Guest post and photos provided by adventure travel photographer and BC native Taylor Burk.
In my living room there’s a large framed chalkboard. It sits on the mantel above the fireplace. The chalkboard is covered in destinations—adventures to be tackled. Blue chalk letters spell out “Mount Edziza.”
I first discovered Mount Edziza a couple of years ago when I saw an incredible photo online from a hike along the colourful Spectrum range, an area within Mount Edziza Provincial Park. I was shocked to find out that the photo I connected with was taken in my home province. When I did some further research, I came across photos of the many cinder cones and other-planetary features on the Mount Edziza trek. I read that the four- to five-day traverse wasn’t well known or a common landscape in BC. The remote location and lack of information only added to the appeal, and I knew I had to go.
Twin peaks in Northern BC’s Mount Edziza Provincial Park. Photo: Taylor Burk
Mount Edziza Provincial Park’s landscape is other-worldly. Photo: Taylor Burk
This past summer I sat down and took the steps to make this dream a reality. The anticipation, planning, and prep is just as much a part of the trip as when you first set out on the trail. It was refreshing to discover that information was limited; we really had to hunt to piece together how this adventure would be possible. By August, four of us were ready for the 75-km (46-mi) hike through the desolate, volcanic landscapes of Northern British Columbia.
Here are a couple of things that we learned:
It is more than worth the drive. Our journey to Mount Edziza was a 1788-km (1,111-mi) road trip north from Vancouver, plus a short floatplane flight—and that’s just to reach the trailhead. There’s no vehicle access into the park, making the journey an adventure in itself.
The floatplane ride from Tatogga Lake, near the Yukon border, took us to the trailhead. Photo: Taylor Burk
Mount Edziza is a great place to avoid crowds and observe an abundance of wildlife. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, look no further. During our six days in the park we encountered only one other passing group of hikers, and on the drive up we saw more bears than cars along the Stewart Cassiar Highway.
Evidence of the area’s abundant wildlife. Photo: Taylor Burk
The remoteness of this landscape meant that few others crossed our path. Photo: Taylor Burk
Rain can really enhance the beauty of the landscape. The weather wasn’t ideal during our trek and yet we were all still in awe. Be prepared but don’t be thwarted by the weather if the forecast isn’t favourable.
Mount Edziza Provincial Park’s stark landscape. Photo: Taylor Burk
One member of our party in the distance. Photo: Taylor Burk
The inherent challenge of Mount Edziza is part of what makes it so appealing. The raw beauty is like nowhere else in Canada, and learning to traverse this unique terrain made it an unforgettable experience. Crossing a destination off the chalkboard bucket list has never felt so rewarding.
Mount Edziza Provincial Park’s raw beauty. Photo: Taylor Burk
A looming giant. Photo: Taylor Burk
Making camp. Photo: Taylor Burk
Wherever you go, make sure you research and plan accordingly for your journey. It’s important that you play safely.