Wells Gray Provincial Park (tel. 604/371-6400; www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks) is British Columbia's third-largest park, encompassing more than 526,500 hectares (1.3 million acres) of mountains, rivers, lakes, volcanic formations, glaciers, forests, and alpine meadows. Wildlife abounds, including mule deer, moose, bears, beaver, timber wolves, mink, and golden eagles.
Wells Gray has something to offer everyone: birding and wildlife-viewing, hiking, boating, canoeing, and kayaking. Guide operations offer horseback riding, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and hiking. The history enthusiast can learn about the early homesteaders, trappers, and prospectors, or about the natural forces that produced Wells Gray's many volcanoes, mineral springs, and glaciers.
Most of Wells Gray is remote wilderness that can be viewed only after a vigorous hike or canoe excursion. In the southern quarter of the park, however, a road runs 34km (21 miles) from the park entrance to Clearwater Lake. Called simply the Corridor, it provides access to many of the park's features as well as its campgrounds and many of its trail heads.
Twice as tall as Niagara Falls, the park's Helmcken Falls is Canada's fourth-highest waterfall, and is an awesome sight easily reached by paved road. Boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are popular pastimes on Clearwater, Azure, Mahood, and Murtle lakes. The wilderness campgrounds along these lakes make perfect destinations for overnight canoe or fishing trips.
Multiday hiking destinations include the area around Ray Farm Homestead, Rays Mineral Spring, and the thickly forested Murtle River Trail that leads to Majerus Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and Pyramid Mountain, a volcanic upgrowth that was shaped when it erupted beneath miles of glacial ice that covered the park millions of years ago.
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