Arrow Lakes Provincial Park sits on the shores of Upper Arrow Lake, and is dramatically situated between the heavily glaciated Monashee Mountains to the west and the Selkirk range to the east. It is a great staging ground to take in the beautiful wilderness of the southern interior of British Columbia. A car ferry leaves the town of Shelter Bay just north of the park, and carries vehicle traffic east across the lake to Galena Bay.
With headwaters in the southern rocky mountain trench, and Columbia wetlands, the Columbia River takes a peculiar course. It heads north for over 300 km before hooking dramatically west and descending in the opposite direction for 400 km, before crossing the American border and emptying into the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. It thus gathers water from several mountain ranges that lie along its path on all sides. Because of a large change in elevation, there are numerous dams along its course, including the Hugh Keenleyside Dam, behind which the 220 km Arrow Lakes form.
Recreational opportunities include fishing for rainbow trout, dolly varden, and kokanee salmon. There is a beautiful swimming beach to enter the refreshingly cool waters, horseback and mountain bike trails, and a cement boat launch. It is also a departure point to explore the beauty of the surrounding mountains and catch glimpses of wildlife including big horn sheep, grizzly bear and elk. The stunning Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks are situated just to the north. To the south are the famous hot springs at Halcyon.
The Shelter Bay site near the ferry crossing on the west side of Upper Arrow Lake has 17 sites, each with a fire ring and picnic table. Boat trailers can be parked overnight at a large, gravel vehicle/boat trailer parking area. Due to high water in July and August, boats are sometimes left overnight in the water in a partially sheltered lagoon. Vehicle accessible campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a day-use area with toilets and cold water taps. The park is open from May 1 to September 30.
Location and access:
Arrow Lakes Provincial Park is located along the shores of Upper Arrow Lake Reservoir adjacent to the Shelter Bay ferry terminal on Highway 23, about 50 km south of Revelstoke. From the south, drive along the east shore of the lake along Highway 23 from the town of Nakusp, and take the ferry from Galena Bay.