Champion Lakes Provincial Park is a remote wilderness recreation park, with three lakes, hidden in the back country alpine forests of the Bonnington Range in the Selkirk Mountains. The lake park is located northeast of the community of Trail, BC in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada.
The 1,426 hectare park is a popular destination in the area best known for its three lakes, recreational activities and campground. The alpine park was established in 1955 in an effort to protect the eco systems and wildlife in the area. It is an area referred to as the interior cedar-hemlock biogeoclimatic zone.
In the summer, Champion Lakes Provincial Park is a popular destination for swimming, canoeing, fishing for rainbow trout, kayaking, hiking, wildlife sightseeing and camping. During the winter months the park trails are maintained by a local alpine club as cross country ski trails.
The three lakes in the park are the big attraction. 3rd Lake (first lake when entering the park) has two sandy beaches. One beach is a large day use area with a floating dock, picnic shelter, picnic tables, grass lawns and a swimming area. The other beach on 3rd Lake is the campground beach used by, what else, the campers in the park.
Accessing the lakes is best from 3rd and 2nd Lake via the boat launches. There are no motorized boats permitted on the lakes. To access the 1st Lake requires a short portage along a dirt trail from the 2nd Lake boat launch. The short portage is part of a larger 6.5 kilometre trail system connecting all the lakes together.
The forested loop trails are easy-grade, pine-needle cushioned paths with exposed tree roots and great lake views. There are viewing benches along the trails at certain points.
The loop trail that circles 3rd Lake is about 1.5 kilometres and acts as a connector trail between the main day-use beach and campground beach. 3rd Lake may be a popular sandy beach lake but 2nd Lake is the popular trail lake.
The 2nd Lake 2.5 kilometre loop trail is a sightseeing route exploring wetlands, forests and lakeshores. At the far end of 2nd Lake is a viewpoint and a sitting bench. Access the loop trail from, either, campers beach, campsite #82 or from the 2nd boat launch. The 1st Lake loop trail begins from the 2nd Lake boat launch parking lot.
The 1st Lake loop trail begins by following the shores of 2nd Lake until it veers off and begins to follow a small creek that connects 2nd Lake and 1st Lake. The 2.5 kilometre 1st Lake loop trail is set in a wilderness forest with views of the lake. It is the most natural of the trails.
Another trail set aside from the loop trails is the Lookout Trail. A short 1 kilometre uphill trail leads to a lookout viewpoint which reveals views of the lakes and the forest valley below.
The park is a natural protected wilderness environment. An environment which is home to many wildlife specie like bears, white tail deer, moose, porcupines, great blue herons, eagles, nighthawks, kingfishers, loons, woodpeckers, turtles and ducks to name a few.
Travel to the community of Trail BC. Once in Trail travel Highway #3b towards the community of Fruitvale. From Fruitvale continue 6 kilometres on Hwy #3b to Champion Park Road on your left. From the highway turn off it is 12 kilometres up a paved mountain road to the park.