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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Road Tour to Premier Lake and back through Kimberley

With the Freightliner shop closed on Sunday we decided to take the opportunity to scout out a few forest service sites and Premier Lake Provincial Park as possible destinations for us when we come back through this area at the end of July, beginning of August. We knew it was going to be a longer day for Ray but I always like to scout out the area before we commit with our large coach.

We drove up Highway 93 past Fort Steele and checked out Wasa Lake Provincial Park first. The campsite is across the highway from the Lake and is a standard provincial park heavily treed. The lake seems to be used mostly for water sports rather than fishing so strike that one off.

Next stop a bit further up the highway was Premier Lake Provincial Park turn-off. The Lake is 15 km up the road that is paved and then there is about 7 km of good gravel road that has had the calcium chloride treatment so no dust and the drive in from the park is back to pavement. The campsite is above the lake but there is a large dock to moor your boat. There are lots of campsites that would fit us in the trees, but they do have one loop of about 10 or so campsites that are out in the open that would work for us. Most of the sites are first come first serve as well. (61 sites and only 20 reservable) $25/night. Ray and I saw fish jumping and apparently the fishing is good. The colour of the water was amazing.

Ray and I would consider coming here for a week.

Back to Highway 93 we turned towards Canal Flats and tried to see Johnson Lake Rec Site. A goat track so we did not even get to the lake. Very misrepresented in the Backroad Mapbook.

Another few kilometers back towards Cranbrook, is the turn-off for Larchwood Lake Rec Site. This site is up behind the Skookumchuk Pulp Mill on about 3 km of gravel that had been treated and about 2 km that was not treated up to the lake. Fortunately the lake was far enough away that you could not smell the pulp mill, unless the wind turns southeast, or hear it. What a wonderful little lake. There are 21 sites available for $14/night. We spoke to the camp host, Paul, and he mentioned that it does get pretty busy. He kindly gave us his phone number so we could check if anyone was leaving or there would be any room before making the journey up there with the coach.

One of the upper campsites that we would fit in and with a great view.

Back to the highway again and then taking the cut off to Kimberly there is another recreation site called Hahas Lake Rec Site. Again a lovely lake but the camp sites are very small and the road in is very rough. I think the coach would have hit a bunch of low hanging branches if we even attempted it. We did however see the most interesting fishing craft. Maybe Ray's next floaty boat????

Getting hungry so we continued on the highway into Kimberley. Ray and I walked the Platzl and decided on lunch at the Stonefire Pizzeria. Lovely pizza and great Fernie craft beer. Most of the businesses were closed as it was Sunday and I think that they do not really ramp up for tourists until July.

You pay $1 and the "cookoo" comes out yodelling.

Sitting here I heard the cookoo clock a lot with people coming by and putting the money in so they could take pictures.

On the way back to Cranbrook we stopped at the Riverside Campground and any size rig would fit. A lovely campground, it looks to be ex-Provincial Park with power added to some sites. The highway back to Cranbrook follows the St. Mary River with open vistas of the Rocky Mountains, gorgeous. Back at home, we fired up the generator to cool off the coach ... it was 85 degrees inside. With 3 heat pumps it only takes 15 minutes to bring the temp back down to 73. Ray went and laid in bed for a couple of hours to get control of his pain, while Freya and I enjoyed the shade outside. A lovely day in spite of our breakdown. Tomorrow laundry at the laundromat for me.


  1. Looks like you found some cool spots. The underground mine tour at Kimberly is well worth doing.
    Safe travels!