Premier Lake Provincial Park is situated within the Hughes Range of the Rockies, encompassing 5 emerald green lakes – Premier, Canuck, Yankee, Cat’s Eye and Quartz. Fishing is the premier attraction at Premier Lake Provincial Park and offers great angling for trout, eastern brook, and Gerrard rainbow. The Kootenay Fish Hatchery collects trout eggs from these lakes, and the Fish and Wildlife Branch has a fish trap here with an interpretive display. Over 350 lakes throughout BC are stocked with Premier Lake fish.
Ktunaxa Indians were the first to inhabit the region, using the area to camp, hunt and fish, as evidenced by several archaeological sites throughout the park. Surrounding forests consist mainly of Douglas fir, with western larch common along the ridges and cottonwood and aspen edging the park’s wetter areas. The park also provides habitat for bears, cougars, elk, deer and bighorn sheep. Birdlife including ospreys, eagles, herons and king fishers also live here. Signs along Staples Creek and a viewing platform at the fish ladder, interpret the life cycle of lake trout and the valued work of the Kootenay Trout Hatchery.
An endless choice of activities takes you away from the rush of modern living. Enjoy swimming, canoeing, kayaking and hiking. There are many rewarding and beautiful hikes on the recreation trails throughout the park. Premier Lake has 152 miles of sandy beach – perfect for swimming. Premier and Quartz Lakes are accessible by vehicle, however Yankee, Canuck and Cat’s Eye Lake are reached via hiking trails.
There are vehicle/tent campsites at this park, as well as a day-use/picnicking area. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Basic facilities are provided – some facilities are wheelchair accessible. A boat launch is available at the edge of the day-use area. There is also a children’s playground. The park is open year-round; access depends on weather and road condition. Fees are collected from May to September.
Premier Lake Provincial Park is located in the BC Rockies region of British Columbia, 7.5 miles (12 km) due east of Skookumchuk. Access to the park is from Highway 93/95, 45 miles (72 km) north of Cranbrook. The well-marked turnoff leads east to a 12 km paved and gravel road to the park.
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