Area and Weather
Our territory is on the Columbia Valley, headwaters for the Columbia River. Across the Valley is the Rocky Mountain Range. On the other side of the Purcell Mountains is the Kooteny Mountain Range.
Nearly one-half million acres of our exclusive guide area are protected by the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. 500,000 acres closed to motor vehicles and traffic. Access into most of our wilderness area and the Park is done with horses or hiking.
Herds of big game animals that have very limited pressure from hunters and recreational traffic.
The 200,000 hectare Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, is a little known jewel that links the biologically diverse east and west Kootenay Mountain Range with
History of the trails
During a visit to BC in 1908, then Governor General, Earl Grey crossed the Purcell Mountains from Invermere to Argenta on Kootenay Lake on a trail up Toby Creek. This trail and the high pass was later named in Earl Grey’s honor. Kinbasket, a chief of the Shushwap Indians, had led his people over this route in the early 1800’s to their present home near Invermere (the closest town to our operations). During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s this trail was an important access and supply route from the east. The Earl Grey Pass Traverse is located in southern interior mountains of British Columbia. The Purcell Mountains are the dominant range of our hunting expeditions. They are the next mount range east from the Rocky Mountains. The Columbia Valley separates the two mountain ranges and the valley bottom plateaus for approx. 12 miles, with the Columbia River dividing the valley. The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is the largest wilderness park in the southern interior of B.C., and it was was created in 1974 through a special order in council with the primary objective of preserving its vast wilderness quality. The Conservancy is adjacent to the South of our hunting grounds. A natural, physical barrier on the East is provided by the majestic Purcell Mountains themselves, with Toby Glacier, and the Toby Creek Basin drainage. The highest mountain in this area (also one of the highest in the country) is Mount Farnham rising 3457 meters (11,342 ft.)
The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park is 34,947 hectares of virtually undisturbed wilderness that will help maintain the viability and diversity of one of the largest intact ecosystems in southeastern British Columbia. The Purcell Mountains Purcell Wilderness Provincial Conservancy is in a class of its own. Early in this century, Earl Grey, then Governor-General of Canada, crossed the Purcell Mountains from Invermere in the Columbia Valley to Argenta on Kootenay Lake. His route followed a trail up Toby Creek and down Hamill Creek over a 7,401-foot (2257 m) pass. This route, later named the Earl Grey Pass Trail, had already been well defined by the Shuswap Indians. Despite Grey's urging to set aside this magnificently scenic area as a park, not much was done until the 1970s, when the area was designated as a 'roadless tract' in which the natural environment would remain undisturbed by any development. Consequently, there's no road access, and all forms of mechanized access are prohibited, including helicopters. Over 85 miles (137 km) of hiking trails, challenging mountaineering, horse riding, and winter recreation await backpackers in the five biogeoclimactic zones spread throughout this central portion of the Purcell Mountains. In contrast to the forest-mantled Selkirk Mountains to the west, much of the Purcell Range rode out the last ice age above the glaciers. Thus, fossils are frequently found at elevations above 2,100m. The high, rugged mountains are undisturbed by roads in British Columbia's only park classed as a 'wilderness conservancy,' where all forms of mechanized access (including helicopters) are prohibited. Hikers are rewarded with undisturbed views of some of the finest wildlife habitat in the southeastern region of the province. (Providing complete wilderness experience is the primary objective of the conservancy.) Five biogeoclimatic zones are found here: interior cedar/hemlock, interior Douglas fir, montane spruce, Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir and alpine tundra. There are grassy meadows at low elevations, which are crucial for moose and a large number of elk. Abundant wildflower and alpine meadows astound backcountry trekkers. Wildlife includes mule and white-tailed deer, moose, elk, black and grizzly bears, mountain caribou and mountain goats. More than 68 species of birds have been recorded. Some streams contain native stock of cutthroat and rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and mountain whitefish. For those in good shape and desiring an extreme backpacking adventure, the Purcell Wilderness Provincial Conservancy can be explored along a 60km stretch of trail that begins just south of the Kootenay Lake town of Argenta. From the Earl Grey Pass trailhead, the hiking or horseback route passes through some of the Purcell Mountains’ most awesome peaks, some of which reach heights of more than 3,600m, on its way to Toby Creek, just west of Invermere. The park is located 20km west and south of Invermere. Access is by good gravel roads along Toby Creek, to Whitetail Lake in Dutch Creek, and within 5km of the park boundary of the area in Findlay Creek. For more information, including a detailed map of the Toby Creek Trail, call BC Parks, (250) 422-4200.
Columbia River Valley Wildlife is well represented and protected in this region, with opportunities for viewing wildlife not restricted to the Purcell Wilderness Provincial Conservancy. Purcell Wilderness Provincial Conservancy is in a class of its own. Early in this century, Earl Grey, then Governor-General of Canada, crossed the Purcell Mountains from Invermere in the Columbia Valley to Argenta on Kootenay Lake. His route followed a trail up Toby Creek and down Hamill Creek over a 7,401-foot (2257 m) pass. This route, later named the Earl Grey Pass Trail, had already been well defined by the Shuswap Indians. Despite Grey's urging to set aside this magnificently scenic area as a park, not much was done until the 1970s, when the area was designated as a 'roadless tract' in which the natural environment would remain undisturbed by any development. Consequently, there's no road access, and all forms of mechanized access are prohibited, including helicopters.The park is located in the Purcell Mountains which are over 1500 million years old. Much of the weak, overlying rock has been removed by the erosive forces of water and glacial ice to reveal the solid granite spires for which the park is known. The area has been popular with mountaineers since the days of the Palliser Expedition of 1857 to 1860. The Purcells were named for Goodwin Purcell, the expedition sponsor. Although road access is reasonably easy, the few trails within the park are demanding. Location: Panorama is located in Toby Creek Valley, a tributary of the mighty Columbia River, 11 miles 17 km west of Invermere on Toby Creek Road. Invermere and the nearby town of Radium Hot Springs provide additional accommodation for the Panorama Ski Resort. Panorama is blessed with the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy right on its doorstep. In a class of its own, there's no road access, and all forms of mechanized access are prohibited, including helicopters! Over 150 km of hiking trails, challenging mountaineering, horse riding, and hunting opportunties await your arrival. Summer trails for hunting and horse riding abound in the Panorama area. These same trails in winter provide great tracking and hunting spaces. In September, the Kokanee salmon still make their way up the Columbia River and its tributaries in search of gravel beds for spawning. Good places to view these fish, which turn bright red during spawning, are under the bridge over the Columbia River at Athalmer, or at the Toby Creek bridge on the road to Panorama. This is a fascinating site, as hundreds of fish can be observed in shallow water, almost immobile. Do not harrass or disturb them. Fishing in British Columbia. Lake Lillian is a lovely, clear spring-fed mountain lake located along the Toby Creek Road to the Panorama Resort, with a maintained recreation site on the north side of the road. Enjoy picnicking, or paddling and swimming in the crystal-clear water. The hunt is half the fun....and sometimes it's all the fun you'll get"
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Located in Supernatural, British Columbia (Canada)
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A sample of some of our successful hunters and their pursuits.