In This Park

Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park

Park Contact

K'Alii Aks Timber Corporation
lavabedoperator@gmail.com
250 633-3142
Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Smoking is prohibited
During a campfire ban, smoking is restricted in all public areas of a park or protected area. Please read this Information Bulletin.

Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a (a.k.a. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park)

About This Park

Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asanskwhl Nisga'a (Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park)PhotoGallery

The dramatic landscape blended with the rich native culture makes this park a special experience. The park offers visitors a chance to explore many unique and interesting features of a volcanic landscape and to learn about the culture and legends of the Nisga’a people.

Just outside of the park, there are five communities, four of which are Nisga’a villages. Their names are Gitlakdamix (New Aiyansh), Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City), Lakalzap (Greenville), Kincolith and Nass Camp. All communities are road accessible from the park. Within the communities there are amenities like: grocery stores, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, gift shops, gas stations and health services.

Special Features: Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a (Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park) is the first provincial park within the Province of British Columbia established to combine interpretation of natural features and native culture. The park is included in the landmark treaty, the “Nisga’a Final Agreement”, between the Government of Canada and the Nisga’a Nation. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park is also the first provincial park to be jointly managed by a First Nation and BC Parks.

The Nisga’a alkali basalt flow is one of the youngest and most accessible volcanic features in British Columbia. The guided volcanic tours offer the park visitor a chance to hike 3 km through a scenic old growth forest and past a variety of volcanic features to a viewpoint overlooking the crater. To protect the special features of the area, unguided access to the volcanic cone is prohibited. The hike is rated as moderate with some hills and steep stairs.

Geological History: As the lava spilled from the crater an estimated 250 years ago, it followed a creek bed downslope to Lava Lake and down the Tseax Valley to the Nass River. The lava travelled at different speeds depending on the steepness of the slope. Some types of lava flow and interesting features include:

  • Tree cast – formed by burned out tree trunks leaving holes in the lava.
  • Lava tube – formed as the top layer cooled and hardened. The crust insulated the lava flowing inside which eventually flowed out leaving the crust as the roof and walls of the tube.
  • Pahoehoe – lava that often has a smooth surface or is ropey in form.
  • AA – rough and jagged lava.
  • Blocky – large chunks of lava.

Know Before You Go

  • Mushroom harvesting is not permitted within the park. Check with Nisga’a Lisims Government for licensing requirements for harvesting mushrooms on Nisga’a Lands.
  • Explore with care – lava rock may be sharp and unstable, and surfaces may be thin, especially along lake and stream edges.

Location

The easiest way to access the Lava Beds is to take Highway 16 to Terrace, then north for 100 km on the Nisga’a Highway, which is paved for the first 70 km. The alternate route is through Kitwanga on Highway 16. From Kitwanga, head north for 78 km on paved Highway 37 to the Cranberry River. Here the unpaved Nass Forest Service Road leads west to New Aiyansh, a distance of 86 km.

Nisga’a Visitor Centre

The visitor centre is located at the campground and offers merchandise, maps, stories, pictures, and information about attractions. Learn about Nisga’a language, culture, history, feasts and laws.

Hours of operation:

  • May 15th to June 29th:
        Friday, Saturday and Sunday only 10am - 5pm
  • June 29th to August 31st:
        Monday closed
        Tuesday 10am – 5pm
        Wednesday 10am – 5pm
        Thursday 10am – 5pm
        Friday 10am – 6pm
        Saturday 10am – 6pm
        Sunday 10am – 6pm
  • September 1 – close:
        Friday, Saturday and Sunday only 10am – 5pm

Maps and Brochures

Nature and Culture

  • Cultural Heritage: The history of the region is tied to legends handed down from past generations. The Nisga’a house system is composed of four main families: Wolf, Raven, Killer Whale, and Eagle. Each family owns stories and passes them on to the next generation.

    One of the most well known stories is about the genesis of the volcano. Legend has it that children had shown disrespect to the life-giving salmon by putting stones and burning sticks into their backs and watching them swim. The elders warned the children repeatedly to stop but they did not listen. Soon the ground began to rumble. The volcano and the lava flow then covered the valley bottom, redirected the mighty Nass River and destroyed two villages. This resulted in 2000 Nisga’a people perishing.

  • Conservation: This park has important special features such as the lava flows, which are as recent as 250 years ago. This region also contains cinder cones, tree moulds, lava tubes and caves, spatter cones, and Lava Lake. Some lava flow features are very delicate and need protection. Lichens cover the majority of lava flow and a single footprint can set back hundreds of years of growth. Please stay on the trails.
  • Wildlife: If you plan on exploring the Nass Mountain Range, you will be in the company of moose, goats, marmots, bears and many other species of wildlife. Always use good judgement when in the presence of wildlife. When visiting the Vetter Falls viewpoint, visitors might get a chance to catch a glimpse of a “phantom” steelhead.

Management Planning

Activities Available at this Park

Canoeing

Canoeing

Canoeing and kayaking opportunities are available at Lava Lake.

Cycling

Cycling

Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.

Fishing

Fishing

Excellent fishing opportunities for salmon on the Tseax River. Nisga’a citizens should obtain a Nisga’a fishing licence from the Nisga’a Lisims Government for fishing within Nisga’a Lands. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Please refer to current fishing regulations.

Hiking

Hiking

  • Five short interpretive trails, “Crater Creek”, “Beaupre Falls”, “Tree Mould Trail”, “Vetter Creek Trail” and the “Fish Wheel Trail” provide easy access to several of the park’s special features.
  • For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
  • The Nisga’a alkali basalt flow is one of the youngest and most accessible volcanic features in British Columbia. The guided volcanic tours offer the park visitor a chance to hike 3 km through a scenic old growth forest and past a variety of volcanic features to a viewpoint overlooking the crater. To protect the special features of the area, unguided access to the volcanic cone is prohibited. The hike is rated as moderate with some hills and steep stairs. Visitor access to the cone area may only be allowed on guided tours or under special permit. Please refer to interpretive programs.
Hunting

Hunting

Hunting is permitted within the park. Please refer to the current hunting regulations. Check with Nisga’a Lisims Government for licensing requirements for harvesting wildlife on Nisga’a Lands.

Interpretive Programs

Interpretive Programs

At this time, there are no guided cone tours available. BC Parks is working with the Nisga’a Nation to provided guided tours for the 2022 season. Please check this website for up to date information including availability and cone tour pricing. We appreciate your patience. Please note that unguided tours are strictly prohibited. This area is extremely sensitive. Please help us to protect these special and unique features and report any violations to BC Parks at 778 702-1530. Thank you for your cooperation.

Nisga’a Visitor Centre

The visitor centre is located at the campground and offers merchandise, maps, stories, pictures, and information about attractions. Learn about Nisga’a language, culture, history, feasts and laws.

Hours of operation:

  • May 15th to June 29th:
        Friday, Saturday and Sunday only 10am - 5pm
  • June 29th to August 31st:
        Monday closed
        Tuesday 10am – 5pm
        Wednesday 10am – 5pm
        Thursday 10am – 5pm
        Friday 10am – 6pm
        Saturday 10am – 6pm
        Sunday 10am – 6pm
  • September 1 – close:
        Friday, Saturday and Sunday only 10am – 5pm
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.

Swimming

Swimming

There is swimming available at Lava Lake. The beaches are a mixture of sand and rock.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Brochures are available at Nisga’a Lisims Government Office – New Aiyansh, the Nisga’a Park Visitor Centre and the Terrace Visitor Centre.

Winter Recreation

Winter Recreation

Snowmobiling is permitted in the Sterling Mountain Snowmobile area.

Facilities Available at this Park

Accessibility

Accessibility

The campground has a wheelchair-accessible campsite and pit toilet.

Boat Launch

Boat Launch

A gravel, single lane boat launch accessing the Nass River can be found at the park’s north end. A gravel, single lane boat launch accessing Lava Lake can be found at the park’s south end. Parking space is available for vehicle and boat trailers at both locations. Overnight moorage is not recommended at the Nass River boat launch location due to fluctuating river levels.

Campfires

Campfires

Please Conserve Firewood. There are fire rings available for use at the visitor centre and the campground. While campfires are allowed and campfire rings are provided at each campsite, we encourage visitors to conserve wood and protect the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using campstoves instead. Firewood can be purchased in the park or you may bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary from park to park. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil.

Drinking Water

Drinking Water

There is a water pump located at the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park Campground.

Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has several day-use/picnic areas. One is located at Vetter Falls another at Lava Lake and also, the Visitor Information Centre. There are fire rings available at the Visitor Information Centre and the day-use area.

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit toilets are available at Lava Lake, Vetter Falls, Nisga’a Campground, the visitor information shelter and the Tseax River pullout. A wheelchair-accessible pit toilet is located at the Nisga’a Campground.
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers 16 vehicle-accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis, campsite reservations are not accepted. There are large sites, double sites and wheelchair-accessible sites available. Most sites are shaded due to the surrounding deciduous forest. Additional parking is available at the Visitor Information Centre, which is located next to the campground. Self-registration, running water, and firewood are available. There are no sani-dump facilities. The visitor centre is located next to the campground.

Vehicle-Accessible Camping Fee: $20.00 per party/night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $10.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Walk-In/Wilderness Camping

Wilderness camping is permitted in the backcountry and alpine areas. Camping is not permitted in the frontcountry or lava beds. No developed trails or facilities are provided.