Kinbasket Lake

Feature Type:Lake - Inland body of standing water.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Expansion of Columbia River behind Mica Dam, between Valemount and Donald, Kootenay Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°07'59"N, 118°25'59"W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 83D/1
Related Maps:
82M/16 82N/11 82N/12 82N/13
83D/1 83D/10 83D/11 83D/14
83D/2 83D/7 83D/8

Origin Notes and History:

'Kinbasket Lake' was adopted in the 11th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1912, applied to a small natural lake at 51° 57' - 118° 04' (as shown on 82M/16E). Lake disappeared due to flooding behind Mica Dam. The entire pondage was named 'McNaughton Lake' 15 October 1973 on 82 NW, 83 SW and MCR5 sheet 3, as determined by Cabinet (see Victoria Times, 10 August 1973). Name changed to 'Kinbasket Lake' 7 February 1980 by unanimous approval of Cabinet, as recommended 5 February 1980 by Cabinet Committee on Economic Development, in response to local pressure to reinstate the historic name, Kinbasket.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Named 'Kinbaskit Lake' in 1866 by Walter Moberly, CE, after a Shuswap person whom he had employed. Spelled "Kinbasket Lake" on Mohun's 1884 map of British Columbia. McNaughton Lake was named after General A.G.L. McNaughton, commander of Canadian Forces in Britain 1939-43.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

The reservoir (529 sq. km), located between Golden and Valemount, was created in 1973 with construction of the Mica Dam on the Columbia River. The body of water completely engulfed a much smaller lake that was also called Kinbasket Lake. The first lake was christened in 1866 by surveyor Walter Moberly after the Secwepemc (shushwap) First Nations chief, Paul Ignatius Kinbaskit (also known simply as Kenpesq’t), whom Moberly hired for the price of two canoes to take him down the Columbia. The name Kenpesq’t means “touch the sky.” The spelling had changed to Kinbasket by 1884. The reservoir was originally called McNaughton Lake, in honour of General A.G.L. McNaughton, the commander of the Canadian forces in Britain from 1939 to 1943 during World War II. The name Kinbasket was restored in 1980 because of local pressure.
Kinbasket Mountain (2545 m) is on the east side of the north end of the lake. It was officially named after the original lake in 1939.

Source: Thorburn, Mark; "British Columbia Place Names"; Dragon Hill Publishing Ltd., 2009, page 145.