Shuswap Lake is the largest and most popular campground in the Thompson River District. This 149-hectare park has everything you need for summer fun: camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, paddling, swimming, hiking, windsurfing, sailing, houseboating, waterskiing, nature study, photography, visitor programs and biking. The park also offers one kilometer of sandy, pebbled beach, a grassy play area, an adventure playground, a nature house, and a boat launch. With 7 miles (12 km) of paved trails, Shuswap Lake may also be the biking capital of the BC Parks system.
Protected waterways, secluded beaches, and more than 1,000 km of shoreline make enormous Shuswap Lake a busy water-sports haven during summer. Interpretive programs are offered at the park’s amphitheatre, including guided walks, slide shows and children’s programs in summer. Be sure to visit the park’s self-guiding nature trail and Nature House for naturalist programs and historical displays. The park is also open in the fall during the world-famous Adams River salmon run.
Incorporated in the park is Copper Island, located 2 km offshore from the park, which has some easy rambles and a 2.8-km hiking trail leading to a lookout point with beautiful views of the area. Camping and campfires are prohibited on Copper Island.
There are 272 tent/vehicle campsites at this park, including some group campsites. In addition to basic facilities – picnic tables, pit toilets, fire pits, firewood and water – flush toilets, showers and a sani-station are also provided. The park is wheelchair accessible, which includes a designated campsite, and shower building. The campground is open from May 1 – September 30 and fees are collected during this time. The park also has an extensive day-use/picnicking area complete with picnic tables, barbecue stands and change houses. There is a children’s playground nearby and a double boat launch is available at the day-use area.
Shuswap Lake Park was created in 1956 and is the largest and most commercialized park in the Shuswap region. The area is named after the Shuswap Secwepemc First Nations people, the most northern of the Salishan speaking people. This group was the first to inhabit the region, as evidenced by kekulis (semi-underground pit houses), which have been found at Scotch Creek and nearby Herald Provincial Park. Pictographs or rock paintings have also been discovered around Shuswap Lake. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century, European explorers, fur traders and surveyors came to the area. Then in the late 1800s, gold was discovered, and the population in the area soared. Today, little remains of these historic tales.
Shuswap Lake Provincial Park is located on the old delta of Scotch Creek, 56 miles (90 km) east of Kamloops on the north shore of the main arm of Shuswap Lake. Access is off the Trans-Canada Highway 1 at Squilax, travelling east for 12 miles (19 km) on the paved Squilax-Anglemont Highway. This park should not be confused with Shuswap Lake Marine Provincial Park.
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