River Provincial Park
Located inside Kettle
River Provincial Park, this swimming hole is located just north
Creek on Hwy 33 by around 5 km (3 miles).
Access to the swimming hole is through the provincial park where
you can find a parking lot readily available during the day. The
west side beach area is located just beyond the parking lot by a
short trail. Here you can find some picnic tables and a rock stairway
down to a small sandy beach.
River Rail Bridge
Then, directly across from here situated on the east side of the
Kettle River, you can find another small sandy beach. To get over
to the east use the Kettle River Rail Bridge, an abandoned railway
bridge dedicated for pedestrian and cycling use. The bridge is located
just upstream and within view of the west beach
The beach on the east side of the Kettle River Rail Bridge generally
is the best area to swim. The pool here is a lot deeper than the
west beach side and the sand beach is a little bigger. There is
also an area on either side of the bridge where you'll find the
underwater swimming in the river current very exhilarating.
The rapids and current found near the beaches doesn't seem to be
as strong as some other BC rivers during the summer time This makes
the Kettle River Provincial Park very kid-friendly with lots of
areas by the beach to play in the water. The swimming hole also
features a very nice tube or air mattress ride in the summer when
the water can be a lot safer.
Tube to Rock Creek
A favourite trip that the locals seem to enjoy is to take an inner
tube or other flotation device from the Kettle River Provincial
Park to Rock Creek. Most of the people who do float tend to leave
from the parking lot side (west beach) leaving the east side for
the swimmers. You'll need two vehicles for the tube ride to Rock
Creek as there is no organized transport service.
For those more adventurous, there is also a longer float starting
from the bridge at Westbridge and tube downstream to the Kettle
River Provincial Park. Just remember the river flows by agricultural
land, so please respect the farmers' property.
Cautious When Swimming
Although the currents found in the Kettle River don't appear to
be hazardous in the summer you'll still have to be very cautious.
Please be aware when playing near the water that there can be dangerous
currents in the river. Also remember there are no lifeguards here
so you'll have to keep an eye on young children playing near the
River Provincial Park
The Kettle River Provincial Park also features a campground, so
if you're not in a hurry and would like to stay all day enjoying
the different swimming holes you can. The campground features 87
vehicle-accessible campsites which are quite large with plenty of
open spaces available by the Ponderosa Pines growing in the area.
The pedestrian and cycling bridge that does cross the Kettle River
was once a railway bridge owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway
in its Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) division. The bridge now helps
complete this part of the Trans-Canada Trail that crosses lower
British Columbia along the Kettle River.
You can also cycle either way on the Kettle Valley Railway section
of the Trans-Canada Trail or go along a single track bike trail
that follows the Kettle River for around 2 km (1.3 miles). The trail
that follows the river going north eventually joins back with the
Trans-Canada Trail outside the park. Going this way takes you past
some other more private swimming holes along the Kettle River.
Valley Railroad - KVR
When going north-west on the Trans-Canada Trail, it follows the
old KVR route taking you to Westbridge then follows the West Kettle
River to Beaverdell,
McCulloch Lake, Chute Lake and Penticton.
Then, if you travel east, the trail takes you on the old KVR route
along the Kettle River past Rock Creek and eventually to Midway.
Lower British Columbia
If you are travelling across the lower portion of British Columbia
using Hwy 3, the Kettle River Provincial Park is not much of a diversion
coming from Rock Creek. You can also plan to visit the swimming
hole if you travel on Hwy 33 from the Okanagan through Kelowna
past the Big White Ski Resort.