SNOWMOBILING IN TATSHENSHINI-ALSEK PARK
The use of snowmobiles in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park has increased significantly. In resent years, BC Parks and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations have taken the necessary steps to provide winter recreation opportunities for those wishing to ride snowmobiles in this magnificent corner of British Columbia. At the same time, BC Parks is committed to protecting the natural environment and preserving wildlife species and their habitat.
Recent studies indicate that snowmobile activity does affect a wide variety of animals, often resulting in behavior alterations, habitat avoidance, and energy expenditures at critical times when animals are under extreme stress due to winter hardships. By respecting wildlife you encounter while riding in the park, you will help preserve the long-standing value this area provides for wildlife and their habitat.
Where can you ride in the park?
Snowmobile use is only allowable in a specified area within the park. The roughly 60,000 hectare, snowmobile area is in the park’s Natural Environment Zone, one of two management zones within the park. The other zone in the park is called the Wilderness Recreation Zone.
The objective of the Natural Environment Zone is to provide a limited number of entry points along the Haines Highway where snowmobile use is permitted. Access is restricted largely to valley bottoms and valley ridges in this portion of the park. Here is a snowmobile area map - [PDF 2.84MB] and a snowmobiling brochure [PDF].
Generally the use of snowmobiles in Provincial Parks is prohibited. BC Parks has allowed for this activity to continue in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park providing it is contained within the Natural Environment Zone and does not negatively impact conservation values. However, if this objective cannot be achieved, BC Parks will have no choice other than to consider a complete closure to the use of snowmobiles in the park.
- Be Respectful of Others – Snowmobiles can present a danger to other park visitors, especially backcountry skiers and snowboarders.
- Ride Straight – Avoid alcohol until you are completely finished riding, snowmobile operation requires constant care, caution and attention.
- Be prepared for adverse weather conditions, which are typical for this area.
- Be Aware - Know how to identify high-risk avalanche areas. Be capable and equipped for avalanche self-rescue. Minimize your risk in hazardous terrain by avoiding glaciers, traveling underneath cornices, along gullies and in creek beds.
- Slow it Down– Maintain speeds that are responsible and practical for conditions at night or in flat light, where speeds should be slower because of the reduced visibility.
- Leave No-Trace – Leaving behind litter and waste can harm the environment and negatively affect the wilderness experience for others who follow. Remember “if you pack it in…pack it out.”
- Spread the Word - BC Parks, the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the Klondike Snowmobile Association urge you to make your fellow snowmobile enthusiasts aware of responsible and appropriate use in the park.
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