Lake M and the Rainbow Range in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park


The largest provincial park in British Columbia is Tweedsmuir Park. It is a true wilderness area with only one road running through its southern end, long (and sometimes difficult) trails and few visitors. In fact much of the province is wilderness, the mountains of the west coast are bigger than the often visited Rocky Mountains but are accessible only by long trails or by air.

This image is from the most popular trail in the park - a day hike of only 16km (return) from the trailhead just off Highway 20. Unlike many trails, this has only a mild gain in elevation (300m) and really is only a walk in the park.

The Rainbow range are long dormant volcanoes, their colour comes from a combination of iron-rich but soft rock which has mostly turned into sand and hard but porous, black pumice. This picture only shows the eastern range, off the picture to the left is another closer range that marks the end of the hiking trail.

Lake M was named for its shape, you are looking at the top, middle part of the M in the picture. We had wandered west off the main trail and were trapped by Lake M. Only once we decided to give up and head back to the car did we see the cairn marking the trail heading east of Lake M. Unfortunately by then the clouds were increasing and threatening to rain, so we never did get close to the Rainbow Range.

One caution to anyone who would consider hiking in this area, invest in mosquito netting and bring lots of DEET! (DEET is the only chemical insect repellent that is consistently effective with the mosquitoes, black flies, horseflies and noseeums in the area)