Atmospheric River Events – Impacts on Parks
In early March, we reflected on the many extreme weather events that B.C. and our parks system experienced throughout 2021, including the significant flooding impacts on Berg Lake Trail in Mt Robson Provincial Park.
Further south in the province, many parks in and around the Lower Mainland were impacted by the multiple atmospheric river events in November 2021. The events resulted in damage to bridges, trails, day use areas, campsites, and substantial washouts to roads both accessing the parks and within the parks themselves. BC Parks staff have been working tirelessly, alongside our partners Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), Ministry or Forests, and hired contractors, to rebuild and open as many parks and facilities as possible for the busy summer season.
All campgrounds will be open in Cultus Lake, Sasquatch and Manning Parks.
The good news is we have completed necessary restoration of all Cultus Lake Provincial Park campgrounds at Entrance Bay, Delta Grove and Clear Creek. All roads have been repaired at Sasquatch Provincial Park, and all impacted campgrounds at Manning Provincial Park will be ready to open in time for the summer season.
However, other parks or facilities will stay closed this summer.
Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park is one such park. The trail through the Othello Tunnels and the associated access road experienced extensive damage. An initial geotechnical assessment of the park has been completed, but further works are required to ensure public safety in the area including slope stabilization, installation of rockfall protection measures and repairing the damaged trail. The park will remain closed for the 2022 season.
Other parks that will remain closed until further notice are Skagit Valley Provincial Park and Nahatlatch Provincial Park – two parks that are currently inaccessible due to extensive damage to the roads that provide access to the parks.
In some parks, be prepared for a different visitor experience.
Maple Bay Day Use Area in Cultus Lake Park was impacted by flooding, caused by the atmospheric river events. The floods brought in a triangle-shaped deposit of gravel and rubble. The area is currently closed to the public as BC Parks staff and contractors are working diligently to try to reopen this area as soon as possible. When it does open, visitors will be greeted with a very different park experience than in previous years as there are many areas of rock and rubble where a grassy field used to be (so pack a chair or blanket).
Maple Bay Day Use Area after the atmospheric river events
Maple Bay Day Use Area recovery progress – April 2022
In other parks, backcountry trails have been impacted by flooding including a number of trails in Manning Provincial Park. There have been bridge and trail washouts and not all trails will be able to be restored and rebuilt this year.
The best place to find the most up-to-date information – including closures and new expectations for visitors – is on the individual park webpages.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the challenges that extreme weather events have had on BC Parks, recognizing that these impacts are likely not isolated events but part of a new and challenging “normal.” As BC Parks responds to these changes through a lens of climate adaptation and resilience we will be keeping you updated as we go.