Hiking In Earth’s Only Inland Temperate Rainforest
Columbia Mountains, Revelstoke, British Columbia
The Inland Temperate Rainforest exists in Southern British Columbia, in the Columbia Mountains which are nestled between the Rocky Mountains to the East and the Monashee Mountains to the West. Its range is from the USA border (south) to Wells Grey national Park (north). It is the only inland temperate rainforest on Earth and is threatened by human development and habitat destruction. The lower elevation rainforest is home to red cedar and western hemlock trees, the higher elevations, rare white pine. Also, It is home to the most threatened mammal in North America: the mountain caribou. The caribou are very shy and have special hooves that act like snowshoes so they can navigate the snow-covered mountains.
I have been fighting the British Columbia government for a few years regarding this sacred land and the animals that call it home. Currently, the BC government is slaughtering entire wolf packs in this forest region, in a corrupt attempt to “save” the few remaining mountain caribou from extinction. Sadly, even if every last wolf in the region is killed, the caribou are destined to become extinct. Scientific studies continually conclude that the only way to save the caribou is to give them back more of their habitat. If we preserve this magnificent rainforest and expand its protected areas, we not only save the mountain caribou, we save BC’s wolves, and the only inland temperate rainforest on Earth.
*I accidentally brought only a macro lens with me on this hike. Hence, aside from the 2 macro shots in this post, the rest of the photos were taken with Peter’s iPhone. Thus, there are very few pictures of Peter on this hike as he does not part with his iPhone very easily.
Picnic Lunch Break on Mount Revelstoke
We climbed the mountain (in our vehicle) and stopped half way at a picnic spot with stunning view of the town of Revelstoke below.
Alpine Meadows of the Inland Temperate Rainforest:
Summer Home Of The Mountain Caribou
We climbed the mountain to the tippy top (by car). You arrive at a parking lot and then you can either walk for 20 minutes or take a shuttle to the very top. We chose to walk despite a tired Pippi ( a small square of milk chocolate was needed every 15 minutes to keep her tummy warm and her legs moving). The summit is pristine alpine meadows and pine forests. This beautiful landscape is home to the extremely rare, shy mountain caribou. The caribou are endanger of extinction. Their habitat, this rare beautiful inland temperate rainforest is threatened with destruction constantly: development, logging, human recreation, industry, farming, ranching all take their toll. In the summer they live in the alpine meadows and in winter they move lower to the valley.
Rare white pine trees can be seen on the summit trails.
Me, taking a break on a dry rock.
I’m going to head back to the alpine meadows and attempt a much longer, back country hike with the family. I’ll likely wait until next summer as the nights are already getting too chilly at that mountain altitude for comfortable camping.