Kokanee Creek Provincial Park
The 257-hectare (630-acre) Kokanee Creek Provincial Park 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) northeast of Nelson features a great beach and one of the Kootenays’ most popular campgrounds. Short trails crisscross the park, and kokanee (freshwater salmon) can be viewed in Kokanee Creek at the end of summer (access is from the visitor center). Instead of migrating in from the ocean like their anadromous cousins, kokanee spend their lives in the larger lakes of British Columbia’s interior, spawning each summer in the rivers and streams draining into the lakes.
The super-popular day-use area runs the length of a one-kilometer (0.6-mile) sandy beach. The large campground’s sites have showers, but no hookups, and they fill fast through summer ($24). A visitor center (250/825-4421, daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m. mid-June–mid-Sept.) has displays on local ecosystems, trail reports for Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, and other useful information.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition