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5-0877-Potato-Range-Horseback
Horseback riding in the Potato Range
(Albert Normandin photo)

Anahim Lake

Geography

The community of Anahim Lake and the adjoining First Nations band lands occupy approximately 6sq km/4sq mi of rolling landscape.

However, the surrounding area incorporates hundreds of square kilometers. Located on the western boundary of the vast Interior Plateau, Anahim Lake has a dramatic topography and incredible natural features.

Mountains Peaks and Ranges

The Coastal Mountain Range wraps around the west and south portion of the Anahim Lake area. To the east and north, alpine grasslands cover the ancient lava beds of the Anahim Volcanic Belt, marked with lake filled depressions left from melting glaciers.

Rainbow Range in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is an eroded dome of lava and fragmented oxidized rock stained in a spectrum of vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and lavenders. The Rainbows are an easily accessible area and one of the province's most outstanding hiking locations. Mount Waddington, also in the park, dominates the Coast Mountains to the south. The mountain's twin peaks rise to a height of 4,019m/13,185ft. Together with the Itcha Ilgatchuz, part of the Anahim Volcanic Belt, these geographical features provide amazing rock climbing terrain.

Vegetation

Vast stretches of the Interior Plateau are covered in lodgepole pine. Alder, aspen, and buck brush are abundant as well. Swampy areas provide moisture for grasses, kinnikinnick, lichens, and moss. At lower elevations, Douglas fir, trembling aspen and lodgepole pine are interspersed with natural meadows. Higher up, dense Englemann spruce and sub-alpine fir recedes to treeless alpine tundra above elevations of 1,650m/5,413ft.

Wildlife

Moose feed in the shallow waters and caribou roam in herds. Deer graze on shoreline willows as well as on tender shoots and roots of young trees. Along with the ungulates, predators roam these forests and grasslands. Bears seek out the rich, wild berries and spawning salmon. Cougars, wolves, and coyotes prey on the weak and slower animals. Wolverines keep to the shadows, but can really wreak havoc on a campsite, so be cautious.

Climate and Weather

Anahim Lake and the surrounding area does not usually experience heavy rain or snow falls, due to the rain shadow effect of the coastal mountains. Temperatures rarely exceed 27 to 30°C/80 to 85°F during the summer, but occasionally drop to -45°C to -50°C/-50°F to -60°F in winter.