|The Clearwater River|
The park covers over 1.3 million acres, making it British Columbia’s fourth largest provincial park but it almost was not to be. The minister of public lands was not swayed by environmental lobbyists that were convinced the pristine falls and dense forests needed protection. He declared that the falls were already there and surely could not go away. Early developers (as far back as 1918) saw the Clearwater River as a source of hydropower and schemed an extensive series of dams to harness the rivers' power. A concerned ecological group devised a plan to sabotage the dam and subsequent flooding by generating public opposition. They greeted tourists as they were overlooking the falls and told them to imagine how the valley would look when it was flooded and how the marvelous Clearwater River would no longer flow free with concrete dams. The strategy worked and under a new lands minister (Arthur Wellesley Gray, after whom the park is named) the park came to fruition.
Our neighbors at the RV park (Bob and Vicki) visited the park the day before and shared their pictures and video of the falls which got us really excited to start touring ourselves. (By the way, not only did they share park information but gave us a jar of homemade jelly – how nice!) Most of the main falls are easily accessible by a short walk from the parking lot. But a few offer a little more of a hike.
|Bailey's Chute - one of more than a dozen stretches of turbulent whitewater stretches of the Clearwater River.|
|Spahat Falls - an amazing 120-meter deep falls that flows through a deep volcanic canyon.|
|Disclaimer: No animals were permanently harmed in the making of this blog.|