During a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas of a park or protected area. Please read this Information Bulletin.
Nechako Canyon Protected Area
About This Protected Area
Established in July of 2000, this 1,246 hectare protected area is located about 80 km southwest of Vanderhoof. Access is via the Holy Cross forest service road on the west side of the canyon, or the Kenney Dam Road to the east (NTS map reference: 93F/10).
The Nechako Canyon Protected Area includes the 7 km long Grand Canyon of the Nechako. The canyon was created by the raging Nechako River cutting through volcanic rock, but is now a dry riverbed since the construction of the Kenny Dam diverted the water to the Pacific Coast. This impressive gorge with sheer rock walls, towering pinnacles, and overhanging cliffs is now considered a special feature, providing a rare opportunity to observe these erosional features.
The area has been utilized by the Carrier First Nations peoples for many years. More than 130 archaeological sites have been documented including a village site near Cheslatta Falls where pit depressions from dwellings and food caches can still be found.
There are no park facilities at Nechako Canyon, but just outside the protected area off the Holy Cross Road, is the Cheslatta River Recreation Site. This popular camping site is actually on land owned by Alcan, the company behind the construction of Kenney Dam and the reservoir development of the area.
The Kenney Dam, 7 km south of the recreation site, was an impressive feat of engineering when it was built in the early 1950s. With four million cubic yards of ma
From the recreation site, a forest service trail follows the Cheslatta River to meet the the Nechako River at the 18 metre high Cheslatta Falls. The Cheslatta Falls hiking trail is 1.2 km one way. Beware of steep drop-offs to the turbulent river and slippery footing at the falls. Stay on the marked trail.
Established Date: July 6, 2000
Park Size: 1,246 hectares
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- Approved Purpose Statement and Zoning Plan [PDF] is available online in pdf format.
Activities Available at this Protected Area
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Athough there are no developed trails at this park, from the recreation site, a forest service trail follows the Cheslatta River to meet the Nechako River at the 18 metre Sheslatta Falls. The Cheslatta Falls hiking trail is 1.2 km one way. Beware of steep drop-offs to the turbulent river and of slippery footing at the falls. Stay on the marked trail. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Hunting is permitted only during lawful game hunting season. Check the Hunting and Trapping Synopsis for regulations.
There are cross country skiing opportunities in this park; however, there are no set tracks. There are also snowshoeing opportunities in this park. The trails to use for both these activities are the same as the summer trails.