Visitors - Important Notice!
of May 8, 2008:
- The Vetter
Creek bridge in Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park will still be closed until May 17, 2008 due to cement needing to settle after the bridge structure had been replaced. This means the campground is still closed and re-opening on Saturday, May 17, 2008.
apologize for any inconvenience this causes. Please
contact the Skeena/Nass Area Supervisor at 250 798-2277
ext. 30 for more information.
The dramatic landscape blended with the rich native
culture makes this park a special experience. The park
offers visitors a chance to explore many unique and interesting
features of a volcanic landscape and to learn about the
culture and legends of the Nisga'a people.
Just outside of the park, there are five communities,
four of which are Nisga'a villages. Their names are Gitlakdamix
(New Aiyansh), Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City), Lakalzap
(Greenville), Kincolith and Nass Camp. All communities
are road accessible from the park. Within the communities
there are amenities like: grocery stores, bed and breakfasts,
restaurants, gift shops, gas stations and health services.
The Nisga’a Visitor Centre offers
guided walks to the volcanic crater.
Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl
Nisga’a (Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park)
is the first provincial park within the Province of British
Columbia established to combine interpretation of natural
features and native culture. The park is included in
the landmark treaty, the “Nisga’a Final Agreement”,
between the Government of Canada and the Nisga’a
Nation. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park is also
the first provincial park to be jointly managed by a
First Nation and BC Parks.
The Nisga'a alkali basalt flow is one of the youngest
and most accessible volcanic features in British Columbia.
The guided volcanic tours offer the park visitor a chance
to hike 3 km through a scenic old growth forest and past
a variety of volcanic features to a viewpoint overlooking
the crater. To protect the special features of the area,
unguided access to the volcanic cone is prohibited. The
hike is rated as moderate with some hills and steep stairs.
Guided cone tours are provided during the operating
season. See below for more information
the lava spilled from the crater an estimated 250 years
ago, it followed a creek bed downslope to Lava Lake
and down the Tseax Valley to the Nass River. The lava
travelled at different speeds depending on the steepness
of the slope. Some types of lava flow and interesting
cast - formed by burned out tree trunks leaving
holes in the lava.Lava
tube - formed as the top layer cooled and hardened.
The crust insulated the lava flowing inside which
eventually flowed out leaving the crust as the roof
and walls of the tube.Pahoehoe
- lava that often has a smooth surface or is ropey
in form. AA
- rough and jagged lava.
- large chunks of lava.
harvesting is NOT permitted within the park. Check with
Nisga’a Lisims Government for licensing requirements
for harvesting mushrooms on Nisga’a Lands
easiest way to access the Lava Beds is to take Highway
16 to Terrace, then north for 100 km on the Nisga'a
Highway, which is paved for the first 70 km. The alternate
route is through Kitwanga on Highway 16. From Kitwanga,
head north for 78 km on paved Highway 37 to the Cranberry
River. Here the unpaved Nass Forest Service Road leads
west to New Aiyansh, a distance of 86 km.
Any maps listed are for
information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be
used for navigation.
Heritage - The history of the region is
tied to legends handed down from past generations.
The Nisga'a house system is composed of four main
families: Wolf, Raven, Killer Whale, and Eagle.
Each family owns stories and passes them on to
the next generation.
of the most well known stories is about the
genesis of the volcano. Legend has it that
children had shown disrespect to the life-giving
salmon by putting stones and burning sticks
into their backs and watching them swim. The
elders warned the children repeatedly to stop
but they did not listen. Soon the ground began
to rumble. The volcano and the lava flow then
covered the valley bottom, redirected the mighty
Nass River and destroyed two villages. This
resulted in 2000 Nisga'a people perishing.
- Conservation -
This park has important special features such as
the lava flows, which are as recent as 250 years
ago. This region also contains cinder cones, tree
moulds, lava tubes and caves, spatter cones, and
Lava Lake. Some lava flow features are very delicate
and need protection. Lichens cover the majority of
lava flow and a single footprint can set back hundreds
of years of growth. Please stay on the trails.
- Wildlife - If
you plan on exploring the Nass Mountain Range, you
will be in the company of moose, goats, marmots,
bears and many other species of wildlife. Always
use good judgement when in the presence of wildlife.
When visiting the Vetter Falls viewpoint, visitors
might get a chance to catch a glimpse of a "phantom" steelhead.
rock may be sharp, unstable and surfaces may be thin especially
along lake and stream edges, so explore with care.
Visitor Safety Information (park
safety, hazards, wildlife safety information, health risks)
parks that accept reservations,
all vehicle accessible campsites (with the exception of
group sites) must be reserved through Discover
Parks: Fees, park listings, what
you should know before you go and other useful links.
park offers 16 vehicle accessible campsites on
a first-come, first-served basis, campsite reservations
are not accepted. There are large sites, double
sites and wheelchair accessible sites available.
Most sites are shaded due to the surrounding
deciduous forest. Additional parking is available
at the visitor information center, which is located
next to the campground.
Accessible Camping Fee: $15.00 per party / night
Senior's Rate (Shoulder Season only):
$7.50 per senior's couple/night
Hours of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
and Closing Campground Dates: (campground
is accessible but may not offer full
services such as water, security, etc.)
17 - September 30 (or later if season is
Dates with Full Services and Fees:
17 - September 30 (or later if season is
Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:
of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
cone tours are provided during the operating
season. See below for
camping is permitted in the backcountry and alpine
areas. Camping is not permitted in the front
country or lava beds. No developed trails or
facilities are provided.
park has several day-use/picnic areas. One is
located at Vetter Falls another at Lava Lake
and also, the Visitor Information Centre. There
are fire rings available at the Visitor Information
Centre and the day-use area.
campground has a wheelchair accessible campsite
and pit toilet.
is a water pump located at the Nisga'a Memorial
Lava Bed Park campground.
toilets are available at Lava Lake, Vetter
Falls, Nisga’a Campground, the visitor
information shelter and the Tseax River pullout.
A wheelchair accessible pit toilet is located
at the Nisga’a Campground.
Conserve Firewood. There
are fire rings available for use at the visitor centre
and the campground. While campfires are allowed and
campfire rings are provided at each campsite, we
encourage visitors to conserve wood and protect
the environment by minimizing the use of fire and
using campstoves instead. Firewood can be purchased
in the park or you may bring your own wood.Fees
for firewood are set locally and may vary from
park to park. Limited burning hours or campfire
bans may be implemented. To preserve vegetation
and ground cover, please don't gather firewood
from the area around your campsite or elsewhere
in the park (this is a ticketable offence under
the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat
element for many plants and animals and it adds
organic matter to the soil.
BC Parks do not have electrical hook-ups.
Visitor Centre located in Nisga’a Memorial
Lava Bed Park will be open:
- May 15th to June 30th - Open weekends 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- July 1st to Sept 1st - Open daily from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
cone tours are also offered:
- May 24th - June 15th - reservation only (minimum 6 people)
- July 1st to Sept 1st - scheduled tours leave the Visitor Centre on Satuirdays at 10:00 am; or by reservation only (minimum 6 people)
- Sept 1st to Oct 1st - reservation only (minimum 6 people)
ensure you have good walking shoes, water,
lunch and appropriate clothing. Not recommended
for children under the age of 7.
can be arranged by reservation by calling Northwest
Escapes Ltd at:
for the Volcano tours are as follows:
(ages 16 -18) - $20.00
(ages 8 -15) and seniors - $15.00
short interpretive trails, "Crater
Creek", "Beaupre Falls", "Tree
Mould Trail", "Vetter Creek
Trail" and the "Fish Wheel
Trail" provide easy access to several
of the park's special features.
your own safety and preservation of the
park, obey posted signs and keep to designated
trails. Shortcutting trails destroys
plant life and soil structure.
Nisga'a alkali basalt flow is one of
the youngest and most accessible volcanic
features in British Columbia. The guided
volcanic tours offer the park visitor
a chance to hike 3 km through a scenic
old growth forest and past a variety
of volcanic features to a viewpoint
overlooking the crater. To protect
the special features of the area, unguided
access to the volcanic cone is prohibited.
The hike is rated as moderate with
some hills and steep stairs.
There is no playground
at this park.
is swimming available at Lava Lake. The beaches
are a mixture of sand and rock.
and kayaking opportunities are available at Lava
gravel, single lane boat launch accessing the
Nass River can be found at the park's north end.
A gravel, single lane boat launch accessing Lava
Lake can be found at the park's south end. Parking
space is available for vehicle and boat trailers
at both locations. Overnight moorage is not recommended
at the Nass River boat launch location due to
fluctuating river levels.
fishing opportunities for salmon on the Tseax
River. Please check with the Nisga’a Lisims
Government for fishing licence requirements within
Nisga’a Lands. Anyone fishing or angling
in British Columbia must have an appropriate
licence. Please refer to current fishing
must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory
in British Columbia.
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.
Self-guided auto tour. Brochures are available
for $3.00/each at Nisga’a Lisims Government
Office – New Aiyansh, the Nisga'a Park visitor
centre and the Terrace Visitor Centre.
Snowmobiling is permitted in the Sterling Mountain
No SCUBA diving or snorkelling opportunities.
No windsurfing opportunities.
No waterskiing opportunities.
Hunting is permitted within the park. Please refer
to the current hunting
regulations. Check with Nisga’a Lisims
Government for licensing requirements for harvesting
wildlife on Nisga’a Lands.
No climbing or rock climbing opportunities.
No spelunking or caving opportunities.
Vetter Falls Lodge
Address: PO Box 98, New Aiyansh, BC, V0J 1A0
Phone number – 1-877-917-1177
Website – http://www.kermode.net/vetterfalls/
Miles Inn on the Tseax
Address: PO Box 230, New Aiyansh, BC, V0J 1A0
Phone number – 1-800-553-1199
Website – http://www.kermode.net/milesinn/