Multi colored alpine plants and lichen.
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Hiking in the West Chilcotin

From the top, we could see forever...

The beauty of hiking is that you really don't need much more than a good pair of hiking boots to start off with. If you're taking a short walk down a well marked trail, then carrying basic emergency equipment in your pockets such as matches is the only prerequisite. From there you can move up to hikes such as the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail that can take up to 30 days to complete (if you're a well equipped, very experienced hiker) and requires food drops. The West Chilcotin offers hiking over a vast expanse of land from easy to hard and although not always true, it can be assumed that where trails are marked and established, you could probably also go mountain biking.

You can be flown by helicopter onto the highest mountain in BC, Mount Waddington, as well as Homathko, Niut and Pantheon Ranges for mountaineering or backcountry hiking or take a day hike up to Perkin's Peak.

Follow the trails in the Nemaiah Valley, Chilko Lake and Tatlayoko Lake areas to discover glaciers, alpine meadows, and untouched wilderness overlooking some of the most beautifully colored lakes in the world. In Tsylos Provincial Park, experienced hikers can go on loop that can take up to six days through the Yohetta Valley, Spectrum Pass, and Tchaikazan Valley.

Join local pack trip outfitters that use horses to transport camp and gear between base camps while you carry a day pack and hike with a guide or geologist through alpine over unmarked trails.

Hike the open alpine of the Itcha Ilgatchuz mountain ranges or the flower carpeted alpine of the Charlotte Alplands.

Follow the extensive trail systems developed in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park ranging from hour long day hikes to hikes that take days. Range the volcanic Rainbow Range named for its wildly colored rock and shale or follow the trail of grizzly bears on the Turner Lake Chain/Hunlen Falls trail, leading to the third highest free falling waterfall in Canada, if not North America.

The Alexander Mackenzie Heritage (Grease) Trail, which (land part of the trail) is 263 miles or 420 km long, originates in the Blackwater near Quesnel, overland to Bella Coola, continues for 40 miles or 65 km over water where it ends on the north shore of the Dean Channel. It's thought that the 50 miles through the Park is actually the most scenic part of the entire route. The information on the hiking part of the Park page is very valuable in that it emphasizes the difficulty of this trail and that most of it is unmarked and without services.

Parks suggests that National Topographic Series Maps 92N/13, 93C/4, 93/5, 93C/12 and 13, 93D/8E and W and 93D/9 and 16 at a scale of 1:50,000 cover the Tweedsmuir area. These maps are available from Government Agents and most map retailers in British Columbia.

BC Parks is an excellent source of information about the parks and walking trails but Tweedsmuir Park probably has the most extensive set of online maps and brochures for hiking areas.

If you are going to be staying with a lodge, resort, or outfitter, then your host will probably have informal maps of local hiking trails, or can point out marked or unmarked trails or areas that you can safely hike into.

For an excellent source of Canadian Topographical Maps - British Colubmia, that you can see, choose, and order online for less than twelve dollars apiece is at Map Town. Doing your own search on the Internet should yield other sources as well.

It is highly recommended that you have a map, gps, compass, and adequate emergency gear any time you enter the Chilcotin backcountry. There is no cell phone service in the Chilcotin so please do not depend on your phone to get you out of trouble.


Woman standing on top of a mountain.
Girl taking pictures from the top of a mountain.
Two women climb back up from a green alpine pool.
Waterfall streams over rocks it's carved out.
Green blue pool at the top of a mountain.
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