| Winter Activities
"The clean white of winter is good
for the soul"
The West Chilcotin lends itself well to winter activities.
In a land with few fences and where elevation changes constantly,
there's a lot you can see and do on a pair of cross country
skis, snowmobile or snowshoes.
The Chilcotin Plateau is in the rainshadow of the Coast Mountain
Range so it's considered pretty arid country. However, the
region usually gets adequate snow at the lower elevations
for winter sports, and at higher elevations, 14 feet of snow
is not unusual.
The Rainbow Mountains in Tweedsmuir Park are probably the
best known snowmobiling area in the region with deep snow,
trails, some of them groomed, and miles and miles of country
to explore. There are even a couple of cabins for lunch or
overnight stops and pretty good maps
on the Tweedsmuir
Park site showing snowmobile boundaries. Park officials
expect you to stay within those boundary lines. The Rainbow
Range Trailhead is on Highway 20 West of Anahim Lake just
before you drop over the Bella Coola Hill. There is also a
small ski hill there a short way in, and on the other side
of the highway are excellent, groomed, circle cross country
In a land of few fences, you can pretty much go where you
please with a snowmobile keeping in mind a couple of things.
If you are going to cross private property, ask permission
first. Most importantly, stay out of areas where there are
caribou herds. As long as we all respect that then we'll be
able to continue snowmachining into areas that might otherwise
be considered environmentally delicate. If not, then legislation
will be passed to close huge areas to winter recreation and
that will be a real loss to back country winter enthusiasts.
Some of the best backcountry skiing in the world is available
in British Columbia's Chilcotin and Central Coast Mountians
with ultimate back country skiing conditions available from
March to June. A local charter service can fly ski mountaineering
groups into the Waddington and Pantheon Ranges and into the
Homathko for ski traverse trips. With over a million acres
of prime powder, heli skiing and heli boarding are fast becoming
BC's premier winter adventure.
Tatla Lake has several miles of groomed cross country ski
trails and hosts an annual cross country ski race while resorts
on Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake sometimes keep some local trails
The Monarch Icefields in the Coast Range to the west and
the Homathko Icefields to the south both offer terrific views
and extreme touring for experienced and self reliant cross
The Itcha Ilgatchuz and Tsylos Provincial Parks both offer
excellent self guided cross country ski touring or snowshoe
conditions but there are no set trails.
Keep in mind that the selection of operators and accommodations
throughout the Chilcotin in winter is much smaller than in
summer as many resorts and lodges are closed through the winter