Nimpkish Lake Campsite

Nimpkish Lake Campsite, Vancouver Island, BC
Nimpkish Lake Campsite, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Nimpkish lake is located in the Nimpkish Valley, and it is a big lake. It is 20 km + long and quite narrow. The wind can come up on this body of water to produce some extremely large waves that will put you to shore to wait it out so be careful. On the other hand, it is an ideal place to camp, wind-surf, and kite-sail. There is a great campsite that can be reached by road or from the kinman creek via a great trail that runs south along the lake. The Campsite is a very nice spot and there are quite a few places to put your trailer or pitch a tent, grassy areas for kids to play and a very nice beach for swimming. To get to a great place to put in your wind boards for either wind-surfing or kite-boarding, travel up the highway until you pass Woss, then turn left at the Nimpkish turnoff, (look for an old brown building that used to be a gas station and turn there) follow the road keeping right until you come to a double set of rail tracks. You will notice an old road that turns right in between the tracks, follow this road to the end. This is the trailhead for the Nimpkish lake Windsurfing Trail. This trail will take you down to a great place to put in at Kinman Creek. It’s a bit of a walk-in, but I recommend this spot for those looking to kite-sail.

Wind Surfing off the shores of Nimpkish Lake Campsite.
Wind Surfing off the shores of Nimpkish Lake Campsite. Photo by Bud Logan

The water in the Nimpkish is deep and cold, the winds can be very strong, and the waves can become quite massive. This is a lake for those who have at least some experience of wind-surfing. You really need to come equipped for the conditions that prevail on this north island lake. Take a look at the photo above, and you will see the one kite-boarder who has lost his board and is flying quite high off the water. As you can see, the winds can be quite fierce. I am sure this surfer has a pretty wild tale to tell.

Kinman Beach, Nimpkish Lake, Vancouver Island, BC
Kinman Beach, Nimpkish Lake, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The shoreline is pretty awesome along the lake with fantastic rock cliff formations, across from the put-in at Kinman Creek, you will find shore level caves that are pretty cool, and most of the creeks, streams, and rivers that flow in have incredible canyons and falls if you just hike up a bit from the shore.

There are dolly varden and cutthroat trout in this lake that can reach impressive sizes, best to troll from a boat or canoe, but you can catch the odd biggie from the shore during the evening bite, just before dark. I have camped and fished on this lake since I was young, long before the inland island highway made it easy to get here. There is so much to see and do here, it’s one of my favorite areas on the island. There are several boat launches and recreational sites on the lake as well as a great provincial park on the lake. There are no roads to the park, so you need to boat in.

Nimpkish Lake Campsite, Vancouver Island, BC
Nimpkish Lake Campsite, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The wildlife in the area is awesome, and you have a good chance of seeing wolves, bears, cougars, elk, deer, pine martins, raccoons, and a great variety of birds. There are lots of incredible beautiful wildflowers here on the shores of this lake as well. It is quite a wonderland. You can camp, fish, windsurf, kite-sail or hike while enjoying the incredible views from your campsite, not bad for a lake that is just off the highway

So pack up your campers with your windsurfing gear, load the canoes and kayaks on top, grab your camera and head up to Nimpkish lake campsite for an adventure that you will never forget.

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