Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park
Access to the Klappan Rail Grade is compromised at the end of the Ealue Lake Road where the bridge crosses the Klappan River. There are additional impassable washouts on the Rail Grade itself. Vehicle access to the Eaglesnest and Didene Portage trailheads is not possible at this time and vehicle access to the McEwan Creek trailhead is questionable.
The Klappan Rail Grade is an unmaintained roadway. If a failure or washout occurs there is no guarantee that the roadway can or will be repaired. If you still wish to access the Rail Grade, please be aware of rising river levels. If water levels are rising, there is a high possibility of recent road repairs to fail.
BC Parks encourages park users to find alternate access to the park. High water also increases difficulty and hazards for creek crossings. The majority of our trails in the Stikine Area do not have bridges over creek crossings. Visitors are asked to use caution when crossing waterways.
If you have questions or can provide information about current conditions or hazards within Stikine Area, please contact the BC Parks Stikine Area office, at 250 771-4591. Thank you for your cooperation.
Eaglenest Creek Trail Update:
- This trail is currently in very rough condition. No repairs or maintenance have been done since 2011. The trail was damaged by erosion last season.
- There is only one bridge across Ram Creek to assist in creek crossings. The remainder of creek crossings, specifically MacDonald Creek (~30km) and unnamed creek (~9km) can be very high and difficult to cross. There are two beaver dams along the trail that make navigating this trail difficult. BC Parks encourages hikers to find an alternate route to access Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park.
Attention Horse usersThe Eaglenest Creek Trail:
- There are several areas of the trail that pass through muskeg and boggy sections that may make horse travel difficult. This trail has not been maintained since 2011, due to washouts this season.
Railgrade and portage trail conditionsKlappan Railgrade:
- The Klappan Rail grade is washed out and impassable for vehicles. Please note that the Klappan Rail Grade is an unmaintained road and may not be repaired.
- As of July 19th, 2011, the Didene Portage Trail was in good condition. The rangers cleared all windfall and brushed the trail. The trail was fairly dry with a few minor wet sections.
AirstripThe airstrip at Cold Fish Lake camp is unmaintained and closed to use by wheeled aircraft. Please avoid all use of this airstrip except in emergency situations.
Drinking WaterThe Drinking Water Protection Act and Regulations prohibits the provision of drinking water to the public at Cold Fish Lake camp. Park visitors will be required to bring or obtain their own drinking water at this site until further notice. Shower facilities and propane for cooking will still be provided.
Know Before You GoProper gear, transportation arrangements and NTS maps are prerequisites. There are no supplies of any kind in Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park or the Stikine River Park. Suitable clothing should be worn and proper equipment carried. Visitors should be in possession of appropriate maps. Those who wish to register their whereabouts should do so with a responsible person or agency. This information should include estimated departure and return times.
Horses in Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial ParkA Letter of Permission is required for individuals or groups who wish to use horses within Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park. To obtain a Letter of Permission, please contact the BC Parks Stikine Area Office at 250 771-4591. If there is no answer, please leave a detailed message stating your request for a letter of Permission, your name, contact information and the date you wish to visit the park. BC Parks will return the call as soon as possible.
AircraftOnly permitted air charter companies are authorized to fly into Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park. The permitted Air Charter Companies are:
- North Pacific Seaplanes Float plane base located at Mountain Shadow on Kluachon Lake, near Iskut, B.C. 250-234-3525 or call Mountain Shadow at 250-234-3333.
North Pacific Seaplanes Float plane base located on Dease Lake (B.C. Yukon’s base) call 250-771-3232.
- Alpine Lakes Air Ltd. Float plane base located on Tyhee Lake near Telkwa, B.C. 250-846-9488
Alpine Lakes Air has added Tatogga Lake (near Iskut) as a base of operation.
- Pacific Western Helicopters Ltd. Dease Lake, B.C. 250-771-5911
- Canadian Helicopters Ltd. Smithers, B.C. 250-847-9444
- Vancouver Island Helicopters Ltd. Head Office, Sidney, B.C. 250-656-3987
- Tsayta Aviation Ltd Float plane base located at Telegraph Creek, B.C. 250-235-3701
About This ParkSpatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park is one of Canada's largest and most significant parks. True wilderness atmosphere, outstanding scenery and varied terrain make this park an excellent place for quality hiking, photography, and nature study. Lands within the park have an excellent capability for supporting large populations of wildlife.
Stikine River Provincial Park, 217,000 hectares in area, forms a corridor on both sides of the Stikine River from its exit point on the northeast border of Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park, westward along the northern boundary of the park to the magnificent grandeur of unparalleled scenic beauty. The principal activities in the recreation area are canoeing and rafting on the Stikine River.
Park Size: 696,160 hectares
Volunteer HostSpatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park has a volunteer Park Host program. If you are interested in applying for a Park Host position, Click here for further information.
Location and Maps
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
- Park Map [PDF 221KB - updated June 2008]
Nature and Culture
- History - The park was established on December 3, 1975. Named for the region of the province that it occupies, Spatsizi means “red goat” in the Tahltan First Nation language. It was a name given to the mountain goats of the area because of their habit of rolling in the iron oxide-coloured dust, which changed their normally white coats to red.
Historically, Spatsizi was the hunting ground of the Tahltan First Nation. It was seldom visited by outsiders prior to 1926, when the Hyland brothers established a post on the Spatsizi River to trade with native fur trappers. In 1948, Tommy Walker set up permanent hunting and fishing camps at Hyland Post and Coldfish Lake, hiring local Caribou Hide Indians as guides. It was largely due to the efforts of Walker that the park and Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve were created in 1975.
- Conservation - This park spreads across two broad physiographic regions, the Spatsizi Plateau and the Skeena Mountains. The plateau, a rolling upland, ranges in elevation from 1,600 to 2,000 metres, and extends in a broad curve broken by wide “u” shaped valleys.The Eaglenest Range of the Skeena Mountains dominates the northwest. Its highest peak, Mt. Will (2,500 metres) towers above Gladys Lake.
A portion of the central part of the park just south of Coldfish Lake has been designated as the Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve. The reserve was created for the study of stone sheep and mountain goats in an undisturbed habitat. Persons wishing to view these animals may hike the reserve.
- Wildlife - Lands within the park have an excellent capability for supporting large populations of wildlife. The light snow depths in the rain shadow of the Eaglenest Range create one of the most important habitats for woodland caribou in British Columbia. The Spatsizi River Valley, with its many flooded areas and oxbow ponds, provides aquatic vegetation for summer forage as well as willow flats for winter browse for moose. Grizzly and black bears, wolverines, beaver, hoary marmot, and Arctic ground squirrels are fairly abundant and more than 140 species of birds including gyrfalcons, Smith's longspurs and American Golden Plovers have been recorded within the park boundaries.
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- Online Management Plan is available in pdf format.
Activities Available at this Park
There are two popular river trips. The first follows the Upper Stikine River from Tuaton or Laslui Lake (both accessible by float plane) to the pullout at the Highway #37 bridge. The second route is the Spatsizi River from its confluence with Didene and Kluayetz Creeks (accessed by portage from the BC Rail grade) to the Stikine River and then down the Stikine to the pullout at the Highway #37 bridge. Click here for more canoeing information.
For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Please be advised that these are wilderness trails that are not frequently travelled or maintained by BC Parks staff. Trail conditions can be extremely challenging depending on weather and other factors.
Hiking in the backcountry areas of this park requires hikers to be well equipped, experienced in backcountry travel and in good physical condition.
No Hunting is permitted within Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve
No shooting area within 1 km of Coldfish Lake camp.
Links to the BC Hunting Regulation synopsis and Limited Entry Hunting synopsis are available on the BC Parks Fishing and Hunting page.
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.
Facilities Available at this Park
Cabins / Huts / Yurts
All food must be stored in the cookhouse in rodent-proof boxes. Absolutely
no food is permitted in cabins. Users are responsible to clean cabins
upon departure. In addition, there is a cookhouse available for public
use at Cold Fish Lake Camp. The cookhouse has running water, a propane
stove, and rodent-proof storage boxes available for public use. Users
are responsible to clean the cookhouse after use. Please note: visitors
must pack out what they pack in. There are no garbage receptacles located
at Cold Fish Lake Camp. Please note: there is no longer a sauna available
at Cold Fish Lake Camp.
Fires should be used sparingly, as they are among the most serious visual impacts in the backcountry. Always carry a stove; use it for most if not all of your cooking needs and only build a fire when it is safe and will not cause further damage or deplete wood supplies. 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.
Please check for campfire bans and the Fire Danger Rating for the area you are visiting before igniting a fire in the backcountry. 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. For more information on campfires in the backcountry, click here.