Kikomun Creek Provincial Park Review
Kikomun Creek Provincial Park is located in southeastern BC on Lake Koocanusa. It’s a fantastic destination for all types of campers and enjoys sunny and dry weather for most of the camping season. This park has tons of activities and great campsites. It’s definitely one to add to your list.
The good and the bad (there is no ugly)
This park is popular for good reason. It has a beach there are tons of different activities to do so that you’re never bored the facilities are good and it’s a beautiful park. However that can make it hard to get a reservation or your ideal campsite. Surveyor’s Lake can also get crowded especially on the day use beach.
Kikomun Creek Provincial Park
Established in 1972 this BC Provincial Park protects 685 hectares of open grasslands ponderosa pine forests and a number of small lakes. Western Painted Turtles are particularly populous here and you can also view beaver muskrat salamanders deer elk and a variety of birds.
The park has paved roads as well as many paths and trails within its borders and offers a choice of three campgrounds and two group sites. There are also cabins available. Each campground has a different “feel” and different level of service.
There are tons of activities available here in the park:
- Explore the roads and paths on foot or by bike.
- Fish in one of the many small lakes.
- Enjoy the interpretive trails and learn about fire prevention and local wildlife and history.
- Relax on the beach or swim at Surveyor’s Lake.
- Go for an early morning or evening canoe or kayak (rentals available at Surveyor’s Lake).
- Spot the turtles and other wildlife!
- Spend the afternoon at the shaded playground.
- Head out in your boat on Lake Koocanusa.
The park offers good quality firewood for sale ($8 a bundle) as well as ice. It also has a sani-dump available near the entrance for $5. Just outside the park are a few stores to stock up on basic groceries forgotten camping supplies or to go get an ice cream. Fernie is 32 kilometres to the northeast and Cranbrook is 65 kilometres to the northwest of Kikomun Creek Provincial Park.
From Calgary the drive to the park is just over 3.5 hours. Lethbridge is even quicker at under 3 hours while Red Deer is around 5 hours and Edmonton takes nearly 6.5 hours. Of course busy weekend traffic and accidents can make these drives even longer. The route through the mountains is often a two-way highway with passing lanes – be patient and drive safely. There is often wildlife and big trucks on this road.
The Campgrounds at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park
The main camping season is from the May long weekend until the September long weekend with the campgrounds opening in early or mid-May and closing at the end of September. It’s a great choice for the first and last long weekends because the weather is generally warmer and drier there. Reservations for all campgrounds are done through Discover Camping .
This campground is as good as the site you get. It’s more open and less private but I found it to be quiet and lovely. The site we stayed at (pictured above) was fine except there was no shade and it was already hot during the May long weekend! I got a bit of heatstroke. I definitely recommend picking one of the sites that borders Lake Koocanusa or on the northern end of the campground. There are more trees which provide some additional privacy and shade.
Other than that the campground is great. There are showers and flush toilets as well as pit toilets. There are a few water taps garbage and recycle bins and access to Lake Koocanusa (although this can be quite steep if the water is low). The views are gorgeous. You can also walk or bike up the road or paths to the other areas of the park.
Every site has a picnic table and fire pit. There are ten sites with electrical hook ups and two cabins are also located in this campground. There is also a smaller group area. It’s a good option if you get a good site or you’re going in May or September (when you can worry less about the heat).
Surveyors Lake Campground
This is the most popular campground in Kikomun Creek and it is for good reason. There are abundant trees it’s the closest to the playground and beach and its closest to the trails. There are hot showers and flush toilets as well as pit toilets. The sites are mostly shaded but not too private as the trees are tall with little underbrush. There is no electricity but each site has a picnic table and firepit.
This is the first come first serve campground in the provincial park. It’s also home to the boat launch for Lake Koocanusa. There is water and pit toilets (no showers here although you could easily go to Ponderosa if you needed one). There are a few more trees here but it’s quite grassy. It’s located right next to Lake Koocanusa which is nice and the views are lovely. It’s a quieter campground and the campsites are well spaced. Each one has a firepit and a picnic table.
There is a smaller group site in Ponderosa or two larger ones named North Pool and South Pool Group Sites. These are located between the Ponderosa and Kalispell Trail Campgrounds on Lake Koocanusa. These group sites are nice as they are grassy but still have quite a few trees. They’re also located a decent distance from the other campgrounds. There is a covered picnic area as well as firepits.
If you’re staying for an extended period or maybe the weather is too hot or too rainy here are some nearby destinations to explore:
- Cranbrook History Centre where you can learn more about the history of the region including viewing a large collection of railway cars.
- Fort Steele Heritage Town a preserved boomtown with many activities for kids.
- Northstar Rails to Trails a 28km paved trail from Cranbrook to Kimberly built on an old railway line.
- Fernie with its historic downtown art galleries museums restaurants brewery and alpine resort is a great day trip.
- Golf in the area at one of the many spectacular courses.
- Cranbrook if you’re aching for more of an urban feel offers a movie theatre water parks and restaurants in addition to the history centre.
- There are also numerous hiking mountain biking and kayaking/canoeing adventures to be had!