Monkman Provincial Park

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The Stone Corral in Monkman Provincial Park, a doline.

Monkman Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, southwest of Tumbler Ridge and northeast of Hansard. Like Monkman Pass, Monkman Lake, Monkman Creek and Monkman Falls, it was named after Alexander Monkman.

History[edit]

By the early 1960s, a strong local interest emerged to create a national park,[1] with a proposed name of Canada Centennial Park.[2] Covering approximately a 100-mile long and 30-mile wide section of the Monkman area, a 1970 report proposed a freeze on further land leases for resources extraction, and the formation of a wilderness park.[3] The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George opposed the plan because of its impact on resource development.[4] In due course, the government banned all off-road vehicular access to prevent ground cover damage.[5] Established in 1981, the park covers 62,867 hectares.

The washed out logging road, formerly accessible only by all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel-drive trucks with winches, was upgraded during 1991 to a gravel road suitable for regular vehicles.[6] The grand opening occurred the following August, with a new 42-unit campground.[7] The 75-passenger BC Rail Prince George-Tumbler Ridge-Chetwynd circle tour for the ceremony sold out within days.[8] A further 22,000 hectares were added to the park in 1999 to protect the Limestone Lakes and Upper Fontiniko Creek Valley areas.[9]

Features[edit]

Monkman Pass[edit]

The discovery is unclear, and railway officials and legislators ignored the pass’s value, but the combined efforts of hundreds of volunteers attempted to conquer it with a highway. Only a few sections of the former road/packhorse trail are visible along the Monkman Lake Trail and Monkman Pass Memorial Trail. For the history of the wider Monkman Pass area see:

Kinuseo Falls[edit]

Located 2 km. north of the campground at the northern tip of the park, the 60-metre (197-foot) waterfall is slightly taller than Niagara Falls, but with a fraction of the water.

The Green Bowl[edit]

The gorge is southeast of Kinuseo Falls and immediately south of the entrance road on the Stone Corral Interpretive Hiking Trail.[10]

The Stone Corral[edit]

Identified in 1999, it comprises a crystal-clear tarn surrounded by 100-metre vertical limestone cliffs. Immediately south of the Green Bowl, the four-kilometre interpretive trail also includes ponds, falls and caves that contain stalactites, moonsmilk and other limestone formations.[11]

Monkman Lake Trail[edit]

The trail follows the east bank of the Murray River for seven kilometres before crossing a suspension bridge. About 10 km. farther are branches to the Cascades.[12]

The Cascades[edit]

The Cascades are a series of 10 waterfalls along Monkman Creek including Lower Moore Falls, Upper Falls, Brooks Falls, Shire Falls, Monkman Falls, McGinnis Falls and Chambers Falls. Located about 4 km. before Monkman Lake, and 1 km. west of the Memorial Trail, four bear names of original highway trailblazers: Brooks, Moore, Monkman and McGinnis.[13]

Monkman Lake[edit]

Located near the centre of the northern half of the park, the original 25-km. trail ended at the serene lake. Surrounded by precipitous mountains, it is the largest body of water in the park.

Monkman Pass Memorial Trail[edit]

Officially opened July 17, 2008, the route is an extension of the Monkman Lake Trail. The 63-km. hike takes five to six days to complete, and follows part of the former road/trail. South of Monkman Lake, the trail deviates from the original route into subalpine meadows with a series of tarns. Descending the western slopes, the terminus is Hobi’s Cabin, at the confluence of Fontiniko and Herrick Creeks, a destination accessible only by boat.[14]


Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Prince George Citizen, 19 Jul 1961
  2. ^ Prince George Citizen, 15 Sep 1961
  3. ^ Prince George Citizen, 18 Feb 1972
  4. ^ Prince George Citizen, 9 Feb 1973
  5. ^ Prince George Citizen, 7 Sep 1976
  6. ^ Prince George Citizen: 23 Sep 1991 & 20 Jul 1992
  7. ^ Prince George Citizen, 14 May 1992
  8. ^ Prince George Citizen: 11 & 15 Jul 1992
  9. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/monkman/
  10. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/monkman/stone_corral_trail_brochure.pdf
  11. ^ Prince George Citizen, 10 May 2001
  12. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/monkman/downloads/MonkmanPassMemorialTrail-HikingRoute.pdf. p. 4
  13. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/monkman/downloads/MonkmanPassMemorialTrail-HikingRoute.pdf. pp. 4-5
  14. ^ http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/monkman/downloads/MonkmanPassMemorialTrail-HikingRoute.pdf. pp. 1, 4-7


References[edit]

  • "Monkman Park". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Monkman Lake". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Monkman Creek". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Monkman Falls". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Limestone Lakes". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Fontiniko Creek". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Herrick Creek". BC Geographical Names.
  • http://pgnewspapers.pgpl.ca/fedora/repository


Further reading[edit]

  • Helm, Charles. Tumbler Ridge: Enjoying its History, Trails, and Wilderness MCA Publishing (2001).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°36′00″N 121°11′00″W / 54.60000°N 121.18333°W / 54.60000; -121.18333