Wells Gray Provincial Park is a little known Provincial Park in the Cariboo Mountains, in the heart of British Columbia.
The park measures 540,000 hectares and is an Eldorado for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers alike. Canoeing, kayaking,
boating, fishing, bird and wildlife watching are preferred activities. Whether for a day trip or an expedition of several
days - the park offers something for each age, for beginners or professional outdoor freaks. Enjoy lushly alpine meadows,
extinct volcanoes, waterfalls, mineral springs and glaciers.
The park has been established November 28, 1939 and has been named for the Honourable Arthur Wellsley Gray, Minister of
Land for British Columbia from 1933 to 1941. Additions have been made to the original size of the park.
The park offers many spectacles of nature, including Helmcken und Dawson Falls, as well as extinct volcanoes, lava beds,
mineral springs and glaciers. Lower elevations are dominated by dense forest and you will discover majestic cedars,
hemlock and Douglas firs. The rich fauna of this area include grizzly bears, beavers, wolverines, timber wolfs and
waterfowls. Please be advised to use extreme caution in bear country and use information available.
Murtle Lake is well known as largest canoe-only lake of North America and has an average width of 3000 meters and a
shoreline of approx. 100 kilometres. Surrounded by mountains the lake has a picturesque setting. The use of motor boats
is strictly prohibited. Please use extreme caution as strong winds due to the large size of the lake can be dangerous.
The lake can be accessed by a 27 km long gravel road coming from Blue River. A 2.5 km trails leads from the parking
lot to the canoe launch.
Pets and firearms are prohibited. Food has to be stored in bear save containers.
Helmcken Falls are the most spectacular falls of Wells Gray Provincial Park. Where the Murtle River plunges 137 meters,
is Canada's forth largest waterfall.
There are two lakes side by side, each of which has a length of 22 kilometres. This is a paradise for all those, who enjoy
kayaking, canoeing and motor boating. The lakes are also a good spot for trout fishing. There are 16 campgrounds
available. A 500 meters portage for canoes can be used to reach the adjacent lake. The lakes are an excellent starting
point to explore some of the most spectacular waterfalls of Wells Gray Provincial Park.
From Clearwater drive the Wells Gray Park Road to the north about 70 km to get to the boat launch. The street is
The backcountry of Wells Gray Provincial Park offers a wide variety of recreational activities such as wilderness camping,
canoeing, fishing adventures and wildlife watching. Most of the trails are located in the Southern part of the park. If
you would like to go further north you will relay on using map and compass and is recommended only for experienced ones.
In any case you should inform friends or relatives of your route and your expected time of return.
Some areas for hiking:
A trail of approx. 25 kilometres leads you to extinct volcanoes. You can climb them to have a look into the crater of
50 meters depth with a lake on the bottom.
The area is accessible by gravel roads from 100 Mile House on Hwy 97N and is located on the western boundary of the park.
Green Mountain Canyonlands
These are the only trails within the park accessible on horseback. The trail system has a length of 40 kilometres.
Guided tours are available. There are some wilderness campgrounds on Clearwater River. Camping outside of those campgrounds
This is one of the easiest accessible areas of the backcountry region. A one kilometre trail leads to sub-alpine meadows,
where you can enjoy countless blooming wildflowers in the months of July and August. Another trail of 1.5 kilometres length
brings you to Sheila Lake. Please always stay on the trails as the sensitive vegetation takes a long time to recover.
Maps and further information are available at the Tourist Information in Clearwater, which is located on the corner
Hwy 5 and Wells Gray Park Road.