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 Home > Discover BC > Provincial Parks > Pilot Bay

Pilot Bay
Pilot Bay Provincial Park is located on Kootenay Lake approximately 84 km (52 miles) north of Creston.

Travelling Here
To get here from Creston, travel north on Hwy 3A to the Kootenay Bay Ferry Terminal, once you're at the terminal, take Pilot Bay Road to the south and travel approximately 3.5 km (2 miles) to the entrance to Pilot Bay Provincial Park. If you are coming from Nelson, travel about 35 km (22 miles) north on Hwy 3A to the Inland Ferry Terminal at Balfour. From here take the free Kootenay Lake Ferry to Kootenay Bay, approximately a 35 minute trip. From here, just after departing the ferry, take the first right, Pilot Bay Road, and travel about 3.5 km (2 miles) to the entrance of the park.

Two Sections of the Park
When you arrive here, you'll notice that two sections of the park are separated by Pilot Bay Road. On the west side of the road, you'll find a 400 metre (.25 mile) long trail that takes you to the site of the old historic Pilot Bay Lighthouse. On the east side, you'll find another trail substantially longer that takes you eventually to a "T" junction - one way to Sawmill Point, the other way to Boomer's Landing.

Pilot Bay Lighthouse
The trail to Pilot Bay Lighthouse is open to the public all year long and takes you from the parking lot to the historic lighthouse in around 20 minutes. The lighthouse, which was built in 1904, operated up until 1993. Here you can find a platform where there is a spectacular view of Kootenay Lake towards Balfour and some pit-toilets.

Sawmill Point
The walking trail that takes you to Sawmill Point is a lot longer at approximately 2 km (1.3 miles) long. Once at the "T" junction, Boomer's Landing, where you can find a beach of rounded stones and larger rocks offering a great view of Kootenay Lake, is around another 2.5 km (1.5 miles) away.

Wilderness Campground
Unfortunately there isn't a vehicle-accessible campground at Pilot Bay Provincial Park, but there are a few walk-in/wilderness-style campsites at Sawmill Point. There are no facilities provided here and drinking water must be packed in but there are some pit-toilets available. This campground and park area is user-maintained so you must pack out what you pack in. Dogs and other animals must also be on a leash.

Best Moorage on Kootenay Lake
For boaters, the moorage found at Pilot Bay is probably the best and safest found on Kootenay Lake; this is especially true when the odd sudden wind storm happens.

RV Campground
If you would like to hike into Pilot Bay or view the historic lighthouse, but prefer to camp in an RV or vehicle-accessible campground, the nearest ones are either at Crawford Bay or Riondel.

Bear Country
Just remember if you are enjoying the provincial parks and the countryside around British Columbia, please remember this is bear country. Try to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you feel comfortable with bears around and take the usual precautions. There is also the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars so please play it safe.

BC Parks


Kootenay Bay Ferry Terminal
Kootenay Bay Ferry Terminal


Lighthouse Trail
Lighthouse Trail


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