Junction Sheep Range Park


This large park is located by the junction of the Fraser and Chilcotin Rivers. It has broad hilly grasslands, as captured in this image, as well as spectacular views of the canyons formed by these rivers. Access to the park is by a wide, level, well-maintained logging main road. Road access within this large park is via a very rough dirt track with many steep sections that is not suitable for most street cars. This road is dangerous when it is wet.

The Junction Sheep Range Park is home to about 600 California Bighorn Sheep. Consequently it is of significant international interest for the long term survival of this species. Although there are so many animals, you are apparently very lucky if you see any. A local to this area related that she has visited some 10 times and has yet to see one.

This photograph was made on our second visit. On the first visit, our vehicle broke a heater hose and was spewing clouds of steam just as we came on three animals. Unfortunately we were unable to manage a photograph before they ran off. Then it started raining, so we decided to have some lunch while the engine cooled down. We patched the hose with duct tape (never travel off road without duct tape!) and the shoelace off a hiking boot (since we were driving). We topped off the radiator with some Evian water and carefully made our way back over the now slippery steep road. When we reached the nearest highway, we ran out of Evian so we called for a tow truck to take us back to Williams Lake - for a new hose.

Despite the attractiveness of this park, we are of two minds in showing this image. While the area has excellent scenery and interesting wildlife, we recommend people should leave the area alone. The grassland is quite fragile here as is the road, it definitely is not suitable for most cars or pedestrians (if you must go, we recommend mountain bicycles). There are several other places in the area to view the canyons and the sheep in the Rocky Mountain national parks are far easier to photograph.

This image has been modified from the original. The contrast and brightness of the sky and the land have been separately adjusted. The result is a picture that represents the look of the area although, in fact, the contrast range was beyond the camera's abilities to record in a single unretouched image.