Born of Volcanoes & Glaciers

Born of volcanoes and carved by glaciers. Layered by time and the elements. A rugged un-crowded wilderness, where there’s plenty of breathing room and even more – room to explore. Discover one of the most unique eco-systems in all of British Columbia. Explore all 5,250 square kilometres (3,262 square miles) of volcanic fields and discover ancient lava beds and some of the best fly-fishing in the Wells Gray Park.

Follow the paths of receding glaciers, where Trophy Mountain’s alpine meadows now burst with colour in summer. Climb extinct volcanoes. Snap a “selfie” from the summit of Pyramid Mountain. Revel in a wilderness playground 3.5 million years in the making.

Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray ParkFire & Ice

Fire and ice created the waterfalls, rivers, lakes and mountains you see today. Volcanic eruptions followed by periods of great cooling created layer upon layer of volcanic rock, some more than 150 ft above the valley floor. Retreating glaciers followed, flooding rivers and lakes, creating the adventure-fuelled playground you find today. Accessing these great volcanic relics is as easy as stepping outside the door. Here are some ways you can discover our volcanic past:

Guided Hikes

Guided tours in the sub-alpine on Trophy MountainYou can easily explore the Park on your own, but to understand the geology of the volcanic fields that make up Wells Gray, you may want to hike with a local naturalist. Learn the fascinating history of the Park’s waterfalls, flower meadows, volcanic fields and mountain peaks on full and half-day treks and you’ll be inspired to head out on your own trails of discovery.

Hike Pyramid Mountain, a once mighty volcano that erupted beneath a glacier. Climb its summit and drink in views of the valley that will stay with you forever. Go backcountry hiking to Kostal Lake in the shadow of the Kostal Cone – one of the latest known eruptions dating back only 400 years ago. Appreciate that only the most experienced hikers can find their way to this distant mound.

Kostal Cone volcano in Wells Gray ParkSoar Above Volcanoes

  Get an eagle’s perspective on our volcanoes. Soar above the tree tops in a four seat Cessna, drinking in views that will set your heart flying. Float above brilliant blue, glacier lakes. Glide over ancient volcanoes. Be one of the few people to ever see the Pointed Stick Cone from above. Discover hidden waterfalls and summits beyond the reach of everyday travellers and you’ll land having experienced the true wonders of Wells Gray.

View of the Dragons Tongue  on Clearwater Lake
Fish the Dragon’s Tongue

  Fishers know the best fishing spots are well-guarded secrets.  Uncover one of our best fly-fishing  spots - the Dragon’s Tongue at Clearwater Lake’s Osprey Falls. This ancient lava bed is submerged by  glacial run-off in the early summer, but come August and September you can walk the lava beds  above Osprey Falls and cast a line, angling for Rainbows and the occasional Dolly Varden.

When to Go

  • Summer is the best time to experience the Park’s volcanic wonders

Need to Know

  • Lava is slippery when wet and very hot in the summer. Ensure you’re wearing appropriate foot-wear
  • The Green Mountain Lookout offers a great overview of the Park’s volcanic features. Start your self-guided tour of discovery here.
  • Sign-up in advance for interpretive hikes and flightseeing tours with local experts. Sure, you can make arrangements when you get here, but if you sign-up in advance you’ll be guaranteed a spot on the volcanic adventure of your choosing
  • Once you’ve made your reservation your guide or outfitter will let you know what you’ll need to bring along to best enjoy your tour