Hiker’s HavenThere’s no place on earth quite like Wells Gray Park with its ancient volcanic fields, glacier fed lakes, wildflower-strewn meadows, jagged mountain peaks and storybook waterfalls . Rife with all sorts of wildlife, this region just begs to be explored on two feet with a backpack and camera in hand.
From a simple stroll along the Clearwater or Murtle Rivers to multi-day treks high above the alpine, Wells Gray is a hiker’s haven! You can access many trails right from the Corridor and with a path for every level of hiker, half the adventure is deciding where to go! Here are some suggestions of where you can wander:
Walk Through HistoryWell before the park was created, pioneering families staked their claim, cleared the land and built their homesteads in the shadow of Pyramid Mountain. Long abandoned and now being reclaimed by the forest, you can still catch a glimpse of the Ray Family Farm and the Majerus Homestead by hiking trails just off the Clearwater Lake Road in the Park’s Corridor.
Both homesteads are a short hike from the main road. Trillium dotted paths wind through the forest leading to open meadows and remnants of pioneer farms. You can only imagine the strength and determination it took those pioneers to make their homes a seven-day horse ride from civilization. Bring your cameras and lots of bug repellent – the overgrown vegetation at both farms is a Mecca for mosquitoes! Difficulty Level 1 - 3
Alpine Hiking – Trophy MountainIf you’re after something a little more challenging, try the Trophy Mountain alpine meadows, a 45-minute hike through an interior old growth rainforest of fragrant spruce and sub-alpine fir. One moment you’re deep in the trees and the next you’re standing knee-deep in a rainbow of colour surrounded by blooming wildflowers. Blooms are at their peak in July and August, making this trail one of the most popular hikes in the Park. Difficulty Level 4 - 6
If it’s an epic ridge romp that you’re after, continue through the alpine meadows to Sheila Lake and beyond. Soak up alpine solitude climbing lichen-encrusted rocks and boulder fields to 2500 metres where panoramic views of Skyline Ridge are your reward for trekking 12-kilometres from the parking lot. Difficulty Level 7 - 8
Hut-to-Hut HikingFor an alpine adventure you can only dream of, indulge in a guided hut-to-hut hiking experience for a full dose of off-the-grid splendour. Three, five and seven day excursions above the tree-line will have you climbing peaks, swimming in high-alpine lakes, napping in wildflower meadows, bedding down in wilderness cabins, making memories and friends along the way.
Crowds are never included high in the alpine, but dramatic scenery is! Thread your way through high-mountain passes, meadows blanketed in flowers and watch for wildlife you won’t find at lower elevations. Encounter avalanche paths, remote mountain lakes, cirques and glaciers that most people never see while walking on top of the world. Difficulty Level 9 – 10
You can easily explore the Park on your own, but to understand the history, geology and wildlife that make up Wells Gray, you may want to hike with a local naturalist. Learn the fascinating history of the Park’s waterfalls, flower meadows, volcanic fields and mountain peaks on full and half-day treks and you’ll be inspired to head out on your own trails of discovery. Difficulty Level 1 - 10
|1 – 3||Take the whole family; it’s an easy hike|
|4 – 6||Take your time; there will be some elevation gain and challenging terrain|
|7 – 8||Take a rescue beacon; this is for serious, well-prepared hikers only|
|9 – 10||Take a guide, difficult terrain, steep elevation gains, changing weather means you’ll need an expert to lead the way|
Keep Wildlife WildThe chance of seeing wildlife in the wild is one of the most exciting things about Wells Gray. Just setting off on the trail almost ensures you’ll encounter animals, roaming the trail ahead or behind you, after-all the Park is home to Grizzly and Black bear, moose, deer, coyotes and wolves, and more than 250 species of birds.
It’s important to treat animals with the respect they deserve. Approaching them threatens their survival and once animals become accustomed to being around people, they are at risk of losing the very thing that makes them special – their wildness. You can follow their paw-prints, but practice safe wildlife viewing and you’ll have more than enough stories & photos to share.
When to Go
- May and June – trails are still soft from winter melt but there’s a great chance you’ll have a wildlife sighting early in the season
- July and August are best for hiking wildflower meadows at Trophy Mountain when flowers are in their peak
- September and October are two of the best months to hike – the days are still warm, there are fewer mosquitoes and you’ll feel like you have the whole Park to yourself!
Need to Know
- All of our hikes are through dense wilderness trails or high alpine meadows
- Hiking poles or walking sticks come in handy when hiking the alpine
- Our mosquitoes are trophy-size! Bring lots of repellent!
- You may very well encounter any number of wild animals on the trail – practice safe wildlife viewing and give them lots of room