British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide

Spatsizi Headwaters

Spatsizi Headwaters Park was designated to protect the headwaters of the Spatsizi River, including upper elevation glacial lakes, alpine meadows, and for recreational values, wildlife viewing, hiking, and Tahltan traditional uses.

The Park is located in the headwaters near Mount Gunanoot in the Skeena Mountains, in northwestern British Columbia. The Tahltan First Nations identified Spatsizi Headwaters Provincial Park as being part of their traditional territory.

In 1824, Europeans first visited the area of the Stikine Country Protected Areas. In the following year, the Hudson's Bay Company and the Russian American Company claimed areas for trapping. Soon, the search for gold began and by 1878 most of the Stikine River drainage had been explored. From 1896 to 1902, Andrew J. Stone led expeditions into the Cassiar to collect specimens for the American Museum of Natural History. The area became a destination for hunters with his announcements of the discovery of several "new" species of sheep and caribou. Local natives worked as hunting guides and camps were set up throughout the region. In the 1950s, scientists began studying the significant wildlife values in the area and with the efforts of Tommy Walker, Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park was designated in 1975.

The BCR rail-grade that passes within 3km of the park was extended in the 1970s to promote trade and resource development in the Cassiar region. The railway was not completed but the grade and a bridge across the Stikine were constructed and are used today by hikers, hunters and horseback riders.

In 2001, Spatsizi Headwaters Park was designated by the Provincial Government following recommendations on the Cassiar Iskut-Stikine Land and Resource Management Plan.

Cultural Heritage:
Spatsizi Headwaters Park lies within the asserted traditional territories of the Tahltan First Nations and Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. The park is in an area of significant spiritual value for the Tahltan First Nation. The Park is intended to maintain opportunities for First Nation cultural uses of the area, such as food harvesting.

Spatsizi Headwaters Park protects a primarily alpine area within the Eastern Skeena Mountains Ecosection. Within the parks upper elevations, glacial lakes and alpine meadows are protected. The park lies entirely within the Klappan Zone, an area deferred from harvesting for 15 years to observe how General Management Direction is addressing biodiversity, wildlife habitat, riparian ecosystems and recreation.

The Park contains no developed outdoor recreation facilities; however, it provides hiking, hunting, nature appreciation and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Individuals or groups planning to use horses within Spatsizi Headwaters Provincial Park need to obtain a letter of permission by the BC Parks Stikine Area Office at (250) 771-4591.

There are no vehicle accessible camping facilities in this park. Wilderness back-county camping is allowed. Fires should be used sparingly.

Spatsizi Headwaters Provincial Park is located twelve kilometres south of Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park and 60 kilometres west of Tatlatui Provincial Park of the Stikine Country Protected Areas System. The Park is 90 kilometres east of Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park off Highway 87.

Visitors gain access to Spatsizi Headwaters Provincial Park area from the British Columbia Railway corridor road, accessed from the very rough 120 kilometre journey on the Ealue Lake road, east from Highway 37, near Iskut.
Washouts sometimes make the route impassable. Foot or horse travel is possible along the Klappan River. Helicopter access is also possible.

Contact Spatsizi Headwaters