Wasa Lake Provincial Park
Wasa Lake is a large, 104 site campground that offers a wide variety of activities and facilities. Wasa is popular for its four sandy beaches on one of the warmest lakes in the Kootenays. Frequent wildlife sightings at this park include: deer, badger, several species of waterfowl, and ground squirrels.
Wasa Lake does accept reservations for 69 of its 104 campsites. All reservations for Provincial Parks in BC go through the Discover Camping System. The Discover Camping System opens yearly on January 2nd and Wasa 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.
Vehicle Accessible Campsites: Wasa has 104 campsites. It has 69 reservable sites and 35 first-come-first-serve campsites. These campsites are good for tents, RVs or trailers.
Toilets: In addition to many outhouses, this campground offers many flush toilets. There are three toilet buildings located throughout the park and several single flush toilets scattered throughout as well.
Showers: Wasa has one solar shower building located near the entrance of the campground. These facilities are for registered guests only, as they are paid for through the camping fees instead of being coin operated.
Picnic Area: Wasa has four main picnic/day use areas: Main Beach, Grey Change, Horseshoe Beach and Campers Day Use. At Campers Beach there is a designated dog area and we ask that pet owners clean up after their dogs to ensure a good experience for all park users. There is a paved trail that connects all four day use areas and continues to loop around the entire lake. There are flush toilet facilities at Campers and Horseshoe Beaches.
Drinking Water: Water posts are located throughout the campground and day use areas. There is also a Sani-station area to fill RVs with potable 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: Wasa has a playground facility located at the Campers day use area.
Boat Launch: The park provides a boat launch onto Wasa. Parking is limited so all registered guests are requested to park their boats and trailers at their campsite. Also, although Wasa does allow power boats, it is a smaller lake so large vessels are recommended to use the nearby Moyie or Koocanusa Lakes.
Sani-Station/Dump: A system for dumping, flushing and filling water tanks is available for RV’s. Although clearly signed, the second hose is for potable water. There is a fee for dumping and must be paid in exact coin.
Photo Courtesy of Tristan Gregorys
Things to Do
Swimming: Wasa Lake is the most popular swimming destination of the Provincial Parks in the East Kootenays. The four day use areas offer sandy, relatively slow inclined access to this warm lake. Occasionally, this lake does get swimmers itch and the best prevention is to wear an oil based sunscreen, towel off after coming out of the water, avoid weedy areas and rinse skin.
Hiking: Aside from the paved Wasa Lions trail and Lazy Lake Loop (below), an interpretive hike called Forest of the Rainshadow is accessible from the park amphitheater. This hike is 2.7 km and takes about 1 hour. Brochures for this hike are available from the Park Operator and identify some of the local flora and fauna.
Biking: The Wasa Lions Trail is a 10km paved loop that circles the entirety of Wasa Lake and connects all four day use areas on the lake. This trail has very little incline.
There is also the Wasa/Lazy Lake Mountain Bike Loop which is a challenging 33km ride. See map for further directions and information.
Boating: Within the park is a boatlaunch which is popular with campers and locals alike. Parking is limited so registered campers are asked to keep their boats and trailers at their campsites. Wasa is a smaller lake, so users with larger watercrafts who really want to let it out may find Koocanusa or Moyie more to their liking.
Fishing: There are four main species of fish in Wasa Lake Lake: largemouth bass, perch, sunfish and squa fish. Fishing licenses can be purchased and regulations read here: http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/
Shower Building at Wasa Lake Provincial Campground
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.
Things to do in the Area
Wasa Lions Pancake Breakfast: Every Saturday during the summer there is a pancake breakfast served at the nearby Wasa Lions Grounds, accessible on the Wasa Lions Trail.
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
City of Cranbrook: 10 minutes North of the Park is the City of Cranbrook. Activities to do in Cranbrook include shopping, dining and more. http://www.hellobc.com/cranbrook.aspx
Canadian Museum of Rail Travel: Do you like trains? Of course you do. Check out the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel for an interactive loco-experience. http://www.trainsdeluxe.com/
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 gem. 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
Golfing: Within an hours drive are a huge variety of top notch courses. Check out any of the links below for more information on only a few of the nearby courses:
Bootleg Gap Golf, Marysville: http://www.bootleggapgolf.com/
Trickle Creek, Kimberley: http://tricklecreek.com/
St. Eugenes, Cranbrook: http://steugene.ca/en/golf/#/gallery/popular
Fernie Golf and Country Club, Fernie: http://www.golffernie.com/
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/