Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park is the largest campground in the Coquihalla Highway area. The 213-hectare park sits at a higher elevation than the neighbouring Thompson and Nicola Valleys, providing a refreshingly cooler climate during the summer months and a welcome relief from the desert conditions of the valleys to the north and south. Lac Le Jeune is one of the bigger lakes in a region characterized by hundreds of pocket-sized ponds, many of which provide serenity in the midst of splendid isolation.
Lac Le Jeune Park protects forests of lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and spruce, as well as marshlands on the east side of Lac Le Jeune. The park also protects two Native archaeological sites, a provincially significant trout fishery, and important upland and riparian habitats surrounding portions of Lac Le Jeune.
Moose, bear, lynx and other animals can be seen along the Gus Johnson and Stake Lake trails. Many birds, including waterfowl, are found along the lakeshore. Watch for Great Blue Heron waiting motionless at the water’s edge.
Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a family vacation, the easily-accessible Lac Le Jeune is a wonderful recreational retreat. Besides camping and water sports (swimming, canoeing, kayaking and boating), the park provides lakeshore hiking opportunities, mountain biking, nature appreciation and visitor program activities in its amphitheatre. During the summer, educational interpretive programs are offered, including guided walks, slide shows, children’s programs and special events. From June to Labour Day, a Naturalist Program is also offered.
Although there are no developed cross-country ski trails at Lac Le Jeune, skiers willing to cut their own tracks use the park in winter. The network of informal trails and old roads that circle the lake total about 70 km, and connect to the groomed Stake Lake Cross-Country Ski Trail system (160 km – user fee charged) located 2 to 3 km to the north. Note that there is no accommodation or vehicle access to the park during winter. Mountain bikers and hikers use these trails during the summer.
The waters of Lac Le Jeune are famous for producing fighting rainbow trout. There is a 240-foot fishing wharf provided for physically challenged anglers, and a concrete car ramp for boats. Boat and canoe rentals are available at the park.
Open May through September, this lakeside park with 144 tent/vehicle sites is surrounded by lodgepole pine and pinegrass forests. Facilities in the campground include picnic tables, fire pits, firewood and water, flush toilets, and a sani-station operating during the season. Some facilities and hiking trails in the park are wheelchair accessible. Campsite reservations are accepted, and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Fees are collected from May 12 – September 17, although services may be available and fees charged earlier or later than this date, weather permitting. Off-season: self-contained units allowed in day-use area; no fee; no services, must be self-sufficient and user maintained.
This park has a large grassy day-use picnic area with tables and barbeque extensions, a children’s playground and a parking lot for 100 vehicles.
Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park is located 23 miles (37 km) south of Kamloops and 30 miles (47 km) north of Merritt off Highway 5. From Highway 5, take the Lac Le Jeune exit (Lac Le Jeune Park Drive), or take the paved Lac Le Jeune Park Drive from Trans-Canada Highway 1 (18 miles/29 km).
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