North Central Rockies forests Part G Local State and Provincial Sites

Part G State and local sites in the North Central Rockies forests:

A wide range of parks and public lands are found in the North Central Rockies forests. The following lists are not all inclusive and many state and provincial forests and trust lands are not included. The public lands listed here were ones that were located based on publicly available information. One state park, Coeur d’Alene Old Mission, was previously described under National Historic Landmarks. Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area was described under Ramsar sites as a wetland of international importance.

Continental Divide Ranges

The easternmost of the parallel ranges making up the North Central Rockies forests includes the Akamina-Kishena Provincial Park, Frank Slide Interpretive Center, and Montana wildlife areas along the Rocky Mountain front.

Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚1’ W114˚9’) is in the southeastern corner of British Columbia, adjoining Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park.  The 10,920-ha wilderness park is accessed via Waterton Lakes NP in Alberta and contains 1.3-billion-year old limestone mountains and waterfalls.

Allison/Chinook Public Land Use Zone, Alberta (N49-40 W114-36) is north of Crowsnest Pass municipality.

Beauvais Lake Provincial Park, Alberta (N49˚25’ W114˚7’) is on the Rocky Mountain front south of Route 507 between Beaver Mines and Pincher Creek.  A network of trails includes a hike to Mount Albert, 1620 m elevation.

Beaver Mines Lake Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚22’ W114˚18’) is a camping and hiking area at the end of Range Road 32a.

Black Creek Heritage Rangeland, Alberta (N49˚55’ W114˚11’) is north of the Oldman River and west of Route 22, including Whaleback Ridge.

Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N48˚0’ W112˚40’) is 10,000 acres of winter range for elk and mule deer and summary habitat for black and grizzly bear.  It is located on the Rocky Mountain front west of Bynum.

Bob Creek Wildland Provincial Park, Alberta (N49˚58’ W114˚17’) is a hiking and hunting area in the Livingstone Range north of the Oldman River and accessible from Township Road 104a on the north side of the Oldman River west of Route 22. It is an important elk range and protects the west side of Whaleback Ridge.

Canyon Creek Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N46˚56’ W112˚20’) is north of Helena on Route 279 adjoining the Helena National Forest in the Robert E. Lee Range.

Castle Special Management Area Forest Land Use Zone, Alberta, includes the Rocky Mountain area between Waterton Lakes NP and the municipality of Crowsnest Pass.  There are designated OHV and hiking trails.  Beaver Mines Lake, Castle Falls, Castle River Bridge, West Castle Wetlands, Lynx Creek, and Syncline provincial recreation areas are within this area. Castle Falls Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚27’ W114˚19’) is a camping and hiking area on Range Road 32a west of Beaver Mines. Castle River Bridge Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚24’ W114˚20’) is a camping and hiking area on Route 774 south of Beaver Mines. West Castle Wetlands Ecological Reserve, Alberta (N49˚20’ W114˚25’) is a hiking area adjacent to Route 774 near the Castle Mountain Ski Resort. The area is noted for spring wildflowers. Lynx Creek Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚7’ W114˚25’) is on Township Road 61a south of Bellevue and provides hiking and camping. Syncline Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚23’ W114˚21’) is a hiking area located on the Castle River south of Beaver Mines on Route 774.

Chinook Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚40’ W114˚36’), is a hiking area north of Route 3 and west of Blairmore off of Range Road 52a.

Crowsnest Rest Stop and Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚39’ W114˚42’) is on Route 3 just north of the Alberta border. It was a prehistoric chert mining site and campsites date to 6,600 years BP. The park is also a winter range for elk and deer.

Dutch Creek Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚54’ W114˚24’) is a hiking and camping area on Route 940 on the Oldman River.

Ear Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N47˚50’ W112˚40’) is 3,047 acres located west of Choteau on the Rocky Mountain front, adjoining the Lewis and Clark NF. It is managed for mule deer, bighorn sheep, and grizzly.

Elkhorn State Park, Montana (N46˚16’ W111˚56’), is east of Boulder. It is an historic silver mining town. The state park protects two structures in the privately owned town.

Frank Slide Interpretive Center Provincial Historical Park, Alberta (N49˚36’ W114˚24’), is in Crowsnest Pass municipality near Route 3. In 1903, part of Turtle Mountain collapsed and buried 90 residents of a coal mining town, along with industrial facilities, ranches, and a railroad track.  It was Canada’s worst rock slide disaster. It is believed that karst topography with limestone caves, as well as past glaciation which left a hanging valley, contributed to the disaster. A coal mine in the area had exhibited shifting rocks and cracked timber structures, providing an early warning sign that was not recognized. The interpretive center has trails and guided tours. Nearby was the Hillcrest Mine, where 189 miners were killed in a gas explosion in 1914; they are buried in the Hillcrest Cemetery in a mass grave. Also near the site is an eagle watch site of the Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation at the south end of the Livingstone Range.

Island Lake Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚38’ W114˚40’), is a campground on Route 3 near Crowsnest Pass.

Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site, Alberta (N49˚33’ W114˚19’) is on Route 3 in Crowsnest Pass municipality and was the most sophisticated coal mine in the early 20th century. Operating from 1907 to 1915, the mine featured 101 coke ovens, a washing area, and a huge tipple. Nearby privately operated Bellevue Underground Mine offers tours of a coal mine that operated until 1961.

Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚35’ W114˚13’) is on the Crowsnest River adjacent to Route 3.  The river drops 12 m over a waterfall into a canyon.

Oldman River North Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚57’ W114˚26’) is a camping and hiking area west of Route 940.

Racehorse Provincial Recreation Area, Alberta (N49˚50 W114˚26’) is a hiking area on Route 940 at Racehorse Creek, north of Route 3 and Blairmore.

Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N46˚30’ W112˚40’) is 38,000 acres northeast of Deer Lodge on Rocky Ridge between I-90 and US 12.

Sun River Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N47˚35’ W112˚38’) is 19,771 acres west of Augusta and south of the Sun River.  It includes the Sawtooth Ridge and grasslands to the east. It is known for bighorn sheep, elk, and pronghorn.

McDonald-Whitefish and Swan-Mission Ranges

The first line of parallel ranges west of the Continental Divide include public lands in the Flathead, Swan, and Clearwater valleys. Notable sites are the Top O’ the World Provincial Park, the Fort Steele Heritage Town, and the Owen Sowerine Natural Area.

Coal Creek State Forest, Montana (N48˚41’ W114˚18’), is on the Flathead River on the west side of Glacier NP, and is 15,000 acres in extent in the Whitefish Range.

Elk Valley Provincial Park and Olson Rest Area, British Columbia (N49˚39’ W114˚55’), is a picnic area on Route 3 which provides access to riparian habitat on the Elk River, a tributary to Lake Koocanusa.

Mount Fernie Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚29’ W115˚6’) is three km south of Fernie on Route 3.  It is used as a mountain biking area and protects old growth cottonwood and a riparian ecosystem on the Elk River.

Mount Jumbo Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N46˚55’ W113˚56’) is 120 acres just north of Missoula in the Rattlesnake NRA area.

Kikomun Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚14’ W115˚15’) is 680 ha on Lake Koocanusa off of Route 93. It is a hiking and camping park on the reservoir.

Kootenai/Woods Ranch Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N48˚59’ W115˚2’) is 1,417 acres east of U.S. Route 93 on the Canadian border, managed for elk, deer, and sheep winter range.

Ray Kuhns Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N48˚20’ W114˚24’) is 1,530 acres on the Stillwater River north of Kalispell. There is a horse trail.

Marshall Creek Wildlife Management Area (N47˚16’ W113˚38’) is 24,170 acres in the Mission Range northwest of Seeley Lake, managed for fish and game habitat.

Les Mason State Park, Montana (N48˚28’ W114˚22’), is a lakeside recreation area on Whitefish Lake.

Morrissey Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚23’ W115˚1’), protects a black cottonwood ecosystem along the Elk River between Fernie and Elko on Route 3.

Norbury Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚32’ W115˚29’) provides walking trails and camping on two lakes in a valley with a view of the Steeples in the Hughes Range of the Rocky Mountains.

Placid Lake State Park, Montana (N47˚7’ W113˚30’) is a lake recreation site located west of State Route 83 near Seeley Lake adjacent to the Lolo NF.

Premier Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚55’ W115˚39’) is off of Route 93-95 at Skookumchuck. This 662-ha park provides four fishing lakes (southern end of Premier Lake, Rockbluff Lake, Canuck Lake, and Yankee Lake) and a hiking trail system in an open grassland-forest ecosystem on the west side of the Rocky Mountains.

Owen Sowerine Natural Area, state school trust lands, Montana (N48˚11’ W114˚17’), occupies public land survey section 16 at the confluence of the Stillwater and Flathead Rivers in Kalispell. It is an IBA for red-naped sapsucker, pileated woodpecker, and willow flycatcher.

Fort Steele Heritage Town, British Columbia (N49˚38’ W115˚37’) is a provincially-owned living history exhibit operated by the Friends of Fort Steele Society. It is a former gold rush town 16 km northeast of Cranbrook on Routes 93-95.

Swan State Forest, Montana (N47˚45’ W113˚50’), is on State Route 83 south of Swan Lake, and is 40,000 acres in extent.

Top of the World Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚51’ W115˚25’) includes 2,900-m peaks of the Kootenay Range and covers 8,790 ha. The wilderness area is at the head of the Lussier River, 42 km southeast of Canal Flats on Route 93-95 and is noted for old growth balsam and Douglas fir, some lodgepole pine, and alpine wildflowers.

Wardner Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚25’ W115˚25’) is on the upper end of Lake Koocanusa and provides reservoir recreation.

Wasa Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚47’ W115˚44’) is a camping, swimming, and bicycling area on Routes 93-95 north of Cranbrook. The park protects grasslands of the East Kootenay Trench.

Wayfarers State Park, Montana (N48˚3’ W114˚5’) is on the northeast side of Flathead Lake at the confluence of the Swan River. Trails overlook the lake. It is on State Route 35 south of Bigfork.

Whitefish Lake State Park, Montana (N48˚26’ W114˚22’), is a lake recreation park on the west side of Whitefish Lake on State Park Road.

Yellow Bay State Park, Montana (N47˚53’ W114˚2’), is a lakeside recreation area on the east side of Flathead Lake on State Route 35.

Salish Range

West Kootenai Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N48˚59’ W115˚14’) is 960 acres on the west side of Lake Koocanusa at the Canadian border and is managed as winter range.

Logan State Park, Montana (N48˚2’ W115˚4’), is a lake recreation area on Middle Thompson Lake on US Route 2 near Happy’s Inn.

Lone Pine State Park, Montana (N48˚10’ W114˚20’), is a hiking area on the south side of Kalispell, with cliffs featuring views of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park.

Lake Mary Ronan State Park, Montana (N47˚56’ W114˚23’) is a lakeside recreation area with trails to wildflowers in the boreal forest, seven miles north of Dayton.

Stillwater State Forest, Montana (N48˚30’ W114˚30’) is 93,000 acres along US 93 south of Olney.

West Shore State Park, Montana (N47˚56’ W114˚11’), features glacially carved rock outcrops providing views of Flathead Lake, Mission Mountains,and Swan Mountains. It is a lakeside recreation area.

Wild Horse Island State Park, Montana (N47˚51’ W114˚13’), is a 2,000-acre island in Flathead Lake accessible from Big Arm State Park. It includes trails through old growth ponderosa pine and grassland.

 Purcell-Cabinet and Bitteroot-Clearwater Ranges

Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park is described under NHLs. Notable mountain parks include the Kianuku Provincial Park, Kimberley Nature Park, Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, St. Marys Alpine Provincial Park, Mary McCroskey State Park, Snow Peak Cooperative Management Area, and St. Maries Wildlife Management Area. Long distance bicycle trails include the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and Coeur d’Alene Parkway state parks. The Pend Oreille Wildlife Management Area provides waterfowl habitat along the reservoir system.

Bull River Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N48˚12’ W115˚51’) protects wetlands at the upper end of the Bull River on State Route 56 in the Cabinet Mountains.

Coeur d’Alene Parkway State Park, Idaho is a six-mile bicycle trail along the north shore of Coeur d’Alene Lake east of the city of Coeur d’Alene. The east end is Higgins Point (N47˚38’ W116˚41’) and the west end is near Exit 15 on I-90 (N47˚40’ W116˚45’). The trail continues as the North Idaho Centennial Trail along the Spokane River west to the state line, and the trail continues 37 miles west into Washington as the Spokane River Centennial National Recreation Trail, ending at Nine Mile Falls (N47˚46’ W117˚34’).

Coeur d’Alene River Wildlife Management Area, Idaho, is an IBA that contains undisturbed wetlands that support waterfowl and shorebirds. A recreational bike path (Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes State Park) traverses the 5,000-acre area, which extends from Harrison (N47˚27’ W116˚47’) upstream 25 miles to Rose Lake (N47˚35’ W116˚28’).  Another area of the WMA is along the Coeur d’Alene Lake, St. Joe River embayment at Round Lake (N47˚22’ W116˚43’).

Dworshak State Park, Idaho, is in three units on the western shore of Dworshak Reservoir.  A lodge and marina are at Big Eddy (N46˚32’ W116˚18’), a campground is at Freeman Creek (N46˚35’ W116˚17’) and a group camp is at Three Meadows (N46˚36’ W116˚18’).

Farragut State Park, Idaho (N47˚57’ W116˚36’) is 4,000 acres at the south end of Lake Pend Oreille on the site of the former Farragut Naval Training Station, where 293,000 sailors trained in World War II. The Museum of the Brig interprets the facility. About 40 miles of trails wind through the former military facility.

Farragut Wildlife Management Area, Idaho (N47˚58’ W116˚37’) is adjacent to Farragut State Park on the south end of Lake Pend Oreille and contains a network of hiking trails.

Fish Creek State Park, Montana (N46˚57’ W114˚42’), includes hiking to the lookout atop Williams Peak, located south of I-90, exit 66, west of Missoula.

Fish Creek Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N46˚54’ W114˚41’), is 34,573 acres located north and south of I-90 Exit 66. It is former Plum Creek Timber Company land purchased in 2008 by the Nature Conservancy. About 350 elk winter in the area.

Gilnockie Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚5’ W115˚39’) is 2,800 ha located south of Moyie Lake on Route 3-95 via logging roads.  It includes a small isolated valley draining south into the Yaak River in Kootenai NF and protects old growth fir and larch.

Gilnockie Creek Ecological Reserve, British Columbia (N49˚1’ W115˚39’) is an area at the confluence of Gilnockie Creek and Yahk River used for silvicultural and genetic research on western larch.

Heyburn State Park, Idaho (47˚21’ W116˚46’), is 8,000 acres of ponderosa pine forest at the south end of Coeur d’Alene Lake. The St. Joe River channel is separated from the lake by berms, which create the unusual illusion of a river cutting through a lake. The park was created from the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation in 1908 by an act of Congress. There are eight miles of trails. The park is an IBA for its great blue heron rookery.

Horse Barn Valley Interpretive Forest, British Columbia (N49˚39’W116˚2’) is a 200-ha old growth cedar forest at Kimberley.

Jimsmith Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚29’ W115˚50’) is west of Cranbrook and provides camping in a Douglas fir and larch forest..

Kianuko Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚25’ W116˚25’) provides caribou, moose, and grizzly habitat in an old growth forest at the Goat River headwaters. It is 11,600 ha in size.

Kimberley Nature Park, city of Kimberley, British Columbia (N49˚39’ W116˚0’), is an 800-ha hiking area with 50 km of trails. It is managed by the Kimberley Nature Park Society on Crown land.

Marysville Falls, Kimberley, British Columbia (N49˚38’ W115˚58’), is a 30-m waterfall accessed by a short trail off of Route 95A.

Kootenai Falls Wildlife Management Area (48˚27’ W115˚42’) is 172 acres with three miles of Kootenai River frontage, on the north side of the river across from US Route 2.

Kootenay Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia, includes five sites on the shoreline of Kootenay Lake used for camping and lakeside recreation. The Davis Creek (N50˚7’ W116˚55’) and Lost Ledge (N50˚6’ W116˚56’) sites are north of Kaslo on Route 31.  Coffee Creek (N49˚42’ W116˚54’) is on Route 31 north of Balfour.  Campbell Bay (N49˚57’ W116˚52’) is on the eastern side of the lake accessible by water only, while Midge Creek (N49˚23’ W116˚50’) is on the western side of the lake accessible by water only.

Lockhart Beach Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚30’ W116˚47’) protects temperate rainforest habitat on the east shore of Kootenay Lake on Route 3A north of Creston.

Lockhart Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚30’ W116˚42’) is a 3,700-ha old growth cedar-hemlock forest east of Kootenay Lake.

Mary McCroskey State Park, Idaho (N47˚4’ W116˚56’) is on Mission Mountain north of Moscow on US Route 95. The rugged and isolated mountain rises above the Palouse prairie.  The 5,300-acre park has an 18-mile Skyline Drive and 32 miles of trails.

Moyie Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚22’ W115˚50’) is a camping area on a lake with wetlands and old growth cottonwood forests. It is located on Routes 3-95 about 20 km south of Cranbrook.

North Idaho College (N47˚41’ W116˚48’) is at the outlet of Lake Coeur d’Alene on the Spokane River in Coeur d’Alene. The lakeshore is an IBA for gulls and waterfowl.

Painted Rocks State Park, Montana (N45˚41’ W114˚18’) is a reservoir recreation area on Painted Rocks Lake in the upper Bitterroot River valley. The lake is surrounded by granite and rhyolite cliffs with green, yellow, and orange lichens, thus the name. It is south of Darby off State Route 473.

Pend Oreille Wildlife Management Area, Idaho, is a multi-unit public land resource, mostly waterfowl areas, on Lake Pend Oreille and surrounding areas.  Clark Fork Delta (N48˚9’ W116˚14’) consists of islands with old growth cottonwood and grand fir at the Clark Fork entrance to Lake Pend Oreille.  It is an IBA for ducks, common loon, great blue heron, and bald eagle. Other units with the same habitat are Clark Fork Drift Yard and Carter Island, both adjacent to State Route 200 at the Clark Fork entrance to the lake. Denton Slough (N48˚11’ W116˚5’) is an IBA with a colony of western grebe and other waterfowl, accessible from State Route 200 east of Sandpoint. Derr Creek (N48˚7’ W116˚10’) is on the Clark Fork River upstream from the lake.  In the middle of the lower embayment of the lake is Pearl Island (N48˚13’ W116˚20’).

The Pack River Delta (N48˚19’ W116˚23’) is at the north end of the lake and is an IBA for waterfowl and common loon. The site includes Fisherman Island and Oden Bay of Lake Pend Oreille, which are also IBAs. Along the Pack River upstream of the reservoir are the Trout Creek, Rapid Lightning Creek (N48˚22’ W116˚24’), Gold Creek, and Lower Pack River (N48˚22’ W116˚26’) units.

Along US Route 2 and the riverine portion of the reservoir (Pend Oreille River) are Hornby Creek (N48˚15’ W116˚38’), Carr Creek (N48˚15’ W116˚39’), Mallard Bay (N48˚13’ W116˚41’), Musket Lake (N48˚15’ W116˚40’), Morton Slough (N˚48˚12’ W116˚42’), Hoodoo Creek (N48˚9’ W116˚45’), Riley Creek (N48˚10’ W116˚47’), Carey Creek (N48˚9’ W116˚51’), Priest River (N48˚10’ W116˚52’), Strong Island and North Shore Strip (N48˚11’ W116˚58’), and Albeni Cove (N48˚10’ W117˚0’). Morton Slough is an IBA for diving ducks and other waterfowl.

Off-reservoir units along US Route 95 include Westmond Lake (N48˚10’ W116˚32’), Cocolalla Lake (N48˚6’ W116˚37’), and Tall Pines (N47˚48’ W116˚40’) east of Hayden Lake.  The Hauser unit (N47˚46’ W117˚1’) is off of State Route 53 east of Spokane, Washington. Westmond Lake is an IBA for black tern and waterfowl.

Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park and Protected Area, British Columbia (N50˚0’ W116˚30’) is a 202,700-ha wilderness area extending from the shoreline of Kootenay Lake to the Purcell Mountain range. Dewar Creek Hot Springs (N49˚57’ W116˚31’) is reached by following the St. Marys River Road to its end, then hiking along Dewar Creek. Above the hot springs are unique plant communities.

Roundhorn Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N47˚32’ W115˚3’) is 27 acres of cliffs providing bighorn sheep habitat, visible from State Route 200 west of Plains and east of Thompson Falls.

Ryan Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚8’ W116˚2’) is a picnic area on Route 3-95 on the Moyie River south of Cranbrook.

St. Maries Wildlife Management Area, Idaho, includes Miners and Flat Creeks (N47˚13’ W116˚32’), an area of old growth western hemlock providing habitat for northern goshawk and pileated woodpecker and designated an IBA.

St. Mary’s Alpine Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚50’ W116˚20’) is a 9,000-ha wilderness park with 32 lakes, granite cliffs, tundra, and snowfields, mostly above 7,000 feet in elevation. There are numerous waterfalls, some up to 150 m in height.  Access is from Kimberley over forest roads which end at trailheads outside of the park.

Mount Silcox Wildlife Management Area, Montana (N47˚36’ W115˚17’) is 1,552 acres east of Thompson Falls on State Route 200, managed for bighorn sheep winter range.

Snow Peak Cooperative Wildlife Management Area (N47˚3’ W115˚33’), on Forest Highway 201 east of Fishhook is an area of checkerboard ownership between the state and federal governments, with 12,000 acres of state land and 20,000 acres of national forest ownership.  The area is managed for mountain goat and other high elevation animal species; there are 40 miles of trail.

Thompson Falls State Park, Montana (N47˚37’ W115˚23’) is a riverside recreation area just north of Thompson Falls on the Clark Fork River off Blue Slide Road (Route 472).

Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes State Park, Idaho, extends from Plummer (N47˚20’ W116˚53’) east 72 miles to Mullan (N47˚28’ W115˚48’). It is a paved bicycle trail and passes Heyburn State Park, Coeur d’Alene Lake, Coeur d’Alene Wildlife Management Area, and Coeur d’Alene Old Mission State Park National Historic Landmark.

Yahk Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚5’ W116˚6’) is a campground on the Moyie River on Route 3-95 in the town of Yahk about 70 km south of Cranbrook.

Selkirk Range

Notable mountain sites include the Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, Mount Spokane State Park, and Valhalla Provincial Park.

Beaver Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚4’ W117˚37’) is located on the Columbia River downstream from Trail on Route 22A. The 81-ha camping and hiking park includes a ponderosa pine forest.

Champion Lakes Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚11’ 117˚37’) includes the three Champion Lakes and Kearns Lake, providing old growth forest, fishing, and hiking trails between the lakes. It is located off of Route 3 east of Castlegar.

Le Clerc Wildlife Area, Washington (N48º34’ W117º17’) is 600 acres in four sections on the Pend Oreille River and the West Branch Le Clerc Creek 25 miles downstream from Newport. The area has an elk feeding station and is managed for grizzly bear recovery.

Cody Caves Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚44’ W116˚54’) is a small park protecting a one-km-long limestone cave on the west side of Kootenay Lake west of Ainsworth Hot Springs. Guided tours are offered.

Crawford/Gardner Cave State Park, Washington (N49˚0’ W117˚22’) is just south of the British Columbia border and west of the Pend Oreille River at the Boundary Dam crossing, surrounded by the Colville National Forest. The park offers tours of a 1,000-foot-long limestone cavern.

Drewry Point Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚25’ W116˚49’) is on the west shore of Kootenay Lake and accessible only by boat, providing a lakeside recreation area.

Erie Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚11’ W117˚18’) is a mature cedar-hemlock forest located between Route 3 and Erie Creek west of Salmo.

Evans Lake Ecological Reserve, British Columbia (N49˚51’ W117˚42’) is at the head of Evans Lake within the large Valhalla Provincial Park.  The area protects a yellow cedar community that is more typical of alpine coastal areas.

Grohman Narrows Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚30’ W117˚23’) is located five km west of Nelson on Routes 3A-6 on the Kootenay River.  The small 10-ha park has old growth black cottonwood and rare pond and wetland species.

Kokanee Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚36’ W117˚8’) is 260 ha on Route 3A north of Nelson. Located on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, the shoreline includes sandy beaches. There is a canyon with old growth western cedar and grand fir.

Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚45’ W117˚8’, includes the Kokanee Glacier and nearby Woodbury Glacier just to the north. The 32,000-ha wilderness park includes 30 lakes, cliffs, rock slides, and 85 km of trails. Trailheads and access are at Woodbury Creek, Gibson Lake, and Enterprise Creek.

McArthur Lake Wildlife Management Area, Idaho (N48˚31’ W116˚27’), is north of Sandpoint on US Route 95. The 1,200-acre area is an IBA for ducks, waterfowl, and shorebirds including Canada goose and coots.

Midge Creek Wildlife Management Area, British Columbia (N49˚27’ W116˚53’), is 15,000 ha and protects a migration corridor west of Kootenay Lake for grizzly bear, birds, bats, and caribou.

Pilot Bay Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚38’ W116˚52’) is a lakeside recreation area on Kootenay Lake just south of the Kootenay Bay ferry terminal (Route 3A).  The park has a hiking trail network and a 1904 lighthouse. The karst topography supports rare plant communities.

Priest Lake State Park, Idaho is in three units on the eastern shore of Priest Lake, a 19-mile-long, 300-foot-deep lake. The Dickensheet Unit (N48˚27’ W116˚54’) is at the lake outlet along the Priest River and offers canoeing. The Indian Creek unit (N48˚37’ W116˚50’) is on East Shore Road 17 miles off of State Route 57 and is a camping-hiking area with a visitor center. The Lionhead Unit (N48˚44’ W116˚49’) is at the north end of Priest Lake and offers hiking and camping.

Round Lake State Park, Idaho (N48˚10’ W116˚38’) is 140 acres west of US Route 95 between Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint.  Trails wind around a 50-acre lake.

Rustler’s Gulch Unit of Sherman Creek Wildlife Area, Washington (N48º5’ W117º25’) is on the West Branch Little Spokane River featuring forests and wetlands.

Mount Spokane State Park, Washington (N47º55’ W117º7’), is 13,000 acres of old growth forest in the Selkirk Mountains, with a winter sports area, 100 miles of hiking trails, 100 miles of horse trails,a nd 90 miles of bicycle trails. The park is at the end of State Route 206 off of US Route 2 northeast of Spokane.

Stagleap Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚7’ W117˚0’) is the highest all-weather paved road in Canada. The site on Route 3 about 30 km west of Creston protects habitat for the mountain caribou.

Valhalla Provincial Park, British Columbia, includes 50,000 ha in the Valhalla Range of the Selkirk Mountains, to the west of Route 6. Evans Lake (N49˚51’ W117˚39’) and Beatrice Lake (N49˚52’ W117˚36’) are unusually large high elevation lakes.  New Denver Glacier (N49˚57’ W117˚30’), Devils Couch, and other craggy spires are in the park, which also includes the shoreline of Slocan Lake on its eastern boundary. Forests are western red cedar and western hemlock with alpine areas.

West Arm Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚33’ W117˚7’) is south of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake and accessible by boat.  The undeveloped park includes 25,300 ha.

Monashee Range

Notable sites include Gladstone Provincial Park and Granby Provincial Park.            

Christina Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚2’ W118˚13’) is on Route 3 and provides lakeside recreation opportunities just north of the Washington-British Columbia border.

Gladstone Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚13’ W118˚13’) includes 39,000 ha, including old growth cedar-hemlock forests, pictographs, and Christina Lake, a trout spawning area.

Granby Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚40’ W118˚30’),  protects the upper watershed of the Granby River and is managed for grizzly habitat and old growth cedar hemlock.

Nancy Greene Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚15’ W117˚55’) includes a subalpine lake with a 5-km trail at the junction of Routes 3 and 3B west of Castlegar.

King George Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚0’ W117˚50’), is 160 ha on Route 22 at the border with Washington state.  It is noted for old growth cottonwood.

Syringa Provincial Park, British Columbia (N49˚22’ W117˚54’) is 4,420 ha on Lower Arrow Lake, a Columbia River reservoir, upstream from Castlegar. The park has Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, and bunchgrass vegetation and hiking trails.

Private sites in the North Central Rockies forests:

Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia (N49˚44’ W116˚55’) is on Route 31 on Kootenay Lake. The 108˚F water drips from a horseshoe-shaped cave.

Ball Creek Ranch Preserve, the Nature Conservancy, Idaho (N48˚48′ W116˚25′), is located north of Kootenai. The 2,600 acres protects waterfowl habitat on the Kootenai River.

Calispell Lake, Washington (N48˚16’ W117˚20’) is a waterfowl area on a tributary to the Pend Oreille River northwest of Newport.  It is managed by a private waterfowl club and is an IBA.

Dancing Prairie Preserve, the Nature Conservancy, Montana (N48˚56’ W115˚5’) is north of Eureka and protects the rare Spalding’s catchfly in a grassland valley east of Lake Koocanusa.  The preserve has drumlins and kettles from glacial activity.

Island Lake Lodge, British Columbia (N49˚30’ W115˚10’) includes a forest with 800-year old trees in Cedar Valley at Fernie.

Lolo Hot Springs, Montana (N46˚44’ W114˚32’) is located 35 miles west of Missoula on U.S. Route 12.

Oviatt Creek Fossil Beds, Idaho (N46˚45’ W116˚17’), are former St. Joe National Forest lands southwest of Elk River. These 15-million-year-old lake bed sediments have fossils of bald cypress, sycamore, redwood, avocado, and red oak among other plants (Solberg 1997).

Skookumchuck Prairie, British Columbia (N49˚49’ W115˚45’) is on Routes 93-95 in the Rocky Mountain trench at Skookumchuck. The grasslands here support breeding long-billed curlews and make the site an Important Bird Area.

Swan River Oxbow Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, Montana (N47˚53’ W113˚51’), is a marshy area which protects a threatened Howellia plant, adjacent to the Swan River NWR.


Solberg, Dustin. 1997.  15 Million Years of History Near Elk River.  Moscow Pullman Daily News, Friday, September 26, 1997.,2734063