Earth’s One & Only Inland Temperate Rainforest

posted in: Canada, Fitness, Travel | 4

Hiking In Earth’s Only Inland Temperate Rainforest

Columbia Mountains, Revelstoke, British Columbia

IMG_5284-2
Temperate Inland Rainforest, Revelstoke, BC Musings…By Mix Hart

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.

IMG_5270
Heaven: the rainforest scents are the most delicious and exquisite scents on Earth. The truth is, I never feel more at home than when I am in a forest. I never want to leave. It’s the primate in me.

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.

IMG_5254
Pip and me–rainforest hike, Revelstoke, BC Musings…By Mix Hart
IMG_5252
Pip and me, caught in the rain. We had a beach umbrella in the back of the car that we improvised with. The rain proved a stroke of luck–it kept the people away and we had the forest to ourselves!
IMG_1933
A lily type of plant on the forest floor produced a single indigo berry.
IMG_1935
Forest mushroom, discovered by Pip.
IMG_5288
Pip and me. No idea why I’m making the face.

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.

IMG_5305-2
Mnt. Revelstoke       Musings…By Mix Hart
IMG_5295-2
A perfect spot to stop for a picnic lunch. This little rustic cabin was spotless and filled with cut wood incase we wanted a fire in the wood stove. Again, due to the rainy morning we had the place to ourselves.

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.

IMG_5341
Pippi, my little mountain goat. Although, she insists that she’s a mountain wolf.
IMG_5335
View from Mnt. Revelstoke Summit. Musings…By Mix Hart  There’s an old  wooden fire tower at this summit with 360 degree views of the Columbia, Monashee and Rocky mountains. The expansive vista is truly humbling.
IMG_5338
Summit of Mnt. Revelstoke, Columbia Mountains, BC
IMG_5348
Peter and Pippi at a small alpine lake. Rare , endangered white pine surround the lake. The caribou eat the lichen on the pines.
IMG_5354
The mountain caribou’s summer home: the alpine meadow.
IMG_5367
Mnt. Revelstoke Alpine Flowers: Yarrow, Fireweed and Piant Brush.
IMG_5324
“The Ice Box” Mnt. Revelstoke Summit. In the winter this rock alley becomes a narrow tunnel, covered in smooth ice and snow thus, its nickname.
IMG_5353
This gorgeous trail leads to three alpine lakes. It is so picturesque it almost looks like a fairy tale fantasy mountain path.
IMG_5330
Pip feeling frisky in the pristine mountain air.
IMG_5327
The rain was pouring down at the summit only moments before our arrival. But luck was with us and the sun kindly came out and shone down on us for our entire alpine hike.

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.

4 Responses

  1. Sandra Hart
    | Reply

    Wonderful scenery.

  2. Mix Hart
    | Reply

    Thanks S. You should try the trails. I think you’d love them. The lower rainforest trail in above pics was only 3 km round trip–perfect length for Pip.

  3. David Mitchell
    | Reply

    Old friend of your parents. Stopped by in Kamloops on the way back from Calgary. Sandra gave us a copy of your latest book.Read a few pages and loved it. Have to wade through a copy of other books then I’ll get into it.
    Your travels remind me of my son, David A.J. Mitchell video guy at CTV Edmonton. By the way, the J stands for your dad. Never told Hart that.
    David

    • Mix Hart
      | Reply

      Hi Dave,

      I remember you and your family well from a visit many years ago in Salmon Arm! I am thrilled that you like the book so far- let me know what you think once you’ve finished it- so cool that the J stands for my dad–he’ll be chuffed 🙂

Leave a Reply