South Chilcotin Mountains Park (56,796 hectares): This new “Class A” park was established in 2010 as a result of the Lillooet Land and Resource Management Plan. The area is presently within the existing Spruce Lake Protected Area established under the Environment and Land Use Act. The area has long been recognized as having outstanding conservation and wilderness recreation resources focused on the alpine and sub-alpine grasslands, forest ecosystems and the small alpine lake systems of the Central and Southern Chilcotin Ranges. The park protects high- value habitats for grizzly bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer and wolverine. It offers a wide range of wilderness recreation opportunities including hiking, mountain-biking and horse riding on an extensive network of interconnected trails, ski touring, snowmobiling and heli-skiing. The park is located in the Gold Bridge/Bralorne area, approximately 75 kilometres west of Lillooet and 70 kilometres north of Pemberton.
The Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act (Bill 15) in 2010 confirmed the implementation of the 2004 decision for mining/tourism areas in the Lillooet plan area. The remaining approx. 14,550 hectares are proposed for tourism and mining, but commercial logging will be prohibited. Check out the BC governments Land and Resource Management Plan for the Lillooet area, which includes the South Chilcotin Mountains Park. A summary of public input to the Lillooet area draft park management plans can be found here: Summary of public input to Lillooet area draft management plans.
For both the South Chilcotin Mountains Park and Big Creek Park: it is hoped that more resources will become available in the future for necessities such as trail maintenance, signage, foot bridges, campground development, food hanging, etc. Currently, most trail maintenance is conducted by local outfitters but they could use help with this daunting task. Please lend a hand by removing any debris from trail ways where possible.
Some signage is present indicating the park boundaries along roads, Jewel Creek trailhead, Slim Creek trailhead and a handful of trail signs within the park usually at major trail junctions (of which some have been uprooted and moved). The Spruce Lake vicinity is the best signed within the map area, as this area is most frequented by park visitors. Please keep off private property in the Spruce Lake area – watch for the signs. Most trails and trailheads in both parks have no signs at all. This combined with the fact that many trails suddenly disappear in the many meadow areas make our Southern Chilcotin Mountains Trail Map – GPS Based – indispensable. This map also indicates the UTM positions of major trailheads.
All existing footbridges are also shown on the map. However, due to the lack of footbridges, many creek crossings are required to be done on foot or horse. All major creek crossings along trails and routes are indicated on our map. Many creek crossings are not possible during periods of high flow, usually in early summer, while some others are not possible until mid-late summer. More information on this can be found on the map. Do not attempt to cross a creek if you do not have the appropriate equipment, experience and ability. To do so is extremely risky. Act on the safe side – change your plans, turn back and visit a different part of the park.
Currently, there are use conflicts between horse and mountain bike activities on the trails. Use caution when mountain biking, especially when descending – be wary of on-coming or nearby horse and foot traffic and keep a safe distance.
Currently there are no fees charged for entering or camping within the park. BC Parks staff maintain periodic presence in both parks from spring to fall.
Campfires: if a campfire is to be used, caution must be exercised. The forests of this area are usually very dry and flammable. Forest closures due to wildfire risk have taken place here in the past – if this happens all park visitors must exit the park asap and no persons are permitted entrance until the closure is lifted. Watch for signs.
No motorized vehicles are permitted within park boundaries.
A valid BC fishing license is required when fishing anywhere in the map area.
Hunting for certain animals is permitted within both parks and most hunting takes place from Sept. 1 – Nov. 30. Please check the synopsis before fishing or hunting.