As Pacific storm systems sweep over the interior mountain ranges of British Columbia they leave heavy rain in the valleys. In the watershed of the upper Fraser River this has given rise to a unique inland wet-temperate rainforest; a forest ecosystem that combines attributes of both the coastal wet-temperate rainforests of British Columbia and adjacent boreal forests of Alberta and the far north.
Small patches of Western Red Cedars dot the upper Fraser River Valley and with 20 hectares of old growth trees and plant communities growing undisturbed possibly for thousands of years, The Ancient Cedar Forest is one of the best patches discovered. It is speculated that the forest may have had its beginning with the end of the last Ice Age and many of the cedar trees are likely 1,000+ years old, and greater than 2.5 to 3 meters (8-10 feet) in diameter.
A popular year-round destination for hiking or snowshoeing, the forest has marked trails and walkways, and sections are being made wheelchair accessible.
Drive 94 km west of McBride (6.6 km west of the Slim Creek rest stop on Hwy 16), and park south of the highway. Go 250 m up the old road towards the west corner of the forest opening, where the big trees begin immediately. Visit ancientcedar.ca for more information.
Explore the community of Dome Creek
The community of Dome Creek lies down in the valley several kilometres north of Highway 16 along the railway and the Fraser River. Founded by the railway in 1912-13, it continues as a settlement and farming area. Its first school is now under development as a museum. The community has a post office open MWF 10-4:30 and a library open Monday afternoons and Thursday evenings. The library, called the Lena Schultz Reading Room, has Wi-Fi high speed Internet accessible anytime from the front porch.