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Park ContactBC Parks:
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations:
867-634-4200 Ext 205 www.cafn.ca
About This Park
Tatshenshini-Alsek is considered to be one of the most magnificent river systems on earth, and forms the basis of the park that bears its name. Tatshenshini-Alsek Park contains nearly one million hectares of glacier-cloaked peaks, wild rivers, grizzly bears and unusual plant communities. Situated in the very northwest corner of British Columbia, it nestles between Kluane National Park and Reserves in the Yukon and Glacier Bay & Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks and Preserves in Alaska. Combined, these parks comprise the largest protected area in the world, approximately 8.5 million hectares. The Tatshenshini-Alsek Park has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers are responsible for much of what’s special in the area. The great gap they’ve carved through the coastal mountains allows cool, moist ocean air into the cold interior. The quick change from ocean to interior environment, frequent floods, landslides and avalanches, a varied geology and great elevation changes have together created an exceptionally diverse range of habitat conditions.
Despite its remote location the ruggedly beautiful Tatshenshini-Alsek region is attracting an increasing number of recreationalists: kayakers and rafters are drawn to the two magnificent river systems; hikers and mountaineers confront a near-endless pristine wilderness that includes everything from alpine meadows to the jagged edges of the Alsek Ranges and Mt. Fairweather, the province’s highest peak at 4,633 metres; and mountain bikers can explore old mining roads and other interesting and challenging terrain. Interestingly, the Haines Highway provides an opportunity to see much of the same unusual plant and animal diversity that river users experience.
Know Before You Go
- Visitors to Tatshenshini-Alsek Park should be aware that this is a rugged wilderness area; appropriate clothing, camping gear and sufficient supplies are a necessity. If planning to hike or mountain bike, it is important to remember that weather conditions in the summer are highly variable. Although a day may start with clear skies and sunshine, it can quickly change, and snow is possible any day of the year. High winds are frequent and there are often long spells of cold, wet weather.
- Rafters must be aware that the remoteness of this park is an essential factor to consider in trip preparation and safety. The exception to the level of difficulty is Turnback Canyon on the Alsek River. This section of the river is extremely hazardous at all water levels and travel is not recommended for even the most skilled rafter/kayaker. Portaging is recommended for all trips.
- Comprehensive archaeological studies of the Alsek and Tatshenshini River corridors are not yet complete. If you come across a site or artifact of cultural significance you are encouraged to report its location and what you saw to the BC Parks office in Atlin at (250) 651-7634. Please remember that it is an offence to damage or remove any natural or cultural resource from a park.
- Despite the great diversity of life found in the Tatshenshini, existence for its inhabitants can be a fragile one. Winters are long, the growing season is short and damaged vegetation rehabilitates slowly. This is one reason why no motorized vehicles are allowed off the highway, except in the winter when snowmobiling is allowed within a specified area. Visitors are asked to take special care to minimize impact on the landscape. Please pack out your litter and plan any camping or campfires so there is no evidence of your passage. This will ensure that future travelers will experience the same wilderness that you do.
- Survey Lake is a site of cultural and spiritual importance to the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and has been impacted by recreational users. Guidelines for access to cultural sites and still being developed. As such, the Order of the Regional Director has identified this site as closed to floatplane access until November 1, 2024.
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
Cooperative Management: The park lies entirely within the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation (CAFN) traditional territory and is managed under the terms of the 1996 Tatshenshini-Alsek Park Management Agreement signed by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation and the Province of British Columbia.
Activities Available at this Park
There are world-class canoeing, rafting and kayaking opportunities within this park.
- User Fee in effect - The BC Parks River Fee
- River-Rafting and Kayaking in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
There are three toilet facilities located along the eastern edge of the park on the west side of the Haines Highway:
- One at Mule Creek grader shed;
- the second at the small roadside hut just south of West Nadahini Creek; and
- the third at the new pullout at the Chuck Creek trailhead.