Kakwa Provincial Park, BC
My partner and I just got back from two weeks hiking and scrambling in Kakwa Provincial Park BC. We accessed the park via the Walker FSR which was in challenging condition for our small Jeep (several very muddy sections where other travelers had blazed slightly off-road detours and numerous deep holes often marked with flagging tape). For a truck with high clearance the regular parking area by the bridge of Bastille Creek is still a reasonable parking location.
Leaving the road, access up the decomishened FSR was quite challenging with sustained deep muddy sections plaguing ATV, hiker, and horse travelers alike. We brought bikes to speed up our descent which proved to be helpful, but be prepared to carry/bushwhack with them if coming in during wet conditions. The un-bridged ford of Buchanan Creek was over knee deep going in and coming out.
Our trip was based out of Kakwa Lake and Jarvis Lakes (both of which area good areas for exploration of all levels of difficulty) and started off in Fall-conditions, before things descended into the chill of winter. Trails were generally quite muddy with recent precipitation and traditionally soggy sections have also seen a lot of horse activity this summer (making dry footwear a challenging prospect). Being our first time to Kakwa, we found this trail/route pdf ( http://www.kakwa.jjv.ca/Overview.html ) useful as a starting point for planning objectives and may be of use to folks in future seasons.
New snow fell from Sept 26th and onwards was found above 1500 m with treeline accumulation on Mount Ruth averaging 20 cm with isolated pockets in lee gully features up to 60 cm. Warming over the past few days raised the snow-level to around 1700 m.
We came across numerous moose tracks, plenty of bear sign, as well as a slow moving porcupine. There is certainly lots to see and do around Kakwa in the summer and fall months! Can't wait to come back in drier conditions.
Ben Nearingburg ACMG HG CAA Level 1