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Butler Ridge Provincial Park
About This Park
Located on the north shore of Williston Lake’s Peace Reach, Butler
Ridge Provincial Park provides boat access to B.C.’s largest man-made lake and offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, fishing and hiking. The hiking along Butler Ridge is spectacular.
The ridge itself extends 15 km south to north throughout the entire length of the park and is accessed via a trail on the park’s south side.
Know Before You Go
- Exercise caution at all times due to a large amount of drifting debris continually emerging from the flooded lake bottom. In addition, strong winds frequently create high waves on the open water.
- Bring your own drinking water; potable water is not available in the park.
Nature and Culture
- History: Butler Ridge was named after General Sir W.F. Butler, a British Army officer recognized for his involvement in the Red River Rebellion. Working for the Canadian Government, he made a scouting trip west to the Rockies. The report he submitted back to the Government, contributed to the establishment of the Northwest Mounted Police in the area. He returned to the area again in 1873. His journey west took him by dogsled to what we now know as Fort St. John. He continued on to Hudson’s Hope by horseback and from there paddled the Peace River by canoe. Since that time the area has received many names such as the Butler Range, Butler Mountain, and eventually to what we know it as today, Butler Ridge. The park was established in 2000.
- Cultural Heritage: First Nations of the Treaty 8 Tribal Association have traditionally used he area.
- Conservation: Butler Ridge Provincial Park is located in the Peace Foothill ecosection just east of the Rocky Mountains. The area provides important winter range for caribou and stone sheep habitat in the higher elevations as well as moose and elk winter range in the lower elevations. A blue-listed species, the Arkansas rose, has been recorded in the park.
- Wildlife (specific to this park or area): This area provides excellent fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. If you look closely, you may be able to spot stone sheep resting in the canyon, just to the right of the boat launch. Deer, elk, golden eagles and other wildlife are common to the area as well as numerous waterfowl and shorebirds.
- Management Planning Information
- Online Management planning information for this park is not available at this time.
Activities Available at this Park
Exercise caution at all times due to a large amount of drifting debris continually emerging from the flooded lake bottom. In addition, strong winds frequently create high waves on the open water.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Williston Lake has numerous sport fish, such as rainbow trout and kokanee, for the avid angler. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
A hiking trail up to Butler Ridge can be accessed on the Dunlevy Forest Service Road east of Hudson’s Hope. The trail accesses Butler Ridge and provides visitors with amazing views of Williston Lake and the surrounding Rocky Mountains. 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.
Horseback riding is permitted.
The park is open to hunting. All hunters to the area should refer to the current BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.
Pets on Leash
Keep pets on leash at all times in backcountry areas to avoid conflicts with wildlife.
Visitors can swim at their own risk in Williston Lake, there are no designated swimming areas. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
There are wildlife viewing opportunities. Stone sheep, moose, elk, deer, black bear and grizzly bears frequent the park.
Winter recreation opportunities include snowmobiling and ski touring.
Facilities Available at this Park
Water levels change seasonally and BC Hydro may alter water levels in Williston Lake without notice, making the boat ramp unusable. Contact BC Hydro to confirm water levels.
Keep backcountry fires small.
Pit or Flush Toilets
This park only has pit toilets – no flush toilets.
Wilderness camping is allowed; no facilities are provided.