In the hot dry valleys of the Fraser and Chilcotin rivers lies a grassland that is one of the ecological wonders of the world. These Cariboo Chilcotin Coast grasslands are one of the few intact native grasslands left on earth.
Few people take the opportunity to visit the grasslands in winter, where after a snow fall, the rabbitbrush and big sagebrush take on an ethereal look.
Looking downwards toward your feet, the golden hues of the grasses and shrubs contrasted with the blanket of white snow, provide a perspective of the grasslands rarely seen or appreciated.
I will never forget this day. As the skies cleared and the heat of the sun began to melt the snow that clung to the big sagebrush, the scent of summer sage began to fill the air. The gift of moisture had given those sagebrushes life, even in the middle of winter. The aroma from that day still lives with me.
An easy way to visit the grasslands is to head west from Williams Lake towards Bella Coola. At Riske Creek turn left and travel approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) to Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park. There, you are in the heart of the grasslands.
BC’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region