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Babine River Corridor Provincial Park
About This Park
Babine River Corridor Park protects the heart of the Babine River watershed – a wild river, home to steelhead and salmon and to the bears who feed on them. The river originates in Babine Lake, the longest natural lake entirely within British Columbia. The river-based recreational opportunities offered by Babine River Corridor Park compliment the upland forest and alpine recreation opportunities in Babine Mountains Provincial Park.
Along with protecting significant wildlife habitat, Babine River Corridor Park provides outstanding wilderness river recreation opportunities. World-class angling opportunities for steelhead and sockeye salmon attract local and international visitors alike.
Know Before You Go
- Active logging roads surround the park. Exercise extreme caution on the roads and narrow bridges when driving and as a pedestrian.
- Large numbers of grizzly and black bears frequent the area and use the trails in the park; please take precautions to avoid a bear encounter.
Babine River Corridor Park hugs the Babine River for 85 km as it flows from the bridge crossing, 2 km downstream of Nilkitkwa Lake, northwest to Kisgegas, a First Nations Reserve, 10 km from the confluence with the Skeena River. Access to the day-use area by road is approximately 130 km from Smithers. Follow Babine Lake Road east, then Nilkitkwa Forest Service Road north for 58 km. The nearest communities, towns and cities are Fort Babine, Smithers and Telkwa.
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- History: In 1994, the Babine River Interim Local Resource Use Plan (LRUP) first proposed the Babine River as a “wilderness zone”, recognizing its important wildlife habitat and significant recreation opportunities. The Kispiox Land and Resource Management Plan in 1996 and the Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan in 1998 both confirmed the LRUP zoning and recommended protection of the corridor in accordance with the Protected Areas Strategy. In 1999, the area was designated a Class A Provincial Park.
- Culture: Babine River Corridor Park is within the traditional territories of the Ned’u’ten and Gitxsan peoples. Both nations have used, and continue to use, the area for sustenance, spiritual and commercial activities. There are trails of First Nations origin along the river and there are culturally modified trees and various other cultural sites within the park. Kisgegas Reserve, a Gitxsan community near the northwest end of the park, is used as a training/rediscovery site. Here, there are totem poles and old village sites.
- Conservation: Babine River Corridor Park is located within the Southern Skeena Mountains and Babine Upland Ecosections. The park was established to protect the wilderness values of the river corridor for fish and the significant grizzly bear population that feeds on them.
- Wildlife: Babine River Corridor Park is home to an internationally significant wild steelhead population and a provincially significant sockeye salmon run, as well as populations of chinook, coho and pink salmon, dolly varden and rainbow and bull trout. The river is a critical seasonal feeding location for a provincially significant grizzly bear population, estimated at about 100 bears. There is also a high seasonal bald eagle population. The park contains habitat for many mammals including bat, black bear, wolf, coyote, otter, mink, wolverine, fisher, marten, beaver, muskrat and moose, and birds including geese, osprey, shorebirds and owls.
Activities Available at this Park
The Babine River provides internationally significant rafting and kayaking opportunities with 30 km of Class III and IV rapids. The challenges of this white-water should not be underestimated.
Guided trips are available through local rafting companies or individuals may plan private trips. Please note that there are no permits required for private rafting or kayaking trips on the river.
Only one commercial trip can launch per day. Private groups may wish to avoid launching on these dates: September 1, 2021.
Babine River Corridor Park Best Management Practices for Float Trips
It is encouraged that all float trip parties adhere to the following Babine River Corridor Park Best Management Practices:
Leave No TracePack out what you pack in.
Use some form of portable toilet bucket to remove all human wastes from the park. Intensive use of confined campsites creates unsanitary conditions for park visitors.
Bear/People Conflict PreventionBear proof containers must be used for the transportation and storage of all food and garbage.
Report all aggressive or unusual bear behaviour and close bear-human interactions (e.g., a bear in camp, bluff charge, etc.) to the Babine Area Supervisor, 250-847-7565, as soon as possible.
FiresAll float trips are requested to use a fire pan. The creation of rock fire rings and the burning of wood on shore is strongly discouraged.
All surplus or charred firewood/residual ash should be carried out of the park or deposited in the river. No firewood should be left on shore.
- Any viewing of wildlife should be carried out in a discreet manner and from a distance that will not disturb the animal(s) being viewed.
- Adhere to the Wildlife Guidlines when carrying out activities, except where an alternative strategy has been proposed.
- Limit bear viewing at Grizzly Drop to 30 minutes above the rapid and 10 minutes below the rapid.
- Always be on the alert for a potential wrapper rock at the bottom of every drop - it is a good rule for the Babine River in general. Immediately past Gail Creek, you begin the class 4 section that takes you down to the Skeena River with 10 serious class 4 rapids and dozens of 3+ boulder drops. Please do not attempt to do this section of river in the absence of an experienced trip leader.
- Support boats are recommended.
- Trip leaders should preferably have previous experience on this river.
- Kayakers should possess the skills to roll their boats in order to challenge this river.
World-class angling in a classified river for steelhead and fly-fishing for sockeye salmon is available. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Fishing EtiquetteThe fishing experience at the Babine River is world class. BC Parks encourages behaviour that will make this experience enjoyable for everyone:
- Give people space. When someone has a fish on, please reel in and give them room to land their fish. When arriving to fish beside someone, give them room to make safe casts.
- Avoid monopolizing good pools for long periods. Give others a chance to get in and try out a productive pool.
- Be courteous to others on shore. Be aware of people behind you when making your back cast.
- Observe your quota. Please consult fishing regulations and DFO. The daily quota for sockeye salmon is posted by DFO.
The experience at the Babine River is valued by many. Understand that your actions can have serious impacts on the abilities of others to enjoy this area.
This park has hiking and/or walking trails. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure. Please be aware that bears use the trails within the park. To avoid a bear encounter, avoid the trails between dusk and dawn and make noise while hiking.
The park is open to hunting. All hunters to the area should refer to the current BC Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis for more information.
Please note: there is a No Shooting Area around the Babine River Corridor Park south entrance. Please review Map F4 of the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.
Facilities Available at this Park
There is a paved, single-wide, moderate grade boat launch near the day-use area.
Campfires are permitted in the campground. Fires are not permitted in the day-use area. Firewood is no longer provided. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please do not gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
All float trips are requested to use a fire pan for fires. The creation of rock fire rings and the burning of wood on shore is strongly discouraged.
There is a large gravel parking lot for day-use. It has a picnic shelter, picnic table, and a pit toilet. Campfires are not permitted.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit toilets are present at the day-use area on the river and in the campground 4km to the west of the park.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
There is a rustic campground 4 km west of the park entrance. There are 10 moderately sized open campsites available. The sites are gravel and have picnic tables and fire rings. Starvation Lake Recreation Site provides overnight camping 13 km to the east of the park entrance. In addition, Fort Babine Lodge offers cabins and camping. It is found 16km before reaching the Babine River Corridor Park on the Nilkitkwa (4000) Forest Service Road.
Wilderness camping is allowed for park users travelling down-river. No facilities are provided. This is a user maintained park and everything you pack in must be packed out. Do not bury or burn garbage or human waste. Camping is not permitted in the day-use area.