Parks and Protected Areas
The Chilcotin has an abundance of parks and protected areas, most of which are almost entirely wilderness areas. You must be prepared to be entirely self-sufficient if making extended trips into any of the parks, or take part in a horseback trail ride or horseback-assisted hiking adventure (see our Operators listing for more information on tours).
Tweedsmuir Park is British Columbia's largest provincial park comprising just under 1 million hectares, and is almost entirely a wilderness area. It is actually make up of two parts – North Tweedsmuir and South Tweedsmuir. South Tweedsmuir has Highway 20 running through it, which provides a jumping off point to access the hiking trail system in the park. North Tweedsmuir has very limited access. Find out about Tweedsmuir Park here.
South Tweedsmuir has some very well known attractions outside of its extensive trail system. The Turner Lake Chain has a collection of seven lakes makes a beautiful multi-day canoe trip. The easiest access is by floatplane to get you in and out, otherwise it is a full day hike of approximately 12 km that gains about 1000 metres in altitude. See more information here.
The Rainbow Mountains are an ancient range of volcanic mountains whose mineralization has resulted in vibrant colours of red, orange, and yellow that tumble down the sides of the peaks. The First Nations once referred to them as “the mountains that bleed”. You can explore them by pack trips organized by Operators based in Anahim Lake, or by taking a “flightseeing” tour by floatplane from Nimpo Lake. They are also a popular snowmobiling destination in winter.
Lonesome Lake was also the home of Ralph Edwards, who was credited with bringing back the Trumpeter Swan from the edge of extinction in North America, and was dubbed “Crusoe of Lonesome Lake” for his skills at wilderness living.
Itcha Ilgatchuz Park
This roadless park is made up primarily of ancient shield volcanic mountains. It is home to the largest caribou herd in British Columbia. There are Operators based in Anahim Lake who run pack trips into the park throughout the summer.
The Charlotte Alplands
This protected area is locoated near the peaks of the Pacific Coast Mountains, and has the largest concentration of alpine lakes in British Columbia. Rare wildflowers, great hiking and canoeing, and extensive wildlife dot this area. You can fly in for a day, or spend some time in the Alplands with one of our Operators. There is no road access.
Homathko River – Tatlayoko Protected Area
This area spans the transition from the wet, mild coastal climate to the high altitude Chilcotin Plateau. Consequently it is an important wildlife corridor, especially for grizzly bears, from the coast to the Chilcotin Plateau. 14 mile long Tatlayoko Lake with its surrounding peaks is picturesque and can be accessed from Highway 20 at Tatla Lake.
Junction Sheep Range Park
Located in the grasslands of the eastern Chilcotin, this park is home to a significant herd of California Bighorn Sheep. Access is by road from Highway 20 at Riske Creek. Hiking is possible from the park entrance past deeply eroded gullies and spectacular scenery to an overlook of the confluence of the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers.
Tsylos Provincial Park
This large park is made of up rugged mountains and glaciers, and dominated by the stunning blue-green waters of Chilko Lake. There is road access to the park, but the roads can be rough and conditions should be checked in advance.
Bull Canyon Park
Only four miles west of Alexis Creek along Highway 20 is Bull Canyon Park, overlooking the gorgeous acqa-green Chilcotin River. The park is open from mid-May to mid-September and offers 20 vehicle or tenting campsites.
Adjacent to North Tweedsmuir Park, Entiako Park is an isolated wilderness area home to a wide range of wildlife. In 2000, 120,000 hectares was set aside as a protected area for the Tweedsmuir Entiako caribou herd. Access is by floatplane to the many wilderness lakes.