British Columbia. Provincial Park
Fraser and Peace drainages
Surrounding Bad River (James Creek), between Parsnip and McGregor Rivers
54°23’04” N 121°33’20” W — Map 93I/5 — Google
Name officially adopted in 2000
Official in BC
Alexander Mackenzie [1764–1820] crossed through what is now this park on the Continental Divide in 1793 on his way to the Pacific. Simon Fraser [1776–1862] followed the same route in 1805.
Arctic Lake drains northwest into the Parsnip River thence the Peace River and eventually into the Mackenzie River and the Arctic Ocean.
Portage Lake and Pacific Lake are at the headwaters of Bad River (James Creek), which drains into Herrick Creek, thence McGregor River, which empties into the Fraser River on the way to the Pacific Ocean. The park also encloses Little Lake on Bad River.
The lakes are a beautiful turquoise colour, and situated in a very scenic area, with alpine peaks and ridges as a distant backdrop. Situated in an area of limestone bedrock, some watercourses drain underground. Valley bottoms alongside the lakes support wet meadows and mixed forest. Valley sides include extensive avalanche chutes and small, picturesque waterfalls.
The park protects very high value fall and spring grizzly habitat, and year-round caribou habitat. Lakes and streams support diverse fish populations, and provide excellent opportunities for fishing. Diverse fish populations including lake trout, bull trout, rainbow trout, kokanee, dolly varden, mountain whitefish, redside shiner, lake char, and chinook salmon, and arctic grayling in Arctic Lake.
Established 29 June 2000 per Bill 17-2000, Protected Areas of British Columbia Act.
There appears to be a resource road leading to the Parsnip side of the pass, starting at Bear Lake on the Hart Highway.