A jewel of a hike in the Flathead

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Last summer I had the opportunity to hike with some members of the Flathead Wild team into B.C.’s southernmost Rocky Mountain alpine wonderland. Over the past ten years I had hiked and camped in many places throughout British Columbia’s Flathead River Valley, but I had not hiked to Grizzly Wide Pass and the spectacular alpine area surrounding Canada’s southernmost glacier.

It is always great to ground yourself in the work and there is no place on the planet where I feel a deeper connection with the earth. But my connection to the Flathead Valley, and my conviction that the Flathead — the missing piece of the adjacent Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park — must be permanently protected was significantly deepened on this trip.

This is a startlingly beautiful landscape. The lushness of Grizzly Gulch, the stark beauty of Starvation Lake and the technicolour overload of the Painted Wall all make for a beautiful prelude to the overwhelming majesty of Grizzly Wide Pass and other features of the Flathead.

The hike was challenging and rewarding – not for the faint of heart or the unfit. This landscape is featured in the Flathead Wild film and many of the most stunning pictures from the International League of Conservation Photographers’ RAVE. It was really great to finally experience firsthand this sparkling jewel in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. I had shown pictures and video of this area so many times during my many presentations all across North America. It was time that I finally got there myself.

It has been my great honour to work on protecting the Flathead River Valley and B.C.’s Southern Rockies for the past decade. I know that we will continue to succeed in raising awareness and moving our conservation vision forward. Please help by encouraging your friends to become a Friend of the Flathead.

We must permanently protect the Flathead River Valley with a National Park in the southeastern one-third, and a Wildlife Management Area in the rest of the valley and adjoining habitat.

People power is what will ensure victory and you are the people with the power to make this happen!