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The Babine Mountains are an accessible and gentle wilderness, a magnificent combination of dramatic mountains, icy cold lakes and rolling alpine meadows. At 32,400 hectares (80,063 acres) the park is large enough to provide adequate habitat to a wide variety of animals, especially mountain goats, and to offer a diversity of recreational opportunities. During the summer the extensive alpine is perfect for camping and hiking, while winter's snow brings a different atmosphere to the park, attracting skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers of all skill levels. The Babine Mountains are an extraordinary area, and an important component of the British Columbia Parks system.


Babine Mountains Provincial Park is located just 16 km (10 mi) from the town of Smithers in the Bulkley Valley. To reach the park, travel east from Smithers along a road, which turns off of Highway 16, following the signs for Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park. The parking lot for Babine Mountains is located 5 km (3 mi) past Driftwood Canyon Park. Access to the park is by trail from this parking lot.

Click on the map to view an enlargement

"In the late 1980's the Babine, a world-renowned sport fishery, the last trophy steelhead wilderness river still intact and one of Canada's premier salmon runs, was prevented from being irreversibly devastated."


Babine River Recreation opportunities in the Babine Mountains are varied and appealing. This park, while easily accessible, offers a wilderness environment and is best suited to those with an interest in backcountry hiking or winter recreation. During the summer, use focuses on single to multi-day hiking trips through a terrain characterised by extensive rolling alpine, rugged mountains and small glaciers. There are no developed campsites or facilities in the park, so visitors should be well equipped and experienced. Horses are permitted on designated trails.

View a Trail Map of the Babine River Corridor Provincial Park.

During the winter the Babine Mountains, especially the Driftwood/Silver King area, are a favourite location for backcountry ski touring and snowshoeing. Snowmobiling is also excellent within the park, but snowmobilers are asked to remain within the designated snowmobiling zones, located in the Big Onion area, and to avoid harassing wildlife. The diverse surroundings of the park mean that there are winter recreation opportunities for backcountry enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Please visit BC Parks Babine River Corridor site for more information.

A cabin, which sleeps up to 12 and has a woodstove and firewood, is available in Silver King Basin year round but preferred for winter backcountry ski use. The fee for use of this cabin is $5 per person per night.

"The diverse surroundings of the park mean that there are winter recreation opportunities for backcountry enthusiasts of all skill levels."


This park is located in a region of the province where the moist and rugged Coast Mountains meet the drier rolling Interior Plateau. The result is a diverse ecosystem mixing elements of both. The major biogeoclimatic zones in the park are Sub-Boreal Spruce and Alpine Tundra. Trees in these zones are generally smaller and slower growing than those found along the coast, a reflection of the harsher climate they live in. White Spruce, Subalpine Fir, several species of mosses and lichens, as well as bunch and huckleberries are all common in the park.

In addition to plant species Babine Mountains is home to a variety of animals. Mountain goats are the only large animals in the park that can be reliably observed year round, but black and grizzly bears, moose, marmots, and a host of small mammals are also common. Occasionally lynx and wolverine are also seen in the park.


The Babine Mountains protected area was originally the vision of local resident Joe L'Orsa. His father had moved to the area in the 1930s as an original back-to-the-lander, and young Joe L'Orsa grew up there. Unfortunately Parks Branch did not see it as a priority for classification as a park. Despite this L'Orsa's enthusiasm did not waiver, and throughout the 1970s he inspired and rallied local support for his vision of retaining the Babine Mountains as wilderness. He was particularly successful in passing his excitement about the area onto Ric Careless, who later founded BC Spaces for Nature. At the time Careless was working for the BC Cabinet, in the Environment Land Use Secretariat.

Careless was able to convene a grouping of Ministries including Parks, Forestry, and Mines and they eventually agreed to establish the Babine Mountains Integrated Management Unit. This was a totally novel idea, where various organisations would collaboratively manage for a range of values, with recreation and protection of the visual quality as the priority items.

The Integrated Management Unit status retained the options for protection in the Babines for about 10 years, until in the mid-80s it was elevated to Recreation Area (RA) status. By that time BC Parks had responded to the public's concern and had also recognised that the Babine Mountains contained very significant recreational and wilderness values. Nevertheless, the Babines did not achieve full park status at that time because the government of the day was unwilling to forgo any mineral options.

In the 1990s the Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan was developed, with the Babine Mountains identified as the top priority for protection as far as the citizens were concerned. This process not only succeeded in raising the status of the Babines to Class A Park, but in fact extended the park to include areas on the west side and in the Driftwood Creek area. As a result, the Babine Mountains are a wonderful example of an area that achieved its protection directly as a result of strong and persistent local citizen action over a period of decades.

"As a result, the Babine Mountains are a wonderful example of an area that achieved its protection directly as a result of strong, continuous local citizen action over a period of decades."

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