Bromley Rock is located 21 km (13 miles) east of Princeton
and 15 km (9 miles) west of Hedley
on Hwy 3. This swimming hole is situated alongside the Similkameen
River and can be accessed from Hwy 3 at Bromley
Rock Provincial Park.
This stretch of Similkameen River, between Princeton and Keremeos,
provides a lot of great swimming holes with the Bromley Rock pool
perhaps the best. If you are travelling on Hwy 3, make sure you
get a chance and stop here for a dip; the place is great, very kid-friendly
and has a large sandy beach.
Bromley Rock was named after John Hatten Bromley who in the 1890's
gold panned throughout and later farmed in the area. This large
boulder is situated on the north side of the Similkameen River across
from the beach at Bromley Rock Provincial Park and Hwy 3.
The Bromley Rock swimming hole consists of an area upstream from
the park where you can swim and snorkel in some rapids. Downstream,
where the Similkameen River takes a large bend, it creates calmer
waters providing a large deep pool. Lots of people use Bromley Rock
and other various rock outcrops as platforms for either jumping
or diving into this deep pool.
Just remember, though the rocks can be slippery and dangerous when
climbing onto them. There is also the chance of hitting submerged
rocks under water. With these dangers and the fact that there are
no lifeguards present, Bromley Rock Provincial Park policies have
made jumping off the rocks prohibited.
Other hazards include the river current which can sometimes be swift
posing a swimming difficulty for weak swimmers or small children
especially in early summer. If you don't feel comfortable with the
possible current dangers, there is a small swimming zone close to
the beach that is less hazardous.
With Bromley Rock Provincial Park being established here, there
are picnic tables available if you would like to have a driving
or meal break. The picnic tables are located well above the river
providing you with a good view of the beach, Bromley Rock and the
Tubing the Similkameen River
Lots of people make Bromley Rock the starting point for inner tubing
or floating down the Similkameen River. From here the river allows
easy access either above or below the swimming hole to various exit
points. One favourite is the trip down river to Stemwinder Provincial
Park, especially in the waters downstream from the Hwy 3 Bridge.
Bromley Rock Provincial Park also provides large pit toilets for
swimsuit changing or for bathroom use. There are lots of garbage
cans available plus park attendants seem to control litter well
making the beach area very clean. Water is available by a hand pump
located in the campground.
If you would like to stay here for a few days there is a small provincial
campground with half the campground sites located on the Similkameen
River. The campground is situated just downstream from the swimming
hole and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please try to arrive early in the day in order to get a site alongside
the river or sometimes just a site at all. During the summer months
especially during a hot spell this campground can fill up quickly.
During September the park crowding eases somewhat and your chances
for a river site are much better.
With Bromley Rock being along the busy Hwy 3 route between Penticton
and Vancouver, sometimes the swimming hole can become a little crowded
and parking hard to find. If you want to avoid the crowds at the
beach, try taking the Old Hedley Road from either Princeton or downriver
at the Hwy 3 Similkameen River Bridge crossing which is situated
just upstream from Stemwinder Provincial Park.
By using the Old Hedley Road, Bromley Rock and other rocky beaches
situated on the north side of the river can be accessed. There are
also some forest service campsites along this side of the Similkameen
River that have access to some rocky beaches and exit points if
July to early September
The best time to visit the swimming hole is usually from late July
into early September in order to give the Similkameen River a chance
to warm up. Unfortunately, before this time the Similkameen, where
the headwaters start very close in Manning Park and, the biggest
tributary, the Tulameen River, are both still quite cold.