakes that make up the Champion Lakes has been regularly stocked with rainbow trout since the 1930s, and makes for very good fishing. Development is concentrated around the third lake, which has deep, clear water and a regular shoreline. The others remain in their natural states. The third and second lakes have trout up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length, which will rise to the fly or trolling spoon, and to the persistent angler, the first lake will yield fish up to 12 inches (30 cm) in length.
There are 95 vehicle accessible sites, 13 of those are doubles. There are no pull through sites however the campground has an even mix of small to large sites and can accommodate large recreational vehicles. Approximately 10 of the vehicle accessible sites have tent pads with 8 sites designed for tenters only.. Basic facilities and a sani-station are provided. Some facilities are wheelchair accessible. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: May 15 – September 6. There are no pay phones in the park and the closest store is in Fruitvale.
Champion Lakes Provincial Park is located in the Kootenays region of British Columbia, 12.5 miles (20 km) northeast of Trail and 11 miles (18 km) northwest of Fruitvale, off Highway 3B, just west of the junction with the Crowsnest Highway 3.
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