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
Park Contact Northwest Escapes Ltd
Email: nwescapesbc@telus.net
Phone: 250 638-8490
Cell: 250 631-7565
Or phone Lakelse Lake Provincial Park Gatehouse from May 15 to Labour Day: 250 798-2466

Anhuluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’Asanskwhl Nisga’a
(a.k.a. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park)

About This Park

Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asanskwhl Nisga'a (Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park) 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.

The Nisga’a Visitor Centre offers guided walks to the volcanic crater.

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.

Special Features: 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.

Geological History: As 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 features include:
  • Tree 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.
  • Blocky – large chunks of lava.
Mushroom harvesting is NOT permitted within the park. Check with Nisga’a Lisims Government for licensing requirements for harvesting mushrooms on Nisga’a Lands

Lava rock may be sharp, unstable and surfaces may be thin especially along lake and stream edges, so explore with care.

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.)
May 9 – September 2
Off-season: no fee, no services, user maintained
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: May 9 – September 2
Campground Reservable Dates: Not applicable
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 16
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. Self-registration, running water, fire wood available, sorry no sani-dump facilities, Visitor Centre located next to the campground.
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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.

The 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.

Nisga’a Visitor Centre: (located at campground) Open weekends May 17th – June 22nd. Open 7 days a week June 28th to Sept 1st. Hours of Operation: 10 am – 5 pm. Merchandise, maps, stories, pictures, attractions, learn about Nisga’a language, culture, history, feasts and laws.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
  • Park Map [PDF 196KB – updated June 2008]
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Nature and Culture

  • Cultural 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.

    One 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.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
  • Nisga’a culture, volcanic landscape, wilderness and wildlife values combine to make an outstanding protected area next to the mighty Nass River.
    The Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a Master Plan [PDF 2.77MB] is available online in pdf format.
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Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Canoeing and kayaking opportunities are available at Lava lake.
Cycling

Cycling

Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Fishing

Fishing

Excellent 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 regulations.
Hiking

Hiking

  • Five 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.
  • For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
  • 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.
Hunting

Hunting

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.
Interpretive Programs

Interpretive Programs

Guided Lava Cone Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays from May 17 to June 22 and Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 28th to September 1st. Those interested in taking the guided cone tour are asked to meet at the Visitor Centre at 10:00 am. Please ensure you have good walking shoes, water, lunch and appropriate clothing. Lunches are available for additional cost of $20. Not recommended for children under the age of 7.

Drop-in Lava Cone Tour leaves Visitor Centre @10:00 am. Groups of 6 or more can arrange a private tour.

Lava Cone Tours:
Available from June 28th thru to Sept 1st.
Tour rates: $30 adults, $25 students and seniors, $20/student groups.
Dates: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Time: Leaving from Visitor Info Centre at 10 am.
Notes:
  • Tours generally take about 4 hours
  • Trail is classified as a moderate hike
  • All trips rain or shine
  • Sorry no dogs allowed on trail
  • Book ahead to ensure your spot
  • Call for group rates
Self-Guided Auto Tour:
Brochures are available for $4.00/each at Nisga’a Lisims Government Office - New Aiyansh, the Nisga’a Park Visitor Centre and the Terrace Visitor Centre.

Nisga’a Visitor Centre: (located at camp ground) Open weekends May 17th to June 22nd. Open 7 days a week June 28th to Sept 1st.
Hours of Operation: 10 am - 5 pm
Merchandise, maps, stories, pictures, attractions, learn about Nisga’a language, culture, history, feasts and laws.

For more information on the campground, Visitor Centre and guided tours please contact our on-site operator, Steve at info@nassvalleytours.com or call 250-633-2733. You can also visit the website www.nassvalleytours.com

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.
Swimming

Swimming

There is swimming available at Lava Lake. The beaches are a mixture of sand and rock.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Self-Guided Auto Tour:
Brochures are available for $4.00/each at Nisga’a Lisims Government Office - New Aiyansh, the Nisga’a Park Visitor Centre and the Terrace Visitor Centre.
Winter Recreation

Winter Recreation

Snowmobiling is permitted in the Sterling Mountain Snowmobile area.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

A 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.
Campfires

Campfires

Please 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.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

There is a water pump located at the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park campground.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This 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.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit 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.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This 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 Centre, which is located next to the campground. Self-registration, running water, fire wood available, sorry no sani-dump facilities, Visitor Centre located next to the campground.
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

Wilderness 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.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

The campground has a wheelchair accessible campsite and pit toilet.