Christina Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - British Columbia -

Also known as:  Oasis of the Kootenays

Consistently rated one of Canada’s most popular family vacation destinations, Christina Lake offers some of the warmest lake waters in Canada. Located in the Kootenay’s region of south-central British Columbia, Christina Lake is also noted for its dry, warm summer climate. Also part of the Mountains West tourism region, Christiana Lake is nestled into the Monashee Mountain Range of the Columbia Mountains. Secluded Christina Lake is 12 miles east of Grand Forks, 44 miles southwest of Castlegar and 120 miles north of Spokane, Washington.

When visitors refer to Christina Lake, they should be aware that there are three locations using the same name. The unincorporated community of Christina Lake lies at the southeastern end of the lake; the 6,446-acre water body named Christina Lake, also known as the “Oasis of the Kootenays,” lies along Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway); and follow Highway 3 into town and it will lead you to Christina Lake Park, a provincial park with well-planned public amenities.

Evidence of the Sinixt First Nations people, original inhabitants of this Kettle River Valley region, can be found in pictographs along Christina Lake’s northeast shore. By the middle of the 19th century, prospectors and traders were settling the region. Angus McDonald, a fur trader and employee of Hudson’s Bay Company, named Christina Lake after his daughter, Christina McDonald. At the turn of the 20th century, residents of the Kootenays saw new railways, increased mining, smelter and lumber industries, and an increased number of tourists who sought recreation at Christina Lake. With a population of 1,435 permanent residents, the community of Christina Lake remains a quiet destination with warm summers, warm waters, and warm welcomes for all who visit.

With an average depth of 121 feet, and maximum depth of 177 feet, Christina Lake is a steeply carved glacial lake. Twenty-three small, and often dry creeks flow into Christina Lake’s 11.6-mile length. At Christina Creek, near the southern end of the lake, water drains into the Kettle River then into Roosevelt Reservoir on the Columbia River in Washington State. With an average summertime water temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit, the warmth of Christina Lake is likely due to a combination of factors: Christina Lake lies along the Kettle River Fault which may open access to hot springs at the bottom of the lake. The region’s hot dry summers also contribute to the water’s warmth. Until recently, surveys of Christina Lake’s warm water have consistently noted excellent water quality. However, development and changes in watershed land use have hinted to water quality degradation. Christina Lake Stewardship Society has prepared a detailed management plan to address concerns and turn the tide on future deterioration of lake water quality.

The majority of Christina Lake’s 27-mile shoreline is undeveloped because of the steeply sloped and heavily wooded terrain. Cabins and campgrounds are scattered throughout the valley but the majority of lakeshore vacation rentals and real estate properties are available around the south end of the Oasis of the Kootenays. Over 1,730 residential lots exist along the scenic waterways in the Christina Lake watershed area with approximately 430 lots on the lakeshore.

Swimming, scuba diving, boating, parasailing and fishing are the primary water sports at Christina Lake. The lake’s largest 1148-foot public beach can be found at the south end of the lake in Christina Lake Provincial Park. Facilities in Christina Lake Park include picnic tables, a concrete “change building,” wheelchair-accessible restrooms, drinking water, parking for 200 cars, and boat marinas in the area.

The northern half of Christina Lake lies within 97,000-acre Gladstone Provincial Park. Two campgrounds are available within the park. Often in high demand, Texas Creek Campground offers over 60 campsites, modern restrooms, drinking water, swimming beach, hiking trail and boat launch. Xenia Lake Campground provides three lakeside campsites in a more secluded area of the park.

Additional camping, swimming and boat access can be found scattered along the western shore of Christina Lake. After reviewing fishing rules and regulations, fishermen may try their hand at catching kokanee, brook trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black and brown bullhead, bridgelip sucker, burbot, carp, mountain whitefish, northern pikeminnow, tench, tiger musky, walleye and yellow perch.

Away from shore, numerous scenic hiking trails lead you into the cool shade of the back country. Popular trails include Deer Point Trail, following Christina Lake’s eastern shore, historic Dewdney Trail, following portions of a trail built to reach 1865 gold fields, and Trans Canada Trail, which will eventually lead hikers through every Canadian province from coast-to-coast.

Mountain biking, championship golfing, tennis courts and lawn bowling greens add to the sporting attractions around Christina Lake. Hidden among the acres of rolling foothills are a multitude of nature’s creatures. Wildlife watching may include sights of grizzly bear, black bear, mule and white-tail deer, mountain goats, moose, elk, coyotes and occasional cougars. Canoeing and kayaking into the cool shade of Christina Lake’s tree-lined shore may bring sights of muskrat, beaver and other small mammals.

With an average snowfall of 17.3 inches, residents and visitors see the seasons change from sunny summer landscapes into a winter wonderland. Sporting activities turn to cross-country skiing, sledding, and for a courageous few – polar bear swimming. Roughly 45 miles to the east, Alpine skiing and snowboarding are readily available at Red Mountain near the community of Rossland. To the northwest, skiers of all levels will enjoy Phoenix Mountain, “the best little mountain in British Columbia.”

Find your home away from home among the vacation rentals and real estate properties available around Christina Lake and create lasting memories at this family-friendly destination. Splash along the shoreline, build sandcastles on the beach or watch a child be transformed by her first nature encounter. Now is the time. Come, connect with family and claim the memories waiting for you at Christina Lake.

Things to do at Christina Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Parasailing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Provincial Park

Fish species found at Christina Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Burbot
  • Carp
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sucker
  • Tench
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Whitefish
  • Yellow Perch

Christina Lake Photo Gallery

Christina Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 6,202 acres

Shoreline Length: 27 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,466 feet

Average Depth: 121 feet

Maximum Depth: 177 feet

Water Volume: 721,056 acre-feet

Lake Area-Population: 1,435

Drainage Area: 200 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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