Over 100,000 acres of beautiful, untamed Rocky Mountain wilderness awaits travelers heading to the remote Pine Le Moray Provincial Park. Set at the core of the Hart Range, Pine Le Moray is a land of sky-scraping peaks and towering groves of spruce and fir; it is a place where untamed waterways with native fish, tumble across rapids, and through canyons.
The park's character is truly a wild one. Visitors will find no designated trails or canoe routes here. One small, primitive campground sits on the shores of Heart Lake, a deep blue pool of water that offers fantastic fishing and paddling opportunities. Hanging out on the lake or at the beach and day-use area, you're likely to spot some of the park's rich fauna— moose, black bear, grizzly bear, caribou, eagles, and a host of waterfowl that call this region home. If you want to delve any deeper into the park, though, you'll need to head out with map and compass. Hikers, riders, hunters, and paddlers can carve out a path for themselves and enjoy a Rocky Mountain adventure like no other. Just make sure you're well-prepared and have sufficient wilderness navigation experience!
Pine Le Moray's Heart Lake Campground sports just thirteen sites, all of which are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. The park is open year-round, but the campground is only open from mid-May through mid-September.
Pine Le Moray is located just off of BC-97, between Prince George and Chetwynd. The latter is the nearest large town and is about 46 miles (74 km) east of the park's campground. Access to the Heart Lake Campground can be gained via a short gravel road that branches off of BC-97 near the park's northeastern corner.
BC-97 heads through mountainous country for much of its length, so there are some steep bits and sharp turns. As this is a major highway, though, nothing should be too challenging, even for those driving larger rigs. The park's access road is flat and well-maintained.
Since Pine Le Moray Provincial Park is in northeastern British Columbia, you will be a significant distance from any supplies and amenities. The closest places that you can visit are the towns of Chetwynd, Mcleod Lake (around 95 km or 59 miles away), or Mackenzie (approximately 106 km or 66 miles away).
Parking should be a breeze once you've arrived at the campground. Ten of the campground's sites are clustered at the northeast end of the lake, while the remaining three are near the southeast end. Spots are all back-in. Once you're parked, everything along the lake is within easy walking distance, though there is additional parking at the beach and day-use area, should you need it.
Pine Le Moray has one humble, wooded campground located at Heart Lake. In all, the campground sports just thirteen sites, so you can expect it to be quiet during your stay. Most of these sites can accommodate small to moderate-sized RVs and trailers; however, no specific length limits are listed on the park's website (call ahead to ensure your rig will fit in a specific site— though note that all sites are first-come-first-served, so it's impossible to ensure you'll get that site). As you might expect from a park located in a remote and rugged wilderness, facilities here are primitive. There are no water, electric or sewage hookups, and there is no sanitary dump station. The campground does have two vault toilets, two water pumps, and a garbage collection bin. Each spot comes with a picnic table and a fire ring.
The park is too small and remote to be regularly maintained by park staff or a concessionaire, so guests are asked to help with maintenance; just make sure you leave everything in the same condition you found it!
Heart Lake is, of course, easily accessible from the campsite, as are the beach and day-use areas. Accessing Mountain or Link Creek will require an un-trailed wilderness trek, while the Pine River can be accessed at several points along BC-97. The campground is usually open from mid-May to mid-September.
A host of creatures large and small make a home at Pine Le Moray, many of them typical of Canada's great wilderness areas. Grizzly bear and black bear are both present (so make sure you lock up your food) as are moose, caribou, porcupine, mink, beaver, and muskrat. Avian fauna includes several species of loon, grouse, widgeon, and teal, and these birds all flock to the park's many pristine lakes and waterways. Birders will want to keep their eyes peeled and their binoculars at the ready!
Opportunities for landscape photography abound at Pine Le Moray. The craggy, snow-capped peaks of the Hart Range (a sub-range of the Rockies) tower over Heart Lakes and its surroundings; the lake itself is a cerulean gem set in a band of deep green. Mountain Creek, and the smaller Link Creek, rush and cascade across a wild and dramatic landscape. Whether you go on a week-long backpacking trip or just hang around the campground, you'll undoubtedly be able to capture some stunning shots.
The majority of Pine Le Moray's expansive park is open to hunting. Many game seasons begin in August or September, though there are some spring and summer hunting seasons as well. Mammalian game species include moose, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, and cougar. Ptarmigan, duck, goose, ruffed grouse and spruce grouse are among the avian species hunters seek out among the park's towering conifers and placid ponds. You can check the BC parks website for more information on specific hunting seasons and regulations—Pine Le Moray is located in the Peace (7b) region.
Visitors to Pine Le Moray Provincial Park during the colder months will have plenty of winter recreational activities to enjoy thanks to the high snowfall in the area. Snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing can all be within the park, but you will have to bring your own equipment since there is none available to rent inside the park or within the surrounding area. We recommend contacting the park office before your trip if you plan on visiting during the winter as some of the roads may be closed.
Love your horses? If so, you will be pleased to note that horseback riding is allowed within Pine Le Moray Provincial Park. The only two areas in the park that horseback riding is not allowed is at the day-use area located at Heart Lake and the campground. If you do plan to bring your horse to the park, please note that you will have to bring all of your feed, and there are no facilities specifically built for horses.
Just a couple of short roads pierce the 107,000-acre (43,000 ha) wilderness that is Pine Le Moray Provincial Park. This massive, rugged expanse of mountains and forests sports exactly zero miles of hiking trails. But that won't stop the most intrepid of adventurers. Explore rocky peaks, rushing rivers, and deep woods with a map, compass, and GPS. Back-country camping and exploration are welcome, though only recommended for seasoned trekkers. Remember, too, that grizzly bears inhabit the park!
Heart Lake offers a wilderness fishing experience, yet it is easily accessible by vehicle. You'll feel a million miles from civilization as you cast your line into this pristine mountain lake. Go for a jaunt around the shore and fish from underneath the boughs of towering spruce, or head out to the center of the lake on a canoe. Anglers can expect to pull rainbow and brook trout from Heart Lake —both are restocked frequently.
Or, if you'd prefer river fishing, head to Pine River, Mountain Creek or Link Creek (it may take some bushwhacking to get to the latter two) and fish for bull trout, arctic grayling, mountain whitefish and more.
Of course, wherever you go, make sure you have a proper British Columbia fishing license before making your first cast.
Though small, Heart Lake is a magnificent setting for tranquil paddling deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Take in views of sky-scraping mountains and watch eagles and osprey soar overhead as you sail over the lake's glassy waters. There are no gas-powered boats allowed on the lake, so a quiet atmosphere is assured.
The Pine River, which cuts through the northernmost edge of the park, also offers scenic paddling opportunities for canoeists and kayakers. Remember to bring your own watercraft as none are available to rent from the park.
Outside of the park in the town of Chetwynd, there are some very unique art installations that you must see for yourself if you are in the area. Known as the Chetwynd Chainsaw Carvings, this is a collection of pieces that are scattered throughout the town that have been created by different artists from around the world. The carvings first started to appear in the town in the early 90s, and now there are over 160 for you to seek out during your visit.
During the warmer months at Pine Le Moray Provincial Park, a great way to spend an afternoon is to pack a picnic and head to the day-use area at Heart Lake. Down by the lake, there is plenty of room for you to throw out a blanket and sit by the water, or you can also set up at one of the many picnic tables. Like the campground, the picnic area at Pine Le Moray Provincial Park is only available on a first-come, first-served basis.