This park in west-central British Columbia offers 32,400 hectares of undeveloped wilderness — combining broad alpine tundra expanses, challenging peaks, sub-alpine terrain and glacier-fed lakes. Opportunities abound for backcountry adventure.
Silver King Basin is home to the Joe L'Lorsa Cabin. This gorgeous log cabin can be reached via the Silver King Basin Trail, which is an extension of Driftwood Road, an old mining road. In the winter, Driftwood Road is not plowed to the summer parking lot — thus adding four kilometres to the trip.
From the parking area north of Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park, the trail climbs gradually through a heavily forested valley. The sub-alpine appears at 12 km, where skiers are treated to outstanding views of surrounding peaks. From this area to the Joe L’Orsa Cabin at approximately 13.5 km, it’s important to be aware of avalanche hazards. Perfect for a day trip — it also makes a great base for further exploration in the area as well.
Joe L'Orsa Cabin: The cabin is open to the public year-round on a first come first serve basis; $5 per person/night; no reservations. There is a fee box located at the cabin or it can be paid in advance to BC Parks in Smithers. While it sleeps 15 to 20 people comfortably, be prepared to sleep outside if the cabin is full. Backcountry camping is allowed, no permits are required.
Basic amenities include sleeping bunks, a wood stove (with firewood provided), a pit toilet outside the cabin and a steel counter for visitors to operate camp stoves on. Visitors must bring mattresses and all cookware and utensils — and pack-out everything they bring in. There is a river adjacent to the cabin for water. Treat it prior to use.
Getting There: From Smithers, take highway 16 east. Drive over the Bulkley River Bridge then turn left onto Old Babine Lake Road, 300 metres beyond the bridge. Turn right onto Driftwood Road and follow the signs for “Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park” to the parking lot. Thirty-minute drive from Smithers.