on the shore of Nicola Lake, Monck Provincial Park is great for the entire family,
offering a variety of recreational activities, including camping, picnicking,
swimming, fishing, boating, water-skiing, wind-surfing, and hiking. A very popular
family-oriented campground in a hot, dry setting this park has very high use during
the summer season. In addition to providing recreational opportunities, Monck
protects a ponderosa pine, bunchgrass ecosystem and a volcanic rock cliff landscape.
Picnic site at
Monck Provincial Park, Nicola Lake
Nicola Valley was a winter encampment for the Interior Salish First Nations people
for centuries before European settlers arrived. Pithouse depressions remain near
the park’s beach as evidence of their habitation. The name Nicola was given to
the famous chieftain Hwistesmetxquen by the early fur traders because they were
unable to pronounce his native name. When they tried it phonetically, it sounded
vaguely like Nicholas or Nicola, and their mispronunciation has remained.
Picnic site on
Nicola Lake, Monck Provincial Park
vegetation of this part of the Thompson Plateau is chiefly ponderosa pine, Douglas
fir and black cottonwood. Tule and cattail, both used in native mat making, grow
in dense patches around the shores of Nicola Lake. The area is home to open grassy
fields and rich marshland, as well as Canada’s largest working cattle ranch, the
Douglas Lake Ranch.
trails, including an interpretive walk to some lava beds, provide spectacular
views of the valley and the surrounding countryside.
Provincial Park features three archaeological sites. Follow Monck Park Road to
Second Beach, which leads to some historic rock paintings, or native pictographs.
Lake, renowned for its depth, it said to harbour 26 species of fish, some weighing
up to 20 pounds (9 kg). Rainbow trout and kokanee are the most common fish. Angling
is the most popular form of sportfishing in the Nicola area lakes, but ice fishing,
spear fishing, and set-line methods are also used.
Provincial Park (92 hectares) provides 120 vehicle accessible campsites, including
17 double sites. Campground reservations are accepted, and first-come, first-served
campsites are also available. Basic facilities include picnic tables, pit toilets,
fire pits, firewood and water, a concrete boat launch, and a sani-station is also
provided. The park also has a large day-use/picnic area located on a large grassy
area right on Nicola Lake, complete with picnic tables, barbeques and shelters.
A few ponderosa pine trees provide some shade.
Campground at Monck
Provincial Park on Nicola Lake, near Merritt, British Columbia
facilities are wheelchair accessible. There is an adventure playground and horseshoe
pitch near the day-use area, and a pay telephone at the gate office near the entrance
to the park.
dates with full services and fees are May 1 to September 30. The main gate and
one campground loop are open, with limited services, from April 15 to April 30
and from October 1 to October 31. These dates are for the campground only. Park
users can still walk into the park if conditions permit.
Campsites on Nicola
Lake, Monck Provincial Park
Lake is subject to frequent sudden windstorms, posing potential danger to small
Park is located on the northern shore of Nicola Lake in the Nicola Valley, 14
miles (22 km) northeast of Merritt, and 12 km off Highway 5A on a good paved road.