Ptarmigan Protected Area is a narrow, steep-sided valley at the north end of the Cariboo Mountains Ecosection above the Upper Fraser Trench.
This protected area protects 1,304 hectares of the complete, intact watershed of the east branch of Ptarmigan Creek, a tributary to the Fraser River.
The protected area protects an entire watershed and habitat for Caribou and Grizzly Bears.
Wilderness camping is allowed, but no facilities are provided.
Winter camping is allowed, but no facilites are provided.
No firewood available. Please bring a portable stove for cooking. Firewood can be purchased from the park facility operator in some parks or you can bring your own wood. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented and some parks may use communal fire rings.
From Crescent Spur along the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16), the park is accessible via the Ptarmigan Creek Forest Road (about 8 km). From this location, an 11 km trail follows Ptarmigan Creek to three subalpine lakes (Hammel Lakes) near the headwaters.
High waters during the 2001 summer season have washed out many sections of the trail and the footbridge crossings.
Note: the trail is not well-marked. The trail is not recommended for inexperienced people as it is difficult to follow due to dense shoulder-high vegetation and few markers.
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.
Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence. Please read BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis for site-specific information.
There are wildlife viewing opportunities in this protected area. There are beautiful mountain lakes and great view from different ridges.
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.
Hunting is permitted only during lawful game hunting season. Check the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis for regulations.
There are backcountry skiing opportunites and showshoeing opportunities available on the regular summer trails. However, no cross-country skiing tracks are set.
The access road to the park and protected area is about 5 km west of Crescent Spur, about 165 km east of Prince George along the Yellowhead (Highway 16) corridor, approximately 500 m west of Catfish Creek. Ptarmigan Creek Provincial Park is close to Erg Mountain Provincial Park, and the two parks share to same access road and trail head. The trailhead is 8 km from highway 16.
The closest communities to this park are Prince George and McBride.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.