Posted by: cherylyoung | June 6, 2012

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and I say behold this beauty

 

Strathcona Provincial Park is a rugged mountain

 wilderness of over 250,000 hectares that dominates

 central Vancouver Island.

Created in 1911, Strathcona is the oldest provincial

 park in BC and the largest on Vancouver Island.

 

The triangular shaped park practically spans the

 entire width of Vancouver Island, in that it borders

 on Herbert Inlet off Clayoquot Sound on the

Pacific Coast, and extends eastwards to within

13 kilometres of the sea near Comox.

 

 

Mountain Peaks, some eternally mantled with snow,

dominate the park while lakes and alpine tarns dot

a landscape laced with rivers, creeks and streams.

In the valley and lower regions of the park stand

forests that were already old in 1778 when Captain

James Cook of the Royal Navy landed at Nootka

Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

 

 

Della Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada with

an overall drop of 440 metres in three cascades,

is located in the southern section of the park.

Fed by glaciers and alpine streams, the crystal

clear waters of Della Lake spill over the edge of a

 rocky cliff and cascade into the valley of

Drinkwater Creek.

 

Nearly eight times higher than Niagara Falls and

amongst the top ten highest falls in the world,

Della Falls are only seen by the few adventurers

 who undertake the arduous hike through

Strathcona Provincial Park.

 

 

Many pretty little lakes dot the Forbidden Plateau

area, providing good fly fishing for rainbow trout

during summer.

The Forbidden Plateau region of Strathcona has

the origin of its name in Indian legend.

 

The plateau was believed to be inhabited by evil

spirits who consumed women and children who

 dared to venture into the area.

 

The reward for those who venture onto Forbidden

Plateau today is an area of subalpine beauty.

 

Views of glaciers, mountains and verdant forests

 stretching eastward to the Strait of Georgia are

visual highlights.

A prominent site from summits in the park is the

 Golden Hinde, the highest point on Vancouver

Island at an elevation of 2,200 metres.

 

The Golden Hinde stands almost in the centre of

Strathcona Park, at the head of the Wolf River to

the west of Buttle Lake.

 

 

The park extends from sea level to above 1,800

 metre in elevation, and therefore supports a

great variety of forest and plant life.

 

Douglas-fir, western red cedar, grand fir, amabilis

fir and western hemlock of the coast forest cover

 much of the valleys and lower mountain slopes,

giving way to subalpine fir, mountain hemlock

and creeping juniper in the subalpine areas.

 

Through summer months the park offers a

spectacular floral display in various areas.

Found at varying heights are heather, lupine,

monkey flowers and violets, as well as Indian

paintbrush, phlox and moss campion.

 

Vancouver Island’s separation from mainland

British Columbia by Johnstone Strait and Georgia

 Strait has resulted in many mammal species

 common to other parts of the province not been

 found on the island.

 

Chipmunks, porcupines, coyotes, foxes and grizzly

 bears are absent, while species such as the wolf,

Roosevelt elk, the Vancouver Island marmot and

the coastal black-tail deer are different from

 their mainland relatives.

Strathcona has a large deer and elk population,

 with year-round viewings of Roosevelt Elk

possible, while wolves and cougars, though

 present, are not frequently seen.

 

Strathcona Park also supports a rather varied

 population of birds, including the chestnut-backed

chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, the winter

wren, and the kinglet.

The Steller’s jay, which is the provincial bird of

 British Columbia, the gray jay, and the band-tailed

 pigeon are also likely to be encountered when

 hiking through Strathcona Park.

 

The park also protects blue grouse, ruffed grouse

and the unique Vancouver Island white-ptarmigan.

 

Buttle Lake, named for Commander John Buttle

who explored the area in the 1860s, is the major

 body of water in the park. Buttle, and the many

other lakes and waterways in the park can provide

good fishing in season for cutthroat trout, rainbow

trout and Dolly Varden.

 

Summer in Strathcona Provincial Park is usually

 pleasantly warm while winters are fairly mild,

with the exception of the higher levels where heavy

 snowfalls are quite common.

 

From November through March, snowfalls are

general on the mountain slopes and alpine plateaus.

Snow remains all year on the mountain peaks and

may linger into July in the higher elevations.

 

Summer evenings, as elsewhere in the coastal

areas of British Columbia, can be cool and rain

can be expected at any time of the year.

 

 

The Buttle Lake and Forbidden Plateau areas

have some visitor-orientated developments, but

the rest of the park is largely undeveloped and

appeals to people seeking wilderness surroundings.

 

To see and enjoy much of the scenic splendour

of Strathcona requires well-prepared hiking or

 backpacking into the alpine regions.

 

The park offers various types of water activities,

cross-country skiing, wildlife viewing and excellent

wilderness camping, hiking and fishing adventures

 in the alpine wilderness.

 

The multitude of lakes and rivers in Strathcona

 attract kayakers and anglers wanting to get away

 from it all to regain their senses in the remote

 tranquility offered by the likes of Buttle Lake,

Megin River and Megin Lake.

 

To see a short video go to my facebook page

Cheryl Holmes Young, Realtor

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C www.cherylyoung.ca

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