Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park

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Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park
Rainbow Range From Air.jpg
Tweedsmuir Park's Rainbow Range from the air.
Map showing the location of Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park
Map showing the location of Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park
Location of Tweedsmuir South in British Columbia
Nearest cityPrince George and Bella Coola
Coordinates52°31′16″N 125°54′49″W / 52.52099°N 125.91373°W / 52.52099; -125.91373Coordinates: 52°31′16″N 125°54′49″W / 52.52099°N 125.91373°W / 52.52099; -125.91373
Area989,616 ha (3,820.93 sq mi)
EstablishedMay 21 1938
Governing bodyBC Parks

Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park is a provincial park located in the central west of British Columbia, Canada. Formerly part of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park which was originally 981,000 hectares in size.[1] It was formed from the southern portion of that park, the northern portion being re-designated Tweedsmuir North Provincial Park and Protected Area in order to allow resource extraction in the park.

The park is home to Lonesome Lake, famed for homesteader and conservationist Ralph Edwards, who worked to preserve migration habitat there for the trumpeter swan. This park was affected by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic in British Columbia.[2]

Name origin[edit]

The park, or rather the original Tweedsmuir Provincial Park which included what is now Tweedsmuir North Provincial Park and Protected Area, was created in 1938 in the wake of a 1937 visit by floatplane and horseback to the Rainbow Range by John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, who was then Governor-General of Canada.[2] An article about the creation of the park, written by John Buchan's wife, The Lady Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, appears in the April 1938 issue of The National Geographic Magazine.

Hunlen falls located in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park


With such a vast area the climate varies throughout the park. However in the lower regions closer to the Bella Coola Valley the temperature is warmer with a higher annual level of rainfall. Around one fifth of their annual precipitation falls as snow. Further west as the altitude climbs the weather is generally more severe and the temperature changes throughout the summer and winter are drastic. On average ranging between the minus thirties mid winter, to the higher forties during high summer.[2]


The southern portion of the park is along Highway 20, approximately 400 kilometres west of Williams Lake. Access is also possible along the Discovery Coast Passage ferry and Inside Passage from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island on BC Ferries[3] or by float plane from Nimpo Lake, Anahim Lake or Bella Coola.[4]

Rainbow Range located in the northern area of the park


The park hosts opportunities for angling, hiking, horseback riding, camping (both front-country and backcountry), and canoeing. There are two vehicle-accessible campgrounds in the park. There are also four designated picnic areas within the park. There is limited vehicle-accessible winter camping as well. The Tweedsmuir Ski Club maintains a small ski hill within the boundaries of the park with a single handle tow and cross-country ski trails.[5] Snowmobiling is also possible within the Rainbow Range. Wildlife viewing, specifically of grizzly bears and black bears is a focus of the park in the autumn along the Atnarko River.

Points of interest[edit]

The main corridor through the park, along the highway, is interpreted by a series of signs developed as a partnership between BC Parks and the Nuxalk Nation.[6] Some of the main attractions in the park are as follows:

Hunlen Falls: One of Canada's highest waterfalls for unbroken drop (259m). The falls can be accessed via float plane or foot.

Rainbow Range (Chilcotin Plateau): Volcano range where the unique minerals give the soil an array of colours.

Alexander MacKenzie Heritage Trail: A historic passage used by Local first nations to the region and early explores for trade and travel to the coast.[7] The trail passes through the park, via Heckman Pass and Burnt Bridge Creek.


  1. ^ Harris, Chris (1999). Tweedsmuir British Columbia's Park of Many Colours. Country Light Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 0-9695235-9-9.
  2. ^ a b c BC Parks Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park webpage, History section
  3. ^ "Inside Passage Fall/Winter/Spring". BC Ferries. British Columbia Ferries Corporation. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Tweedsmuir Provincial Park – South". BC Travel & Tourism. BC Travel & Tourism. 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  5. ^ Thompson, Caitlin (14 November 2018). "New Tweedsmuir XC ski cabin almost ready for winter season". Coast Mountain News. Black Press. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  6. ^ Thompson, Caitlin (8 August 2019). "BC Parks unveils new signage in Tweedsmuir Park". Coast Mountain News. Black Press. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail, BC". Retrieved 2018-03-13.

External links[edit]