Kilby Provincial Park is a small park with a beach and campground in the Fraser Valley. It’s located on the Harrison River in Harrison Mills.
Although a provincial park, the site is managed by the Fraser Heritage Society which is a non-profit organization that also operates the Kilby Historic Site located just a 2-minute drive down the road.
Kilby Park, Beach and Campground
The Kilby Historic Site is a museum with a general store, heritage buildings and farm animals. Its address is 215 Kilby Road and it’s about 22 kilometres southwest of Harrison Hot Springs. The attraction is an interesting place and well worth checking out while in the area.
Just down the street from the historic site is Kilby Park. It’s located on the edge of a particularly wide section of the Harrison River. At the park there is a really nice beach and both a day-use area and a campground. There is also a boat launch, plus resident goats (or at least there have been when we’ve visited).
Kilby Park and Beach
At less than 7.5 acres in size (or 3 hectares), Kilby Park isn’t a big place. It’s very pretty though. At the park there is a gravel parking lot, boat launch, long sandy beach and camping area.
The beach is beautiful, as are the views of the surrounding area. The park is on the edge of the Harrison River, but the river is so wide that it looks more like a small lake. On busy summer days motor boats and jet skis go whizzing by, and year-round trains pass on the other side of the river.
The campground at Kilby Park is nice because it’s right by the beach. The campsites are in a row and fairly open, but also shaded by a line of tall trees. The place is especially popular with RVs.
There are about 35 campsites in total, with just over 30 being reservable most years between early April and the beginning of October. The other sites are available on a first-come, first served basis during those months, as are all the campsites during the rest of the year. However, as of March, 2022, the campsite is closed due to ongoing renovations. There is not yet a set date for re-opening
When the site is open you can make a camping reservation by calling 604.796.9576. There is normally a reservation fee of around $6 per night (up to a maximum of $18). There is also a $5 call centre charge when reserving by phone.
In the summer of 2020 Kilby Park unveiled a new Online Reservation System. The fee for reservations is between $7 and $18 depending on how many days you plan to stay. Unlike other provincial parks, you cannot make reservations through the BC Parks website.
When not underdoing renovations the campground is open year-round. High-season rates apply from mid-June until the end of September. Low-season rates apply between the beginning of November and the end of February.
The facilities at Kilby Park are basic. There are outhouse-style toilets and running water for drinking (although it is turned off in the winter). Each campsite has its own picnic table and fire pit. There are no showers.
Some of the campsites are among a row of trees at the park while others are more open and near the beach. Unlike most provincial parks, the sites are all fairly close together without lots of trees and vegetation separating one from the other. The campground though is still both very nice and popular.
Kilby Camping Rates & Other Fees
Prices for camping at Kilby Park are the following in the summer of 2020:
- June 15th until Sept 30th – $30
- October 1st to 31st – $25 (or $20 for seniors ages 65+)
- November 1st to February 28th – $15
There is a maximum of four adults per campsite, plus one vehicle and RV. Additional vehicles cost $10.
To use the boat launch costs $10 year-round, and to use a campground site for day-use in the shoulder season also costs $10. Parking and use of the beach, however, are free every day of the year.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and additional information to help you make the most out of your trip to Kilby Park.
TIP #1: Tap water at the park is turned off from late fall until the end of winter (so you’ll need to bring your own if camping).
TIP #2: While in the area, check out the Kilby Historic Site. If you like museums, heritage buildings and farm animals, it’s well worth visiting. The place is interesting for people of all ages. Also close by is Harrison Hot Springs which is beautiful and highly recommended.
TIP #3: The railway goes by fairly frequently on the other side of the river. It’s fun to see, but can be noisy. Like several other campsites in the Lower Mainland, ear plugs might be a good idea if you are a light sleeper.
TIP #4: Summer is arguably the best time to visit Kilby Park, but other times of the year are nice too. In autumn the region is home to hundreds if not thousands of migrating eagles that come to feast on the spawning salmon. An especially interesting time to visit the area is during the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival which takes place in November.
TIP #5: If you like golf, or want to stay in the area but not in a tent or motorhome, a nice place to check out is the Sandpiper Resort and Golf Course which is just a short drive away. Harrison Hot Springs is also a great place to base yourself while exploring the region.
TIP #6: In addition to the beach and beautiful scenery, another nice thing about Kilby Park (for people who like dogs) is that it is canine-friendly. Dogs are permitted on leash at the park, even on the beach. If you take Fido, Rex or Sparky with you though, be sure to clean up after him or her so other beachgoers don’t step on any surprises.
To learn more about the park and campground, see the Kilby Website.
For more information about the tourist attraction just down the road, see our article about the Kilby Historic Site.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Camping in the Lower Mainland
- 12 Reasons to Go Camping in an RV
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Outdoor Recreation in Vancouver
- Our Canadian Getaway Camping Vacation in a Rental RV
- Vancouver Places for History & Culture