Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Nisga'A Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park

Here is a day trip I took with my sister and brother-in-law when I was in Terrace in early June. You will perhaps recall that in an earlier post I showed black bears that I had seen north of Terrace on highway 113. On that same trip we also saw many sights from the Nisga'a Lava bed Memorial Park. The sign welcomes travellers and offers a self guided tour with stops of interest along the way.

This is a picture that I took from the passenger seat of the car, the scenery if just spectacular.

We stopped at Lava Lake and I took this picture from the picnic site at the north end of the lake.

There are small lava deposits dotted throughout the shallows near the picnic site and each supports a small tuft of greenery.

Here is a picture of the lava beds near Vetter Falls, it is like a moonscape. This is one of the marked stops and there is a short walk to the falls.

The water is high and the falls are quite spectacular.

There is a legend about the "phantom fish" that go over these falls and into the watershed.

A little further north we stopped at this information area.

The volcanic eruption happened in the mid 1700's and covered over 39 square kilometres of land covering villages and killing over 2,000 people; in some places the lava bed is 12 meters deep.

Even after more than two centuries the lava beds are only supporting a relatively small amount of vegetation compared to the surrounding areas.

Wild roses and a few succulents dot the rough rocky area.

There are log molds that were created where the lava set trees on fire but cooled quickly leaving a hole in the lava, sometimes leaving the impression of the bark behind.

This rock is sharp and treacherous, there is a path and boardwalk to guide visitors.

Here and there are stunted trees.

Next we turned toward Gitwinksihlkw (formerly Cannon City).

The village now has a vehicle bridge but at one time was accessible only by this suspension bridge. I wasn't sure I wanted to venture across, it is a long way down to the river (Nass) below and the water looked dangerous to me. 

I had a good look at the structure and then was brave enough to go across only after my brother in law and sister had pretested it!

We spotted this fox, looking very lean after a long winter.

Here are a couple of pictures of the totem poles that flank both ends of the bridge to the community.

On the way back down the highway we stopped at Tumbling Creek.

In the parking lot we encountered this strange beast, probably an inch and a half long (not including the antennae). 

One last look at the scenery!

In the painting department I have finished another painting inspired by my trip to Italy last year. It is a watercolour and is called "Bella Sera".  It is of set in the town of Asolo in the Veneto region of Italy.
Thanks for dropping by, happy Wednesday, until next time,


  1. Stunning shots. Goes to show how some of the most beautiful natural places can also be dangerous.

  2. What a wonderful tour you took us on, Gillian. It's the sort pf place I love to explore. That strange insect may be a long-horned beetle, a bug Torontarians are struggling to get rid of. Nasty critters.

  3. the long-horned beetle is impressive! so is that area. the lava killing so many people, though... wow.

  4. Great photos of really beautiful scenery. The lava deposits in the lake with the vegetation growing from them are especially interesting. You were brave going over that suspension bridge!

  5. What a lovely area to explore. There's lots of interesting formations going on with the lava. Love the water shots.....I can feel the movement in a couple of those shots. I noticed while in Maine the differences between the Red and Gray fox. The Red, like your photo, was always rather skinny when compared to the Gray. The word "mangy" came to mind:)

  6. I've lived here in BC all of my life, and had no idea that we had a eruption like's amazing what you learn from blogging. What a trip, it must have been very interesting.


  7. I can almost hear the roar of the falls. Sad so many were killed by the lava. The scenery is beautiful!

  8. What what a stunning place but scary to think of such devastation. That bridge makes me uneasy.. and that poor, skinny fox! But your art.. beautiful as always.

  9. It would be good to spend a week or so in this scenery.
    An excellent look round.

  10. oh my, what a beautiful, colorful place!!!

    you captured some incredible images!!! i really loved those mountains!!!

  11. What a great looking place - and that beetle (?) is very impressive!

    Sorry about the much delayed reply - I've been in the UK for a month and I let the blog sit on the back burner - normal service will resume soon!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. I'm very late stopping by but the Lava beds are truly fascinating, as was the information you passed on so kindly. Also LOVE that painting. So glad you are making time to paint. Your talent is awesome!

  13. What an interesting and fascinating place ~ thanks for sharing your visit!