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This 110,000 hectare (271,821 acre) park is named for the two mountain ranges it contains, the Itcha Range and the Ilgachuz Range. Both ranges are remnants of ancient shield volcanoes, and are the most prominent aspect of the many volcanic features found in the park. Itcha Ilgachuz Park contains expansive alpine, subalpine and spruce-pine forest ecosystems, as well as some wetlands. The park is also home to the largest caribou herd in southern British Columbia. Itcha Ilgachuz Park is wild and remote, a place where nature remains intact and pristine

location

This remote wilderness park, located east of Tweedsmuir, has neither roads nor any road access. The nearest communities are located along Highway 20 and include Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake. To reach these communities travel west on Highway 20 from the city of Williams Lake for approximately 300 km (185 mi). From here, the park is accessible by horse trail into both the Itcha and Ilgachuz Ranges. As well float planes and helicopters can be chartered, but flights are subject to management plans and only certain locations in the park are designated for such air access.

Click on the map to view an enlargement


"Itcha Ilgachuz Park is wild and remote, a place where nature remains intact and pristine."



recreation

There are hiking trails throughout the park, but they are unmaintained and therefore suitable only for experienced hikers. These trails are also accessible to horses. There are no designated campsites but visitors are welcome to camp throughout the park in a backcountry fashion. It is also possible to fish in Itcha Lake. Please remember to have a valid fishing license.


"Itcha Ilgachuz Park is an important park because it provides habitat for a variety of animals including the largest remaining herd of woodland caribou in southern British Columbia."



wildlife

Itcha Ilgachuz Park is an important park because it provides habitat for a variety of animals including the largest remaining herd of woodland caribou (1800 animals) in southern British Columbia. This healthy caribou population is of special ecological significance given the pressure on this animal because of habitat loss due to logging elsewhere in Southern BC. The large size of the Itcha Ilgachuz Park and its safeguarding of key caribou winter range affords this herd a promising future. Other animals in the park include both grizzly and black bear, mule deer, mountain goat, moose, and many other smaller mammals. Additionally, the park's wetlands support a range of waterfowl. Other species of birds that live in the park include game birds, songbirds, and the powerful golden eagle.

history

The earliest inhabitants in the Itcha Ilgachuz area were the South Carrier and Tsilhqot'in Peoples, who hunted, gathered and lived in what is now the park. Around the beginning of the 20th century white settlers began to arrive from the coast and set up ranches. One of these ranches, the Home Ranch, was the subject of Rich Hobson's well known book ‘Grass Beyond the Mountains'. The trail that connected this ranch with the town of Anahim Lake, the Blackwater Trail, still exists today.

In recognition of the fact that the area is home to the largest caribou herd in southern British Columbia a small heartland portion of the Ilgachuz mountains was dedicated as an Ecological Reserve in the 1970s. The reserve was quite limited in size though. Dave Neads of BC Spaces for Nature propelled the vision of a much larger Itcha Ilgachuz. At the 1995 Commission on Resources and the Environment (CORE) negotiation table Neads successfully argued for the protection of the area that now exists as a Class A Park. He, along with other Chilcotin conservationists and guide outfitters, was also was successful in achieving Special Management Zone (SMZ) designation around much of the park, particularly the southern portion's important winter caribou range. This SMZ is subject to stringent logging restrictions so as to ensure the future of the Itcha Ilgachuz's important wildlife.


"In recognition of the fact that the area is home to the largest caribou herd in southern British Columbia a small heartland portion of the Ilgachuz mountains was dedicated as an Ecological Reserve in the 1970s."



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