Stein Valley Nlakak’pamux Heritage
Bridging a climatic zone between the Coast Range and Interior Plateau, the Stein is a jewel in the Provincial Park crown. Protecting the entire Stein River watershed, this significant park (107,191 hectares) has large elevation changes, varied topography, and protects land that has deep historical and cultural significance to Native people. It is much loved by many British Columbians who were captivated by its magic and fought for its protection. The valleys are broad and sweeping and crowned with magnificent peaks. The Stein River has two significant gorges, several waterfalls and numerous tributaries that come tumbling and cascading out of glaciers, tarn lakes, and large expanses of alpine meadows.
The area is prototypical of terrain scoured by massive glaciers and ice sheets. Skihist Mountain rises to 2954 metres, and there are numerous peaks nearly as high that offer sublime views. There are numerous lakes, including the Stein, the glacier fed Tundra, and the cobalt-blue Elton, which is backed by a headwall glacier. The Stein River, which starts as a mere alpine trickle, gathers great strength as it flows east and eventually enters the Fraser.
There are some limited opportunities for day hiking in the park, and over 150 km of moderate to difficult trails, with 4 cable car crossings, a suspension bridge and many wilderness campsites. Established routes include Cottonwood Creek to Stein Lake, Stein Lake to Tundra Lake, Stein Lake to Elton Lake, Blowdown Pass to Cottonwood Creek campsite, and Texas Creek to Brimful Lake.
As one of only a handful of intact and un-logged watersheds in the province, there are numerous opportunities for wildlife viewing in the Stein. The area is user-maintained, with limited park warden patrol. Campfires are not permitted in this park, and long sections of some trails may not offer water. However, there are pit toilets and bear-proof food caches at most wilderness campsites. Motorized vehicles, including helicopters, are prohibited in this area.
Location and access:
Access to the Stein from Vancouver is by traveling east on Highway 1 to the town of Lytton, where the Stein River meets the Fraser, or by traveling north on Highway 99 to Pemberton and Mount Currie.