Situated just south of Nakusp, McDonald Creek Park is one of a system of four Provincial Parks on the Arrow Lake reservoir. With facilities on the eastern shoreline, it is a holiday destination for swimming, boating and fishing opportunities. It features several kilometres of fine sandy beach, water front sites and open grassy meadows, and a sani station for fresh water fill and black water dump. You can always find a quiet spot for yourself, try some beachcombing or join in the fun at the main swimming area. A boat launch as well as good fishing opportunities for kokanee, bull and rainbow trout is a tempting invitation for anglers of all ages.
The Arrow Reservoir bisects McDonald Creek Provincial Park and protects lakeshore riparian habitat on the east side and forested upland habitat on the west side. This combination offers outdoor recreational opportunities in a unique forested/lakeside setting.
Parking is permitted only in designated lots and on the gravel portion of campsites. Parking is not permitted on roadsides.
During the collection season, a sani-station/dump is available near the campground entrance and a fee is charged for the service.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
The boat launch is located at the south end of the park, accessed by turning turn left at the park entrance. The boat launch is accessible all year. The boat launch extends down to the water line even at low water levels. Adjacent to the launch is a long floating dock that parallels the launch suitable for tying up vessels. A nearby 25 vehicle parking lot is available for overnight parking.
Cold potable water is available for cooking and drinking. The water is pumped up from the lake into a treatment facility where the water is filtered (sand, cartridge and UV filters) and chlorinated. Six taps are conveniently located in the park, four in the campground and two in the day-use/picnic area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
The day-use/picnic area is located along the lake shore, adjacent to the wash house. Facilities in this area include 6 picnic tables that over look the lake, fire pit, garbage receptacles, a playground, 2 pit toilets and two water taps. The beautiful sandy beach is ideal for spending time lounging in the sun and enjoying the great swimming opportunities. Although this area is recognized as the main day-use/picnic site, many visitors stroll along the entire length of the 2 kilometer beach to enjoy the sun, sand and water.
For information on the park and surrounding area, visit the information shelters at the campground entrance and opposite site #46 , the park host at site #19, or talk to any park staff.
This park has nine pit toilets conveniently located throughout the park, and one shower building that has a single flush toilet in each of the men’s women’s and family rooms.
An adventure playground with swing set, monkey bars and slide is provided near the picnic area/swimming lagoon. The equipment is set in sand.
While campfires are allowed and campfire rings are provided at each campsite, we encourage visitors to conserve wood and protect the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using campstoves instead. Firewood can be purchased in the park or you may bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary from park to park. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil.
The shower building is located adjacent to the Day Use parking lot. The Facility has 3 showers (including a disability accessible stall) as well as a flush toilet in of the men’s and women’s side of the facility. In addition, there is a Family / barrier free room complete with shower, toilet, sink and infant change table. Showers are for REGISTERED camping parties only.
The park has 18 electircal serviced sites (sites # 1 to #18) with 15, 30 and 50 amp service. An additional $7 fee per night on top of the regular camping fee is charged for the use of these sites.
The park has two distinct camping areas. The first area is accessed by turning left onto the road just past the turn off for the boat launch. These sites (#1 to 18) are electrified and can be reserved. There is an addition $7.00 fee per night for use of the electrical services. The second area and remaining non-electrified sites are accessible by following the access road into the park. At the stop sign turn right. The Park Host is in site 19 on your right and has firewood that can be purchased. The access road into these sites is long and linear and parallels the lake shore. It has three convenient turn around locations strategically positioned along its entire length. The park has 73 vehicle accessible sites; of which four sites have tent pads, and seven sites (#22/23, #34/35, #41/42, #47/48, #55/56, #57/58, #66/67) are doubles suitable for two or more camping parties. There are two pull through sites (#30 and #65). The campground has an even mix of small to large sites and can accommodate all sizes of recreational vehicles. Approximately half of the sites are lakefront and offer access to the beach. Most of these sites have lake views. With the exception of sites 1 to 18, all sites are shady, set in a mixed forest of pine and larch. Extra vehicles either be parked on the site (space permitting) or in the day-use parking area for an additional. Second vehicle charges apply ($12.00 per vehicle)
The park offers services during the peak season from May to September. Reservations are accepted, as well as first-come, first-serve campsites are available. PLEASE NOTE THAT NEW FOR 2016, FROM JUNE 24th TO SEPTEMBER 4th 100% OF THE CAMPGROUND IS RESERVEABLE – WITH NO PROVISION FOR FIRST-COME FIRST SERVED SITES. During this period, non-occupied reservation sites may be used on a one or two night only basis.
A park gate is located at the park entrance. The closet phone and store is in Nakusp, a 15 minute drive 10 km north on Highway 6. There is reasonable cell phone coverage in the park depending upon which cell phone service carrier one has.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $30.00 per party / night
Electrified Sites: $7.00 additional charge on top of the base rate
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $15.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts. Please visit the BC Parks website (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/fees/) for a full disclosure of fees and fee policy.
There is some wheelchair access in the park.
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. There is no off leash area in this park. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
As the park is on the Arrow Lake reservoir, the water does fluctuate. In the spring during low water, the shoreline is muddy and not considered attractive to swimmers. However at peak season, during July and August when the water is high, the beach is sandy and is popular for sunbathing, swimming and beach combing. The combined shoreline on the east and west encompasses over 6 km and is complemented with natural sandbars and coves. The eastern shore, where all the day-use /picnic facilities are concentrated is the most popular. The western shore although equally as sandy is less used as logging roads or boats are required to accesses it. The water can be described as refreshing to cool. There is no roped off swimming area. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are kokanee, bull and rainbow trout angling opportunities at this park. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Check the BC Fishing Regulations Synopsis for quotas and restrictions.
There are opportunities for canoeing or kayaking in this park. Users access the lake from either the boat launch or the waterfront sites.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in B.C.
There are excellent waterskiing and jet skiing opportunities on Arrow Lakes.
During the spawning season, you can see kokanee.
Windsurfing opportunities are available on Arrow Lakes.