NOTE: Effective at noon on Wednesday, July 23, the campfire ban will be lifted for the Clearwater Fire Zone.

FAQ

General Questions about Wells Gray (these only apply to areas actually in the park)

Nature

OVER 520,000 Hectares… That’s roughly the size of the province of Prince Edward Island.

The elevation varies considerably in the park, but good benchmark locations to give as references are
the lakes: Clearwater Lake 680m, Murtle Lake 1067m, Hobson Lake 858m, Azure Lake 682m. Trophy
Mountain peak is 2577m, Pyramid Mountain is just 1094m.

Bears can be found in all of the parks. The best place to see a bear is probably on the road between the main entrance near Hemp Creek and Helmcken Falls. Keep your eyes open everywhere else though, as bears are common along the sides of the roads just about everywhere in and out of the Park.

Moose are a rare sight in the park due to the thick forest. The road between Clearwater Lake and the Park entrance provides the most moose sightings, but you have to get up early. The best time to spot a moose on the road is between 5 am and 7 am, and even then you have to be very lucky.

Shadow Lake has a resident beaver, as do a couple of the creeks outside the park, in the valley.

Amenities

No gas stations, and only one store – at Clearwater Lake Campground – just the basics. Clearwater (North Thompson/ Spahats), Blue River (Murtle), and Forest Grove (Mahood) have the nearest amenities.

North Thompson – Pay phone in park
Spahats – Clearwater (Flour Meadow Bakery)
Corridor and Clearwater Lake – Helmcken Falls Lodge
Mahood – Ask the park operator on site
Murtle Lake – Blue River

No.

No.

Only pay showers at Clearwater Lake.

Yes, there are two; one at Clearwater Lake, and one at North Thompson Park. Cost is 5 dollars per use.

All campsites that you can drive to have running filtered water, with the exception of Pyramid Campground which has a hand operated pump. Boat access only campsites have no filtered water sources.

Firewood can be purchased from park staff at a cost of $7 per bin (approx. 2 cubic feet). Staff will be selling wood during evening collection shifts, usually between 5:30 and 10 pm.
If you wish to purchase firewood during the day, contact park staff at the service yard in Clearwater Lake Campground. Burn only firewood you have brought with you or that you purchase from Park Staff. Removing trees and branches from the forest floor is a violation of the Park Act and will result in a fine.

Yes, dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash, **** EXCEPT at Murtle Lake!**** Dogs and all other pets are banned from Murtle Lake and are grounds for Immediate Eviction from the park and possibly a fine under the Park Act.

Other things banned from the park include but are not limited to:

  • Personal water Craft i.e. Jet skis, Sea-doo’s
  • Unlicensed/uninsured motorbikes, i.e. Quads, dirt bikes, ATV’s
  • Glass bottles on Murtle Lake
  • Horses without a permit (some exceptions)
  • Guided commercial groups on Murtle and Clearwater/Azure Marine (contact Clearwater Info Centre for allowable guiding companies)

Fees

All drive in campsites are $16 dollars per night, per vehicle (see registration sign for details). Marine campsite fees (boat or canoe access on Clearwater/Azure/Murtle) are $5 per person (6 years or older) per night (see registration sign for details). Non-payment of fees is grounds for eviction or fines under the park act.

No. Cash or Travelers Cheques are the only acceptable forms of payment. Personal cheques are not
accepted!

Only at North Thompson, Clearwater Lake/Falls Creek and Mahood campgrounds.

This is not allowed. Wells Gray Park is a long drive from anywhere, so saving sites is generally unfair to other park users.

Generally this is allowed, BUT you will be charged full rate for two RV’s, campers, etc., and extra cars will be charged at least a half fee. This is up to our, and BC Parks discretion, to allow. More than two vehicles on a site are not generally allowed.

Hiking

Foot Lake
Placid Lake
Helmcken Rim Trail
Ray Farm – Alice Lake – Ray Mineral Spring
Bailey’s Chute – West Lake
Sticta Falls – Dragons Tongue
Osprey Falls viewpoint

Trophy Mountain
Placid Lake (Green Mountain) to Whitehorse Bluffs
Pyramid Mountain – Majerus Falls
Clearwater Lake Lookout
Whale Lake (Mahood)
Henrietta Lake (Murtle)
File Creek (Murtle)
Shaden (Spahats)

Trophy Mountain
Battle Mountain
Flat Iron
Chain Meadows
Horseshoe Falls
Wavy Range (Murtle Lake)

The trail to be base of Helmcken Falls – steep and rocky
Huntley Col – steep and lack of water
Kostal Lake route – extensively grown in and hard to follow
Hobson Lake route – same
Zodiac Mountain – trail no longer traceable

No. All marine sites can only be accessed by boat or canoe, there are no trails to them (please be careful not to confuse Clearwater Lake Campground with the Marine Circuit).

Murtle Lake

No.

Yes, but only campsite 1, all the rest must be accessed by canoe or kayak.

Clearwater / Azure Lake

No.

No. All marine sites can only be accessed by boat or canoe, there are no trails to them (please be careful not to confuse Clearwater Lake Campground with the Marine Circuit).

Take Highway 5 to Clearwater, turn north at the Info Centre, follow the main road for 67 km.

You pay with cash or travelers cheque at a self registration station located at the water’s edge at the canoe and boat launches right at the lake shore – exact change required. Or, prepay at discoveramping.ca (confirm link)
YOU MUST PAY IN ADVANCE – non-payment could result in eviction.

Five (5) dollars per person (6 and older) per night. No discount for disabilities or seniors.

When you first register, pay for as many nights as you know you’re going to stay. If you decide to stay longer, pay any additional fee directly to the marine patrol on the lake. YOU CANNOT PAY ON THE WAY OUT – this is the same as non-payment of fees and could result in fines or eviction.

Not necessary, nor recommended.

All the sites are nice; Barview, Rainbow Falls, and Huckleberry are the busiest, but also the largest. Ask the PFO Boat Patrol about use levels when you get there. Generally there’s always lots of room, but sometimes certain sites fill up.

Near creek outlets, river mouths, and waterfalls. Ask the PFO Boat Patrol for current hot spots.

There are a couple – the most used is Eagles View at Divers Bluff. It’s very steep at the top, so take care. The other common hiking trail is Huntley Col at 4 1/2 Mile Campsite. This is much longer and steeper, trail condition varies greatly during the year, remember to take water with you.

Clearwater and Azure Lakes are wilderness camping with the right perks. All campsites have bear proof food caches, fire rings, picnic tables and clean outhouses with toilet paper.

Bears are very rare on the lakes for some reason, but park staff will advise you if it’s an issue.

You can’t rely on fires to cook, you must bring a camp stove.

Clearwater has pretty much everything you need in the way of groceries, gas, and accommodations. Ask the PFO staff where to get what.

Other

Some sites have sand tent pads.

 

Can’t find your answer? Try searching for it:

  • Clearwater Lake Cabins

    Cabins are located in adjacent sites 34 and 38 in Clearwater Lake Campground and include the campsite for parking a car, truck, or an RV at no extra charge.

    Click here for more info.