Formerly called Texas Creek Provincial Park, Gladstone Provincial Park is a vast expanse of unspoiled wilderness on the northern tip of Christina Lake. This 39,387-hectare park is situated in the Selkirk Foothills, which includes a diversity of habitats unique to the area, including an important winter range for deer and elk, kokanee salmon spawning areas, and old-growth cedar and hemlock forests. Christina Lake is one of the warmest and clearest lakes in Canada, and is a very popular summer destination.
Aside from its ecological importance, the Gladstone Park also has historical features. Traces of early First Nations habitation exists, as well as pictographs. The park was also the site of early Doukhobor homesteads. The Doukhobors were refugees who fled Russia because of their unorthodox religious beliefs. Arriving in the early 1900s, they established many communal homesteads throughout the Kootenay region. These communal homesteads have been abandoned today, as the Doukhobors have long become integrated into modern day society.
Activities in Gladstone Park include hiking, fishing, camping, swimming, water skiing, scuba diving and mountain biking. There are 48 kilometres of trails in the park, providing walking access to Christina Lake and more adventurous treks into the cedar/hemlock forests. Many trails are unmarked and unmaintained, so hikers should exercise caution. Designated trails are suitable for mountain biking.
For those interested in fishing, Christina Lake contains kokanee, rainbow trout and small-mouth bass. Fishing is not allowed in protected spawning areas such as Sandner Creek. Christina Lake is also very popular for swimming and other watersports such as windsurfing and waterskiing. The southern tip of the lake is the main visiting area and provides many facilities such as changing rooms and a boat launch.
The park contains both designated camping and backcountry wilderness camping. Texas Creek campground has 62 campsites, of which 46 are reservable), and provides all of the basic amenities – picnic tables, flush and pit toilets, fire pits, drinking water and wood. The campsites are located in an open pine forest, providing pleasant shade from the summer sun. This waterfront park has many small pocket beaches, which provide splendid opportunities for solitude and privacy. Fees are collected from May 1 to September 22 (approximately) and the park is open year round unless inaccessible due to weather conditions, especially during the off-season.
This park has unique water accessible only camping opportunities on the west side of Christina Lake, which includes the Ole Johnson site, Peter Lake, Xenia Lake, Troy Creek, Parson Creek, Treadmill Creek, Axel Johnson, and Starchuck Beach.
Gladstone Provincial Park is located 20km northeast of Grand Forks on Highway 3 at the north end of Christina Lake. The campground is an additional 10km farther on East Lake Drive.
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