Top of the World Provincial Park Hiking Trails, British Columbia Rockies


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Top of the World Provincial Park
British Columbia Rockies


Overview:

The region known as British Columbia Rockies is world famous for mountain climbing, extraordinary skiing, excellent golfing, rafting, mountain biking, fishing and superb hiking. Topping all this, is the incomparable scenery. Mountains surround the region. To the west are the Purcell Mountains, to the east are the Rocky Mountains, separating the two mountains ranges, is the Rocky Mountain Trench. The Columbia River is the main source of drainage for the area. Clear, cool lakes and streams dot the landscape. After a day of vigorous activity, the soothing hot springs are a welcome addition. British Columbia Rockies have everything to make your stay unforgettable. The two National Parks and many provincial parks, have been set aside to preserve the nature beauty for everyone to enjoy. Backcountry hiking is one way to learn more about British Columbia Rockies.

Hiking Knowledge:

All parks and recreation areas where they allow backcountry hiking call for individuals to practice the code of ethics to help preserve the wilderness. When backpacking in the wilds, please leave the area with as little impact as possible. Preparing and planning the hiking trip is very important. Consider the hiking experience and capability of everyone in the party and choose accordingly. Outline your route and leave word with someone, detailing the trail and estimated time of return. Everyone should know how to use a compass and read the maps. Always carry a first aid kit and necessary survival gear. Pack and use a camping stove.

Use existing trails. Travel trails single file, do not go around muddy sections and do not cut corners. In the places, where there are no trails, hike the most durable surfaces such as gravel, sand or rock and spread the hiking group out.


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When choosing a campsite make sure it is sway from the water and trail. Do not cut trees for firewood or any other reason. Carry water or else treat it before drinking or using. Never bury garbage. Animals will dig it up. Whatever you pack in, be prepared to pack out. Watch for signs of wild animals, and keep your distance. Respect the fact that the wilderness is their home. Humans are the visitors. Following these few simple, common sense rules will help save the natural environment. Do your part so others can enjoy the much sought after wilderness in British Columbia.

Top of the World Provincial Park:

This park is known for the rugged and natural beauty. It encompasses 8,791 hectares (21.714 acres) of mountains, lakes, valleys and streams. To the west of the park is the Hughes Ranges, while to the east lies the Van Nostrand Range. Mount Morro at 2,912 metres (9,551 feet) high overlooks the park and is a majestic sight. Fir and Engelmann spruce cover the subalpine region. Lodgepole pine, Sitka alder, alpine larch and white bark pine grow throughout the different areas in the park. The plateau is a sea of alpine flowers. Animals such as elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats can be seen and bird life is plentiful within the park boundaries. Make your camp headquarters at Fish Lake and hike the trails that lead to other sections of the park. There are four different camping locations. Only Fish Lake has a cabin for over night use. It will hold twenty to twenty-five persons on a first-come, first-serve basis. Top of the World Provincial Park is a wilderness area without supplies or equipment. Be prepared for outdoor living.

Access:

From the south by way of Ram Creek is a rough road and not meant for low clearance vehicles. Just north of Skookumchuck on Highway 93/95, take Sheep Creek Road for 9.6 km (6 mi.), then take the right fork and cross Lussier River. When reaching kilometre 27.7 (mile 17) turn right and continue to the 53 km (32 mi.) mark and the trail into the park.

By way of Whiteswan lake from the south, turn east off Highway 93/95 just south of Canal Flats. Continue for 21.3 km (13.2 mi.), turn right at Lussier River Junction, before Coyote Creek, turn right and cross the creek. Stay on the main road to the park trail.

Trails in the Park:

Parking area to Fish Lake:

Suitable for family hiking, the trail is through dense forest along the river and colourful flowers are all around. Both fungi and mushrooms are plentiful here. The subterranean drainage bubbling out of the ground has formed both Crazy River and Crazy Creek. See this wonder on the Horse/Ski trail that is close to the main hiking trail. This section is only 6.7 km ( 4 mi.) in length and will take about two hours to reach Fish Lake.

Lakeshore Trail:

This trail offers a leisurely walk around Fish Lake. Enjoy many excellent views of the lake and mountains. Complete this short 2 km (1.2 mi.) hike in an hour or less. It is a great walk for the whole family.

Fish Lake to Summer Pass:

The trail, moderate too difficult in spots, is 4 km (2.5 mi.) in length and should take from two to four hours of hiking. Trailhead is found at the north end of Fish Lake off the Lakeshore trail. Hike through flowered alpine meadows to the pass.

Fish Lake to Coyote Creek Campsite and the Sugarloaf:

Look for the signs at the trailhead north of Fish Lake. Sugarloaf trail branches to the left at kilometre 5.6 (mile 3.5) and the main trail continues to Coyote Creek and the campsite. This hike of 7 km (4.4 mi.) is quite vigorous, with a hiking time of two to four hours.

Coyote Creek Campsite to Sugarloaf:

An easy trail leads from the campsite to the summit and a fantastic view of the surrounding country side. This half hour trail starts near the campsite.

Fish Lake to Wildhorse Ridge:

Trailhead is found west of Fish Lake at the bottom of the slide area. It is uphill all the way and hiking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours. From the start, the trail switchbacks steeply on the north side of the creek, then it levels out and follows the creek. Make your way over the small ravine and rock slide. Switchback up the south slope to the ridge. Wildhorse Ridge offers excellent views of the surrounding country, including Dolomite Lake and Mount Doolan. The excellent scenery and wild alpine flowers make this uphill hike worth your efforts.

Fish Lake to Sparkle Lake:

Suggested time for this 2.8 km (1.7 mi.) hike is one to two hours. Follow the Wildhorse Ridge Trail for the first section, on reaching the top of the first steep pitch it branches across the creek. Continue through the trees to a rock slide, it slowly gains elevation till the southern edge is reached. Head through the trees to a large slide, Sparkle Lake is just ahead. From this point on, be careful not to damage the vegetation, walk on the rocks. The ridges offer magnificent viewpoints. They do not permit overnight camping at Sparkle Lake.

Fish Lake to Alpine Viewpoint:

North of Fish Lake is the start of this 3.2 km (2 mi.) hike that should take about two to three hours. It ends at a large slide path, carefully pick your way through to the ridge. Going up and coming down, use caution, try not to dislodge any rocks. The views from the ridge are unsurpassed. Fish Lake, Lussier Valley, Mount Morro and the alpine meadows can be seen from up here.

Other Routes:

Most trails in Top of the World Provincial Park continue. Routes offer changes to explore more of the park features. Most routes are not well marked and experience in map reading is necessary. Hiking the outlying areas is not difficult and very rewarding as the scenery is unbelievable. Check with Park Rangers for information about these unmarked routes. Be safe, have fun hiking Top of the World or anywhere else in British Columbia.


For more information contact:
B.C. Parks
P.O. Box 118
Wasa, B.C. V0B 2K0
Telephone: (250) 422-4200
Fax: (250) 422 3326

 

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Top of the World Provincial Park Hiking Trails, British Columbia Rockies