Premier Lake Provincial Park
Premier is a wonderful park with a great beach, dock, playground, and numerous hiking/biking trails on one of the best fishing lakes in the Provincial Parks of the East Kootenays. Premier has multiple day use areas, two on Premier Lake itself (the main beach/boat launch and the Rod and Gun area) and access to four smaller lakes, Cats Eye, Quartz, Yankee and Canuck.
Premier Lake does accept reservations for 20 of its 61 campsites. All reservations for Provincial Parks in BC go through the Discover Camping System. The Discover Camping System opens yearly on January 2nd and Premier accepts reservations for front country sites up to four months in advance, with a minimum of two days in advance. Key Information about the reservation process is noted below:
This is the website for the reservation service. Here you may check availability and make reservations for any Provincial Park in BC that accepts them. You can also view pictures of the reservable campsites and check their measurements. Click the logo to be directed to the BC Parks Discover Camping Reservation Service.
This is the phone number for the reservation service. Please know that there is an additional administrative fee for making bookings by phone.
This is where you may get information about reservation policy and procedure. Questions about making, changing or canceling a reservation? This is your guide. Click the logo to be directed to BC Parks Frontcountry Campground Reservations information page.
Photo Courtesy of Jenna Gunn
Vehicle Accessible Campsites: Premier has 61 campsites, 20 that are reservable and 41 first-come-first-serve campsites. These campsites are good for tents, RVs or trailers.
Toilets: This Park has several outhouses. There are no flush toilets.
Picnic Area: Premier has a large picnic area as part of the day use. There are also picnic areas at the other smaller lakes within the park. There are no pets, campfires or alcohol permitted in the picnic and day use areas.
Drinking Water: Three hand pumps are available for drinking water. Water quality is tested every two weeks.
Campfires: Each campsite is equipped with a fire pit. Firewood can be purchased on site from the Park Operator.
Playground: Premier has a playground facility located across from the info shelter.
Photo Courtesy of Marv Stanyard
Things to Do
Swimming: Premier Lake is a popular swimming spot and has a large dock encircling the swimming area.
Hiking: There are many trails within the park of varying degrees of length and difficulty. The short trail that runs adjacent to the playground, creek and lake is an easy and scenic walk for adults and young children alike. There is a series of loops that connect Yankee, Turtle and Canuck lakes, which can be completed between 1.5 to 4 hours.
Biking: For the young ones, Premier is two paved loops (be cautious of vehicles). Bikes are permitted on the hiking trails as well. Helmets are mandatory in BC.
Boating: A boat launch is available on this lake. Please be advised that there is a speed and towing restriction (15km per hour) at the southern end of the lake. Because this lake is very popular with the local fishing community, we kindly request that power boaters act with consideration towards smaller fishing boats on the lake. Parking is also limited for this launch and the lot will fill up on sunny weekend afternoons.
Fishing: Premier is one of our most popular fishing lakes in the East Kootenay Provincial Parks. A wide variety of trout species can be caught year round. Fishing licenses can be purchased and regulations read here: http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/
This is the fee per camping party per night.
One vehicle is permitted for each camping party. Any additional vehicles are subject to a nightly fee.
During the shoulder season, BC Seniors pay a reduced rate.
Firewood can be purchased on site from the park operator.
Photo Courtesy of Jenna Gunn
Photo Courtesy of Jenna Gunn
Key Rules to Know Before You Go
Camping Party Size: A camping party is 1-4 persons 16 years of age or older. Maximum party size is 8 persons (when including children under the age of 16). A camping party can have one vehicle and trailer, either one (but not both) may be an RV.
Extra Vehicles: A camping party may have a second vehicle (non-RV) on site for an additional nightly charge of half its camping fee. A towed vehicle and/or boat are not considered a second vehicle.
Check In/Check Out: Check in time is 1:00pm on scheduled date of arrival. Check out time is 11:00am. Late check outs may be permitted with prior approval from the Park Operator.
Pets: Pets are permitted on leash within the camping area. They are not permitted in the day use or picnic areas. Waste must be cleaned up and properly disposed of. Noise must be controlled.
Equipment: All tents, RVs, vehicles and equipment must remain on the gravel portion of the campsite to protect the ecological values of the park and preserve it for future users.
Quiet Time and Generators: Quiet time hours are 10:00pm-7:00am. Excessive noise is not permitted to enhance the enjoyment of all guests. Generator hours are 9am-11am and 6:00pm-8:00pm.
For more information on park rules and regulations, you may check out the BC Parks Website here: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/campingEthics.html
Campground Opening and Closing Dates
All campground opening, closing and charging dates are dependent on many factors (weather, water systems, etc.), as such they are approximate and may change without notice.
Gates open for Off Season Camping
Off Season Camping happens before the water is turned on and after the water is shut off.
At this time there is no charge for camping.The lower loop is accessible for camping year round
Water is turned on
Second Week in May
through the end of September
Once the water is turned on, camping fees will be collected.
Photo Courtesy of Shawn Robertson
Things to do in the Area
Fort Steele Heritage Town: Hands down one of the coolest attractions in the East Kootenays, Fort Steele Heritage town is a destination for tourists from all over the world. Live theatre, old timey demonstrations and hands on activities are only a few of the reasons to visit this local jem. http://www.fortsteele.ca/
Kootenay Trout Hatchery: A great way to spend a sunny day, the trout hatchery offers live demonstrations, learn to fish programs, and live fish/turtle viewing. Feeding the fish is a popular activity. http://www.gofishbc.com/about-us/what-we-do/fish-hatcheries/kootenay-hatchery.aspx
City of Kimberley: Kimberley is an awesome little town with some wonderfully unique shops, restaurants and tons of activities. Well worth a day trip into town. http://www.kimberley.ca/community/things-do
Farmers Markets: In Kimberley, Cranbrook and Baynes Lake there are three regularly scheduled Farmers Markets. Information on the Cranbrook Market can be found here: http://www.cranbrookfarmersmarket.com/