Bear Lake, BC
Bear Lake enjoys a unique location along Highway 97 (John Hart Highway) located approximately 110 km (70 miles) north of Prince George. Its nearest neighbour is Crooked River Provincial Park, with its camping and day use facilities available for residents and travellers alike. Facilities include the Bear Lake Commission Office, Post Office, Fire Hall, Ambulance Service, local motel, general store with gas, diesel & propane availability, as well as a local take out food stand.
Just a leisurely 1 hour drive north of Prince George, BC is Bear Lake and The Crooked River Provincial Park.
The entire area lies within the Fraser Basin, an irregularly shaped basin of gently rolling hills and shallow lakes covering much of North Central B.C. with the ground in the area being dominated by sand, gravel and soil, the result of thousands of years of glacial activity in the area.
The landscape is covered by a thick layer of glacial drift which supports a forest dominated by White Spruce, Lodgepole Pine and Douglas Fir, known as the Sub-boreal Spruce Zone. Also commonly seen are Alder, Birch and Aspen.
The Crooked River Provincial Park at Bear Lake is a popular area for Prince George residents and travelers of Highway 97 (John Hart Highway) and boasts some of the best beaches in the region. Its highlites include sunbathing on sandy beaches, swimming in the lake, fishing, hiking, cycling, picnic sites, children's playgrounds, showers and washrooms. Three lakes are contained within this 963 hectare park, which also includes part of the original routes of early explorers Alexander MacKenzie and Simon Fraser.
A natural feature in this park is Livingston Springs. These springs are cold-water and stay at approximately 7°C year-round (even in -30°C weather). The trail leads through Lodgepole Pine and is mostly flat, the approximate round trip is 7km from the trail head or 12km from the park gate.
There is an excellent are for nature viewing around Square Lake.
Visitors should always be aware of bears and other wildlife in and around the area. Never feed or approach bears or other wildlife. If you intend to fish remember an appropriate license is needed.
Pets are not allowed in the day-use areas, please have your pets on a leash at all times.
You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their droppings.
Bear Lake is an unincorporated Community, with a year round population of approximately 150.
Approximate area: 1.54 sq km
Location: NE side Bear Lake
Latitude-Longitude: 56°12'00''N, 126°51'00''W
Originally called "Fort Connolly (settlement)" adopted 23 April 1940.
The name was changed to "Bear Lake (settlement)", 2 November 1964.
Since changed to "Bear Lake (community)".
Fort Connolly (also spelled Connelly) was established in 1826 by James Douglas for the Hudson's Bay Company, and so-named by him for his father-in-law.
F.C. Swannell, BC Land Surveyor, reported that the Sekani Indians had told him the Fort was situated on the island in Tsaytut Bay. However, according to long-time guide-outfitter Tommy Walker in, Fort Connolly was located at the north end of Bear Lake; in any event, there is nothing left of HBC's Fort Connelly and that name is no longer used.