Douglas Lake

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Prince Phillips Point on Douglas Lake - This is a private designated recreation site, owned and managed by Douglas Lake Cattle Company - They do not permit ATV's or dirt bikes. Please be respectful.

General Information

The lake is bordered by grasslands and private property. The Douglas Lake / Quilchena Indian Band is on the southerly shore and the ranch, Douglas Lake Cattle Co. surrounds the rest of the lake. Aside from being the largest cattle ranch in Canada, Douglas Lake Cattle Company has also diversified into tourism. The ranch oversees and monitors a number of lakes on their land. There may be a fee to fish some of these lakes, however, there is no fee to launch and fish at Douglas Lake.

Do not be surprised if you find Douglas Lake to be somewhat windy. Nicola Lake and Stump Lake which are lower in the main valley are noted for their often strong winds. (Windsurfers love Stump Lake for these strong winds)

Location and Access

There are a couple of ways by which a person can access Douglas Lake. The more common would be on the "old" Merritt Highway #5A from Kamloops. Drive toward Merritt until you see a service station on your left. Watch on your left for a main road heading into Douglas Lake Ranch and Douglas Lake. The drive "up" the paved road is pretty and travels through typical ranching grasslands. When you come to the Douglas Lake Indian Band reserve and offices on your left, you know you are very close to the lake which you will see almost immediately on your right. About half way along the lake you will see a dirt road leading off to the Douglas Lake Recreation Site.

If you are driving from Merritt, again, you would go on the "old" Merritt-Kamloops Highway #5A. You will travel through Upper Quilchena which is a restored community and along the northerly shore of Nicola Lake. (The B.C. Parks, Monk Park, is on the opposite shore to the highway) You will pass the Quilchena Ranch Golf Course and the famous Quilchena Ranch Hotel and store. We highly recommend a stop for a meal at the hotel and a browse through the original and very well stocked western supply and gift store.

About five minutes (or less) driving past Quilchena Hotel, you will see a paved road turning off on your right. You are now on the road to Douglas Lake.

Another approach is from the community of Westwold which is on Highway 97 South (between Kamloops and Vernon) When coming from either Vernon or Kamloops, watch carefully for signs and a road to the south. (on your right from Kamloops, left if you are coming from Vernon) This road is a narrow, typical gravel road that follows the Salmon Creek back up to the Douglas Lake Plateau and Salmon Lake. (35 km to Salmon Lake Resort - also owned by Douglas Lake Cattle Co.) You carry on past Salmon Lake for another half hour or so through wonderful rolling interior grasslands. You will come to the main, "home" ranch which will be spread out before you, lower in the valley. You will also see Douglas Lake (the lake). If you have time, stop in at their general store. Douglas Lake Ranch is a fully working ranch so do be mindful of cattle, horses, dogs, equipment and people. You travel past the main ranch about five more minutes and you will arrive at Douglas Lake.

Facilities & Services

  • Boat Launch - Yes (good for a boat trailer)
  • Camping - Yes
  • Cell Coverage - No
  • Firepits - No
  • Garbage Collection - No (Please take all garbage home, including pieces of fishing line)
  • Outhouse - Yes
  • Picnic Tables - No
  • Resort - Yes, contact Douglas Lake (The "Home Ranch" is within sight of the lake)

Boat Launch

The boat launch looks fairly decent. The main issue for some vehicles if pulling a boat trailer is the loose gravel. (see photos) With care one should not have much difficulty.