We spent the day in Wells Gray Provincial Park. From the outside it doesnt not look very interesting. The kind of place you may just drive on by. But the guy at the visitors centre reckons it is great, so off we went. It is advertised as the fourth largest national park in British Columbia with 1.4 million acres in the park. It is a one way road in and out about 70km one way by car. There are heaps of hikes and points of interests based around the forest, rivers and lakes.
We checked out the local trout hatchery. It was interesting to hear from the workers how they ‘harvest’ the eggs and sperm from live trout in the rivers and bring them back to the hatchery to raise. These little fish are then released back into BC lakes and river systems to support the fishing industry.
We thought about the big 10km hike into Helmcken Falls but settled for the viewpoint instead! The water thunders down some 140 metres down into Murtle River. It is just a massive amount of water melting from mountain high snow.
As our tummies begun to rumble we drove to the next stop spot and set up out little picnic by Clearwater River. Our picnics are a daily highlight as we have got all the essential ingredients down pat to create yummy wraps and sandwiches.
The kids played in the cool waters that were so clear and fresh. Forest pines grow right down to the waters edge and big tumbled river rocks line the river. There are bear warning signs all over the place teaching ‘bear watching etiquette’. Points like do not block their routes, remain in your vehicle and view for no more than one minute then move on. Yes lots of sign – no bears!
The next spot we checked out was called Baileys Chute. It was formed in ancient lava days by a narrowing of the flow creating a narrow chute. This causes the river to gush through a narrower section of river creating a fast flowing rapid. The kind you do NOT want to fall in as you more than likely would not come back out alive. The treat here though is that spawning salmon see it as the holy grail ‘I am going to get my eggs up the furtherest!!’. The guy at the visitors centre say salmon are here year after year however do not succeed as the water is too fast and furious. We watched a few, it was a sight to see. Poor buggers just get slammed back down to where they launched from.
It was getting late now so we only had about an hour left so made use of it on one last hike. This time we were all alone on a quieter trail and everyone was a bit nervous about bears. Do we really want to come across one in the wild?