Uncha Mountain Red Hills Provincial Park
About This Park
Uncha Mountain Red Hills Park consists of two parcels of land on each of the south and north shores of Francois Lake.
North-facing Uncha Mountain is predominantly coniferous forest, while south-facing Red Hills is covered with a mosaic of meadows, deciduous and coniferous forest.
The park provides backcountry recreation opportunities, and protects a wide range of cultural values, rare plant communities and wildlife habitat.
Established Date: January 25, 2001
Park Size: 9,421 hectares
Location and Maps
Nature and Culture
- History: Uncha Mountain Red Hills Park was designated as Class A Provincial Park by the provincial government in 2001 following recommendations of the Lakes Land and Resource Management Plan.
- Cultural Heritage: A pony express station may have been located at the west end of Red Hills.
Settlement heritage: The Francois Lake area has an abundant First Nations history. Along with the adjacent Francois Lake Park, the area includes land claims from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council. The various bands with an interest in the greater Francois Lake and Uncha Mountain Red Hills Parks include Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Nadleh Whut’en Band, Stellat’en First Nation, Burns Lake Band, Nee Tahi Buhn Band, and Skin Tyee Band. The area was traditionally used by the First Nations people for hunting, fishing and gathering and many culturally modified trees have been located in the park. A First Nations fish camp operated on the south shore of Francois Lake, below Uncha Mountain, in the mid 1800s. Trails throughout the park may have been part of a grease trail linking coastal and interior First Nations people.
- Conservation: Uncha Mountain Red Hills Park is located within the Bulkley Basin Ecosection and contains several rare grassland, scrub-steppe and forest ecosystems. Remnant productive low-elevation old-growth forest is found on the lower slopes of Uncha Mountain due to an unusual microclimate. Along with Francois Lake Park to the east, Uncha Mountain Park protects 47 km long corridor along the south shore of Francois Lake, and retains connectivity between riparian and upland ecosystems.
- Wildlife: The wide variety of ecosystems found in Uncha Mountain Red Hills Park provides habitat to high populations of a variety of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Deer, moose and black bear are among the large mammals whose habitat is protected in the park, while sockeye salmon rearing and migrating habitat is found near the lakeshore. Uncha Creek is the most productive trout stream leading into Francois Lake, with excellent cover and rearing areas.
Activities Available at this Park
The Red Hills Trail runs for approximately 5kms parallel to the north shore of Francois Lake in Red Hills, ending at a viewpoint above the lake. Due to the southern exposure of this area, the trail melts out earlier in the spring than most other trails in the vicinity. It is particularly scenic in the fall when the many different deciduous plants are changing color.
Google Earth KMZ file of Trails [KMZ] (must have Google Earth and/or and Google Maps installed