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The Kootenay’s great Mount Gladstone

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Gladstone Provincial Park was identified for protection in the West Kootenay-Boundary Land-Use Plan. It includes the former Ole Johnson and Texas Creek parks.

The park contains nationally significant cultural values which include three shoreline pictograph sites and other evidence of First Nations habitation. There are historic home sites, a semi-permanent village, historic trails used by the First Nations, and a resource utilization site where fish may have been caught, stored and processed. The Dewdney Trail passed through the park as did an old section of CPR which was important history related to Doukhobor ethnicity and settlement. There is also a historic cabin on Benniger Creek and an old gold mine.

The park contains the elevational gradient from lakeshore to alpine, capturing a diversity of habitats in the Selkirk Foothills ecosection which are captured nowhere else. It also protects low-elevation dry interior cedar-hemlock forest communities with some old growth, important winter ranges for deer and elk, and high-value spawning areas for kokanee. The park protects the entire drainage of Sandner Creek which provides critical spawning habitat for kokanee and rainbow trout. Seventy percent of the stream-spawning kokanee from Christina Lake use Sandner Creek.

The park protects blue-listed California bighorn sheep and grizzly bear and the red-listed northern leopard frog.


Trails in the backcountry areas of the park are unmarked and unmaintained. They may not meet BC Parks standards, but most are suitable for hiking and horseback riding. All trails are closed to motor vehicles including ATVs.

Mount Gladstone Trail – six km; difficult. This steep trail ascends Mt. Gladstone from the abandoned CPR railway north of Paulson.

Deer Point Trail to Troy Creek – 11.3 km; easy with some steep sections. The trail starts out steep to traverse semi-open forest high above Christina Lake but levels off, rolling gently up and down along the shoreline to Deer Point. Huge cedar trees and a sandy beach await at the north end of the lake. At 8 km, take the Troy Creek Trail to get to the head of the lake or descent to Deer Point camping area on the lake.

Xenia Lake Trail – four km; difficult (steep descent). The Forest Service maintained a recreation site at the lake at one time making this a good weekend trip. The trail comes out at the north end of Christina Lake and joins up with Troy Creek Trail for a longer loop. A 4WD vehicle is required to access Xenia Lake. From Xenia Lake, the trail goes east and descends to Christina Lake.

Sandner Creek Trail – nine km; A historic trail extends along Sandner Creek up past the Benninger property.

Mt. Faith Trail – 18.4 km; difficult. This moderately steep, difficult route extends from the Lynch Creek trailhead, up Morrell Creek to Mt. Faith.

Peter Lake Trail – This trail is currently inaccessible.

- files from B.C. government

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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