by rugged peaks of the Coastal Mountains to the west, and the dry Interior Plateau
to the east, Ts'yl-os Provincial Park provides visitors with a great diversity
in both land and wildlife. Ts'yl-os (pronounced sigh-loss), was originally established
as an area to protect endangered wildlife and to promote wilderness recreation
Chilko Lake in
Ts'ylos Park, Chilcotin, British Columbia
Within the park, Chilko Lake consumes most of the area, as it
is the largest, natural, high-elevation, freshwater lake in Canada. Due to the
size of this lake, only experienced boaters and kayakers should attempt Chilko
Lake, due to the unpredictable winds and other challenges such as high waves,
icy waters, and a shortage of safe landing areas.
Chilko Lake is home to rainbow
trout, bull trout and sockeye salmon. Various other streams and rivers feed the
Chilko and Taseko systems, and support whitefish. In the fall, spawning salmon
can be observed struggling up the Chilko River at the north end of Chilko Lake.
are able to choose from two small campgrounds that tend to fill quickly in the
summer months; Gwa Da Ts’ih and Nu Chugh Beniz. Facilities provided
include pit toilets, picnic tables, fire pits, firewood, and water. Nu Chugh Beniz
Campground is situated at Chilko Lake's midpoint and is reached via Hanceville,
42 km west of Riske Creek on Hwy 20. The approach is recommended for high-clearance
vehicles only. Gwa Da Ts'ih Campground is at the north end of the park on Chilko
Lake, reached via Tatla Lake on a good gravel road.
Chilko Lake in
Ts'ylos Provincial Park, shrouded in smoke from Chilcotin wildfires. Gwa Da
Ts'ih Campground is located in the centre foreground.
are collected from May to September 30. Please note that no fees are collected
and no services are provided after September 30th. Campers can still access the
campgrounds with self-contained units on a user-maintained basis.
Ts'yl-os Provincial Park, experienced hikers can undertake a four- to six-day
loop trek through the Yohetta Valley, Spectrum Pass, and Tchaikazan
Valley. The easiest approach is from the Tchaikazan trailhead. To reach the
trailhead, turn south at Elkin Creek, about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Hanceville
on Hwy 20. An alternative approach is via Chilko Lake and the Rainbow Creek Trail,
which connects with the Yohetta-Spectrum-Tchaikazan Trail, a difficult 3-hour,
4-mile (6.5-km) hike.
Campsite at Gwa
Da Ts'ih Campground
in the park at the north end of Chilko Lake, the well-marked Tullin Mountain
Trail (easy; 7.5 miles/12 km return) starts at the Gwa Da Ts'ih campground.
This excellent day hike has an elevation gain of 2,400 feet (730 metres). Note
that since Ts'yl-os is a wilderness park in an isolated part of the Chilcotin,
with limited services, all hikers should be experienced in the backcountry, and
well equipped for route finding, first aid, and survival situations. Hiking routes
in the park are not maintained.
Gwa Da Ts'ih Campground,
chance of encountering grizzly bears is much higher in Ts'yl-os Park than elsewhere
in this region. Be bear aware. Because of the diverse landscapes of the park,
visitors are also able to see a variety of wildlife, including black bear, moose,
mountain goat, cougar and bald eagles.
Ts'yl-os Provincial Park is located 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Williams Lake
off the Bella Coola Highway 20. Please note that travel time varies considerably,
depending on weather conditions. Routes follow rough, washboard gravel roads;
high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
Ts'ylos Park, Chilcotin, BC
Early morning sun
smoke from Chilcotin wildfires