Otter Lake Provincial Park, northwest of Princeton in the Similkameen region of BC, is surrounded by the Cascade Mountain Range, which includes awesome canyons, beautiful rugged terrain, and clear flowing streams.
Large numbers of otter, beaver and red squirrel inhabit the area, as well as, elk, mountain goats, cougars and grizzly bears.
Fisherman will be rewarded at Otter Lake, with large lake trout being the catch of the day.
Hikers travelling off the beaten path in Otter Lake Park should carry a compass and let someone know where they are going, as the area bordering the park includes canyons and rugged terrain that can be very confusing.
If you’re looking for privacy in a natural setting, Otter Lake is ideal for camping. The park has two locations, a main picnic/day-use area in Tulameen and a lovely lakeside campground about 5 km farther north along the road. The 51-hectare park has 45 vehicle/tent campsites providing water, pit toilets, a developed beach, a picnic/day-use area and a boat launch. The park is also wheelchair accessible. Open all year round, fees are collected from mid May to mid October. During the off-season, the campsite is user-maintained, and campers must be self-sufficient.
The scenic lakeside campground is an ideal base for those who want to explore the mining history of Tulameen, just 5 km south of the campground. The area is steeped in mining history and pioneer legend, and was formerly used by First Nations people as a base camp for hunting and trapping. The old Hudson’s Bay Company fur brigades used a route that passed through the town, and named it “Encampment des Femmes” after the women who waited for their men out trapping or on the brigades. Also known as Otter Flat in later years, this spot was officially named Tulameen in 1901 – a native name referring to deposits of ‘red earth’ (ochre) found in this area. The small town of Coalmont south of Tulameen houses a café, general store and hotel.
Otter Lake Provincial Park is located 33 kilometres northwest of Princeton. From Princeton, drive to Coalmont and Tulameen on the paved and very scenic Coalmont Road, then on to Otter Lake, which is well marked by signposts. Otter Lake Park can also be accessed by gravel road from Hwy 97C, the Coquihalla Connector Highway. A third option is off Highway 5A, by turning south of Aspen Grove onto the northern end of Coalmont Road, and following the signs.
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