CAMPING IN KOOCANUSA?
Here’s what you need to know, and where to go!
There is a Provincial Recreation Order in place for the Koocanusa Recreation Management Area. This order aligns with the 2021 Koocanusa Recreation Strategy and means Crown land camping is permitted only in designated recreation sites and undeveloped camping areas identified on the maps and in the Strategy.
Undeveloped camping areas in Koocanusa, which can accommodate over 200 camping units and cover about 95 hectares of Crown land, include: Sharptail, Strauss, Linklater, Rocky Road, Colvalli, Rock Creek, Kikomun Creek, Blue Bottom and Fussee. Detailed information, including photos and site descriptions, are provided within the Strategy, starting on Page 16. These backcountry camping areas are rustic, user-maintained and dispersed camping areas with no facilities. Recreation users must be prepared and self-contained and are permitted to overnight camp for a maximum period of up to 14 days. Access roads are unmaintained and may be impassable at any time. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended on all identified roads in the Koocanusa area.
The undeveloped camping areas are in addition to the 300+ camping sites already open at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park, and at several recreation sites in the region: Wapiti Lake, North Star Lake, Suzanne Lake, Kikomun Creek, Loon Lake, Edwards Lake, Gold Creek Bay, Gold Creek and Englishman Creek. Two new recreation sites were established in the Grasmere area – Western Pine and Grasmere. These sites are for dispersed camping only, and have minimal facilities except for a pit toilet. Western Pine and Grasmere Recreation Sites are located at access points to the motorized trail network. For more information on this area, users can download the detailed Grasmere-Dorr Recreation Map.
The following maps show the undeveloped camping areas and designated recreation sites geographical locations. Maps are geo-referenced and compatible with Avenza and other mobile mapping applications.
- BC Government Recreation Order Map
- Koocanusa Recreation Management Area Map - North (detailed navigation map)
- Koocanusa Recreation Management Area Map - South (detailed navigation map)
The 2021 Koocanusa Recreation Strategy strives to support and manage Crown land recreation access and use in a way that maintains the ecological integrity, cultural values, recreation experience, and economic value of the Koocanusa area for current and future users. The Strategy represents over five years of hard work and dedication from the Koocanusa Recreation Steering Committee, the Public Advisory Group, and the hundreds of local residents, recreation users, and other stakeholders who have contributed to the consultation process. It is a living document and subject to change.
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Camping in Koocanusa map
Undeveloped Camping Areas
The reservoir area near Strauss Road is a very popular Crown land camping area due to its aesthetic quality, nice beaches and water access. The area is currently identified as a “Sensitive Area” as it contains very high ecological, shoreline, archaeological and cultural values. To maintain these values, off road vehicle use is not permitted in this area.
Five undeveloped camping areas are identified at Strauss, with a total capacity of approximately 50 camping units.
ROCKY ROAD (CASEY'S)
There are three well-used areas along the west side of the reservoir, about seven kilometres south of Wardner, which are suitable for undeveloped camping. Each site can accommodate about five camping units, for a total of 15 units in three sites. Access roads into this area, particularly the northern most site, are very poor; a four-wheel drive vehicle is mandatory.
The Colvalli Road shoreline area is a popular Crown land camping spot with aesthetic views and access to the Koocanusa reservoir. This area contains high ecological, shoreline, archaeological and cultural values. To maintain these values, off road vehicle use is not permitted in this area. There are three locations in Colvalli:
- Colvalli North, which could accommodate approximately 10 camping units.
- Two sites at Colvalli Central, which could accommodate about 20 camping units.
- Colvalli South, which could accommodate approximately 10 camping units.
A historic Recreation Site, Rock Creek is a very popular area for dispersed camping along a creek. Rock Creek could accommodate approximately 20 camping units.
Three camping areas along Kikomun Creek, across from the existing Kikomun Creek Recreation Site. These three sites could accommodate approximately 10 camping units.
A historic Recreation Site, Fussee is a popular area for dispersed camping at Fussee Lake. This area could accommodate about ten camping units.