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Ts’ilʔos Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Tsilhqot’in Nation Aboriginal Title
On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) granted the Tsilhqot’in Nation a declaration of aboriginal title. Aboriginal title includes the right to exclusive use and occupation of the land, as well as the ability to determine the uses to which the land will be put.
The map to the right shows the land that is subject to the declaration of aboriginal title. The Province is currently analyzing the SCC’s decision, and is in dialogue with the Tsilhqot’in Nation about access to Tsilhqot’in title land.
Until further notice, persons interested in access to the Title area for camping and associated recreational activities are encouraged to contact the Tsilhqot’in National Government (tsilhqotin.ca/).
About This Park
Ts’ilʔos (pronounced “sigh-loss”) Provincial Park comprises rugged mountains, clear blue lakes, glaciers, alpine meadows, and waterfalls. It is bordered by the rugged peaks of the Coast Mountains to the west, and the dry Interior Plateau to the east. The diversity and contrast in landscapes and vegetation are a result of a rainshadow effect on the east side of the mountains. While the northern and eastern portions of the park are relatively dry, the south end of Chilko Lake is characterized by moist areas of the coastal western hemlock zone.
The provincial park was established in February of 1994 as a wilderness area set aside to protect vegetation, wildlife and fish habitats, cultural values, and special features. The diverse ecosystems in the park remain largely undisturbed by human activity, making this park an ecologically significant area in the province. Chilko Lake, the largest, natural high-elevation freshwater lake in Canada, dominates the park. Stunningly beautiful, due to its blue-green hues and dramatic mountain backdrops, Chilko Lake is popular with boaters, kayakers, and anglers. Backcountry hiking and camping is also a cornerstone of the recreational opportunities offered by this remote park.
Established Date: February 12, 1994
Park Size: 233,240 hectares
Note: Ts’ilʔos Park is co-managed through a Memorandum of Understanding between BC Parks and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government.
Know Before You Go
- Ts’ilʔos Provincial Park is remote. Visitors must be self-sufficient and competent in order to deal with the challenges of the outdoors. BC Parks does not provide rescue services.
- 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. Canoeing on Chilko Lake is not recommended.
Location and Maps
Ts’ilʔos Provincial Park is located in a relatively undeveloped and isolated part of the Chilcotin. As the crow flies, the park is approximately 160 km southwest of Williams Lake, or 250 km north of Vancouver. There are two main vehicle access routes into the park, and two campgrounds, one at the end of each route. Both routes take 4 to 6 hours from Williams Lake, though travel time varies considerably depending on weather conditions. Roads are rough, and conditions vary considerably. Drive carefully and with lights on. The nearest communities to the park are Nemiah Valley, Hanceville, Tatla Lake and Williams Lake.
No scheduled flights serve the park. Several airstrips are located outside the park boundary; a Park Use Permit is required for commercial air access within the park.
Topographical map numbers 1:50,000 92N/1, 92N/8, 92O/4, 92O/5, 92N/9, 92J/13 and 92K/16 cover the park. These are necessary for hikers, horseback riders and other backcountry travellers.
Maps and Brochures
Activities Available at this Park
Mountain Biking is permitted on:
- The Yohetta Valley trail as far as the West end of Yohetta Lake (Olson’s Cabin)
- Existing roads and as designated in the North Chilko Lake Unit
- Existing roads in the Tsuniah Unit
- Existing roads in the Tullin Unit
At all times horses and hikers have priority.
Mountain Biking is not permitted in the following areas:
- Ts’ilʔos Unit
- Lord River Unit
- Stikelan South Unit
- South Chilko Lake Unit
Please view the attached map for the different Ts’ilʔos Management Units [PDF].
The backcountry of Ts’ilʔos Park is recommended for experienced travellers only who are equipped for trail finding, first aid, and survival situations. Hiking routes are not maintained and there are no facilities.
In order to meet budget targets, trail maintenance has been reduced on the Yohetta/Tzchaikazan Loop Trail in this park. Although this trail will remain open, users may encounter fallen trees and/or trail wash-outs. Extra caution is advised.
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.
There is horseback riding at this park, although trails are neither maintained nor marked.
Tsylos Park Lodge offers a number of recreational opportunities in this park (including horseback riding expeditions, hunting trips and flyfishing).
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
A concrete boat launch is available for trailerized boats at Gwe Da Ts’ih Campground. This boat launch closes annually on September 15th.
A natural launch, suitable for cartop boats, is located at Nu Chugh Beniz.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis; campsite reservations are not accepted. There is a variety of shaded, treed, and open sites at each campground and parking is available for extra vehicles.
Nu Chugh Beniz Campground
The Nu Chugh Beniz campground has 16 campsites, 1 of which is a large pull-through, 3 double, and the rest are single vehicle sites. There are also 4 tent pads at this campground. This very scenic but often windy campground on the east side of Chilko Lake is accessed via Highway 20 to Hanceville, then 121 km on gravel from Hanceville via Konni Lake and the Nemiah Valley. Supplies are available near the campground at the Nemiah Valley Tl’ebayi Community Centre: gas, propane, laundry and internet service.
Gwe Da Ts’ih Campground
The Gwe Da Ts’ih campground has 8 single vehicle sites. To reach this small, rustic campground at the north end of Chilko Lake, take Highway 20 to Tatla Lake, then drive 63 km on a gravel road from Tatla Lake to the Gwe Da Ts’ih campground. Follow signs for Chilko Lake. Lodges nearby may offer meals and some basic supplies.
These campgrounds run on a self-registration system and drop boxes are in place so people can
pay their overnight fee. There are no payphones at either campground.
The closest store to the Nu Chugh Beniz campground is at Nemiah Valley Tl’ebayi Community Centre or at Hanceville. The closest store to the Gwe Da Ts’ih campground is at Tatla Lake.
Wilderness, backcountry or walk-in camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided.