Excellent hiking, mountaineering, and ski touring. Summer access is via a logging road followed by a 2-4 hour steep hike. Winter access is by helicopter (special permission required). Class A, sleeps 40.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is situated in the jagged Purcell Mountains, and mountaineers from all over the world are drawn to the sculpted granite masses that uplift into spectacular spires, some of which exceed 3,000 metres in elevation. Bugaboo Park represents mountain wilderness at its most rugged, and includes the largest icefields of the ancient Purcells.
Since the Palliser Expedition of 1857 - 1860, which first traversed the area and then named it for expedition sponsor Goodwin Purcell, these awe-inspiring ranges have attracted miners, loggers and some of North America's leading mountaineers. In 1969, Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park and the Bugaboo Alpine Recreation Area were set aside to preserve and protect this outstanding area of the Purcells.
In 1972, the Alpine Club of Canada erected the Conrad Kain Hut (named after the renowned alpinist who first visited the area in 1910), which, up until 2000, has been maintained by BC Parks as a base for climbers and to reduce visitor impact on the fragile timberline area below Snowpatch Spire. Road access to the park is fairly easy but trails are few. In 1995, the park and part of the recreation area were combined to create the current Bugaboo Provincial Park.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is, by its very nature, extremely isolated. Persons contemplating a visit here must realize that it is pure wilderness without supplies or equipment of any kind. All arrangements must be made beforehand for supplies and transportation. Visitors must be prepared for outdoor living. Inexperienced or ill-equipped climbers and hikers should forego a visit here in favour of less demanding areas. Hut accommodation is not available in winter due to avalanche dangers.
Bugaboo Provincial Park is located in southeastern B.C., halfway between Golden and Radium Hot Springs, and west of Highway 95. Access to the park is via a good gravel road, open late spring through late fall, that begins at Brisco, 27 kilometres north of Radium Hot Springs on Highway 95. This 45-kilometre road into the park is frequently travelled by logging trucks, so drivers should exercise extreme caution at all times.
Park visitors should park their vehicles in the public lot and not in that of the Bugaboo Lodge (Canadian Mountain Holidays). Visitors are recommended to protect their vehicle with chicken wire to deter small animals from chewing on wires and tires.
Guidebooks and Maps:
National Topographic Series Maps 82K/10 (Howser Creek) and 82K/15 (Bugaboo Creek) are at a scale of 1:50,000 and cover all but the western limits of the park. These maps are available from the ACC National Office, Government Agents and most map retailers in British Columbia and Alberta.
"The Bugaboos - One of the World's Great Alpine Rockclimbing Centres", by Chris Atkinson and Marc Piche (ISBN 0-9733035-1-4) is the definitive climbers guide to the Bugaboo Spires and the Vowells. It can be purchased from the ACC National Office.
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Posted By: bjwilkins
- Mon Aug 11 18:53:37 UTC 2008
UpsideIncredible Views, Can be a dayhike or overnight trip. DownsideVery steep at sections CommentI did this hike as a daytrip, and I was blown away by the scenic views. The trail starts off flat, and quickly steepens. The last half of the hike is very steep, and most of the elevation gain is in the last 2 km. The views from the top are certainly worth the hike, and the staff at the hut were very friendly, and helpful with information on the area. We didn't do the hike up to the Applebee dome to see the climbers, but decided to save that for another time. Will definately do this hike again, and stay overnight.