Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Visitor Information
  • Weather conditions in Monkman Park tend to be unstable year round. In summer, the weather is usually cool, wet and often windy, as the Rocky Mountains effectively block the westward movement of moist Pacific air. Hikers should be prepared for all weather conditions in this changeable climate. Always carry first-aid equipment and extra clothing and food. Water sources in the backcountry may carry giardia or other parasites. Boil or filter all water when in the backcountry.

Monkman Provincial Park

  • Be aware there is a “Boil Water Advisory” in effect at this park.
  • White-Nose Syndrome
    White-nose Syndrome is a fungal disease that has been linked to the mass die-off of hibernating bats in Eastern North America - it poses a significant threat to bats of the west and British Columbia. There is evidence that humans have accelerated the spread through entering caves with contaminated clothing, gear or equipment. Therefore, prevention strategies are focussed on public education/awareness to prevent the introduction of the fungus through human activities. There are currently (JUNE 2011) no reported cases of WNS west of the Rockies.
    To ensure the protection of bats and their habitat in this park, B.C. Parks strongly advises that personal caving gear that has been used anywhere east of the Rockies not be used in BC and that cavers and visitors read the following fact sheet on decontamination before entering caves in BC.
    Supporting Decontamination Documentation for Cavers [pdf]
    Biosecurity Protocol For Research Visits To Bat Hibernacula In Ontario [pdf]

About This Park

Monkman Provincial Park Monkman Provincial Park, nestled in the Hart Ranges of the Central Rocky Mountains and Foothills, covers 62,867 hectares of diverse natural landscapes encompassing extensive alpine meadows, jagged mountain peaks, forested valleys, thundering waterfalls and clear alpine lakes. Monkman Park was established in 1981. An additional 22,000 hectares were added in 1999 to protect the Limestone Lakes and Upper Fontiniko Creek Valley areas. This addition protects old growth spruce forests, unique geological formations and important recreation.

The park has a diverse water system that includes the Murray and Monkman drainages. Scenic rapids, waterfalls, streams and lakes all contribute to the dramatic visual impact of the landscape. The northern section of Monkman Provincial Park features Kinuseo Falls, where the Murray River plunges 60 metres over a geological fault to the river bed below. This thunderous cascade of water is higher than Niagara Falls and provides many visitors with the highlight of their trip. Despite the rugged grandeur of the park, prime areas of it can be easily accessed--there is even a wheelchair-accessible platform affording great views of the Falls and horseshoe pits at the nearby campsite. Activities at Monkman include camping, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing, picnicking, and backcountry camping.

Park Size: 62,867 hectares

Special Notes:
  • Park visitors are requested to take out garbage and do not leave at the park.
  • Special care must be taken in alpine and sub-alpine areas. These are among the most fragile because of the severe conditions and short growing season.
  • The monkman pass memorial hiking trail past Monkman Lake is for experienced hikers only with advanced navigation skills. At this point it becomes a route and climbs into the sub-alpine where there is no trail maintenance. Please be prepared past this point for wilderness navigation, route finding, and wilderness alpine camping (no wood fuel is available).
  • National Topographic Series Maps 93I/11 and 93I/14 at a scale of 1:50,000 cover the Monkman Lake Trail. These maps are available from most map retailers in British Columbia.
  • The Murray river forestry road that leads into Monkman Park is rough to travel although the road has been greatly improved. Visitors can expect to encounter washboard and potholes. Please allow for slow travel.
Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
Opening and Closing Campground Dates:
(campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security, etc.)
Campground is generally open on the Wednesday before the May long weekend to mid November as road conditions allow access. This is may change with earlier opening dates or later closing dates depending on weather.
Campground Reservable Dates: Not applicable
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 20
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
Not applicable
Note: The above information is for the campground only. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit. Check the "Attention Visitor Notice" above for park alerts.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. Monkman Provincial Park is located on the Murray River Road, 60 kilometres south of Tumbler Ridge. Several roads provide access to this community. Turn south off highway 97 at Chetwynd onto Highway 29, or turn south off of Highway 97 onto highway 52 approximately 17 km west of Dawson Creek. Visitors travelling on Highway 2 to or from Dawson Creek can also turn south on Highway 52, near the BC/Alberta border.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

  • History: Monkman Provincial Park was named after Alex Monkman, an individual who expended a considerable amount of effort attempting to build a transportation route from the Peace River farming country down to the Pacific ports. In 1922, he and a group of fur trappers discovered what is now known as Monkman Pass. It was this pass that provided him with his vision for a railroad, a direct and economical route south. Failing to get government support for his venture, Monkman focused on the alternative--building a highway. The Monkman Pass Highway Association was formed in 1936, and over the next three years, many determined volunteers laboured to blaze this new trail. Limited funding, harsh conditions, and the outbreak of the Second World War eventually brought the project to a halt. A railway was later built to the northwest over the Pine Pass, and Monkman’s “highway” slowly faded into historical obscurity. Today, only a few sections are visible along the Monkman Lake Trail, a route that follows parts of the original road. The Brooks Falls in Monkman Provincial Park, was named after Carl Brooks, one of the volunteers who worked along with Alex Monkman and the Highway Association. A cairn marking overlooking the falls has been placed in his honour.
  • Conservation: Lower elevations in the park are dominated by mature sub-alpine fir, white spruce and lodgepole pine. The higher elevations support growths of Englemann spruce, sub-alpine fir and white spruce. Above the treeline, only plants adapted to the conditions are to be found. Monkman Provincial Park conserves representative areas of the Central Rocky Mountains and Foothills. Lower elevations in the park are dominated by mature sub-alpine fir, white spruce and lodgepole pine. The higher elevations support growth of Engelmann spruce, sub-alpine fir and white spruce. Above treeline, the trees become dwarfed and twisted. Alpine meadows of heathers, grasses and wildflowers, such as white rhododendron, arctic lupine, glacier lily and Indian paintbrush cover large areas and are intermixed with shrubs.
  • Wildlife: The diverse range of habitat in Monkman Provincial Park supports grizzly and black bear, mountain goats, caribou and moose. During the warmer seasons, deer, mountain sheep, gray wolves, fishers, martens, wolverines, marmots, hares, and red squirrels are joined by numerous bird species that include owls, ptarmigan, grouse, geese and loons. Because of the fierce winter climate, most of the larger animals tend to seek a more hospitable range during the winter months.

    Kinuseo Falls presents an impassable obstacle to migrating fish, so fish habitat is not the same above and below the falls. Larger fish are able to follow the Murray River drainage from lower elevations to the falls. Above the falls, only small char, trout, grayling and whitefish inhabit the Murray River and upper Monkman Creek.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
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Activities Available at this Park

Caving

Caving

There are opportunities to spelunk on the Stone Corral Trail. Small Caves can be found in the limestone outcrops.

At the far end of the Stone Corral, beneath the steepest cliffs, lies the large entrance to Corral Cave. Although this cave is only 20 metres deep, it contains a number of fascinating features. The walls are smooth and vertical and the ceiling is high, making for an easy walk-in cave. The floor is rock-strewn, and there are a number of large perpetual drips. In spring and early summer the floor of the cave is a dramatic collection of large icicles. On the left wall, about halfway in, there is a small round hole. This is a typical phreatic tube. The initial dissolution process that widens the cracks underground occurs below the water table. Because of the very slow movement of the water and because it completely fills the crack, the result is a perfectly round tube. Later in the history of a cave when the water-table drops and air enters, if water is still passing through the crack it will selectively erode the bottom portion. The resulting V-shape is known as vadose, as opposed to the round phreatic features. At the end of the cave, if a flashlight is shone up into the top corner, there are a few tiny stalactites. Beyond these is a long descending tongue of a softer white substance, moonsmilk, an organic form of calcite. It is gooey when wet, with a texture like cottage cheese, but crumbly and powdery when dry. The origin of the name is traced to Europe, where the exact translation means “gnome’s milk”. It was used in medieval times as a wound dressing and recent research has shown the appropriateness of this remedy, as moonsmilk contains a number of substances with antibacterial properties. Overhead and along the wall there are also some beautiful calcite flowstone walls, as well as another attractive collection of small stalactites at the drip sites.

Another cave can be found along the trail as it leads away from the cliff-edge and crosses a gully. There is a tiny sinkhole with a small opening in the rock-face, this is one of the entrances of Porcupine Cave. Do not enter this opening! Instead, proceed and enter a second sinkhole just over the ridge, as the entrance to the cave from this aspect is larger. Porcupine Cave is 10 metres long, and joins the two sinkholes. It is a classic solutional feature created by the dissolving of limestone by slowly moving water. It is fairly narrow at either end but opens up into a chamber in the middle with standing room. There are fine coral fossils on the ceiling in this chamber. There is also cave popcorn, which is recognized by its knob-like shape, resulting from concentric layering of tiny calcite crystals. The floor of this cave is covered with old porcupine droppings, hence the name.

Caves are fragile environments that need to be treated with the greatest respect. Under no circumstances should you touch the walls, take anything or leave anything.
Cycling

Cycling

Mountain biking is only allowed up to km 12 along the Monkman Trail.
Fishing

Fishing

The lakes and rivers within Monkman Provincial Park contain fish species such as trout, char, grayling and whitefish. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

The monkman pass memorial hiking trail past Monkman Lake is for experienced hikers only with advanced navigation skills. At this point it becomes a route and climbs into the sub-alpine where there is no trail maintenance. Please be prepared past this point for wilderness navigation, route finding and wilderness alpine camping (no wood fuel is available). For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure. Click here for Trail Information.
Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

Horses are allowed along the Monkman Trail and within backcountry areas zoned Wilderness Recreation. These areas cover the upper Monkman Creek watershed including the latter half of the Monkman Trail. Horse users are required to carry feed for their horses.
Hunting

Hunting

Part of the park is closed to hunting. Please consult the current BC Hunting Regulation Synopsis for hunting information.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

A viewing platform is located at Kinuseo Falls. This platform is accessed via a short walk from the parking and picnic area. Interpretive signs are located at the lookout highlighting the areas features.

The Stone Corral area of Monkman park was discovered in 1999. A hike to the area takes you through amazing features such as small caves with stalactites, moonsmilk and other limestone formations, ponds and many kinds of moving water, interesting plants, fossils, and magnificent viewpoints. An interpretive brochure has been printed documenting all the areas special features.

Kinuseo Falls at 60 metres (197 ft.) is one of the most spectacular features of Monkman Provincial Park. The falls are slightly taller than Niagara Falls and plunge into a spectacular canyon. The falls are accessible by a short 2 minute stroll to a viewing platform.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Campfires

Campfires

Fire rings are available, but firewood is user provided.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Two cold water hand pumps are located in this park. Boil water advisory in effect. Hand pumps are shut off during the off-season.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

The picnic area is located two kilometres from the the campsite. At this location, there are picnic tables and pit toilets.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

This park has only pit toilets – no flush toilets.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis – campsite reservations are not accepted.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $16.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $8.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Monkman Park has numerous backcountry campsites. Refer to the Monkman Memorial Trail Brochure for locations. Please use these designated areas. Camping at backcountry campsites is on a first-come first-served basis. Campfires are permitted only in designated backcountry campsites. Firewood is in short supply, so please keep fires small for safety and to conserve firewood for the next hiker. Use of Primus-type campstoves is encouraged.

The southeast section of Monkman Park holds several beautiful aqua-marine lakes, which are the source of the Murray River. This area of the park is considered to be prime grizzly bear habitat and extensive human intrusion is not encouraged. Recently, the southern boundary of Monkman was extended to include areas with high conservation and recreation features, including the upper Fontoniko Creek, the Limestone Lakes area and the rolling plateau to the west. This addition protects old-growth spruce forests, unique geological features, and important recreation aspects of the park’s terrain, wildlife and ecosystems.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

Kinuseo Falls lower viewpoint is wheelchair accessible.