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Return to Misty Moorings - Trip Tic

Destination: Nisga's Glacial Lake Lodge

Route Notes

  • This Scenery is for Return to Misty Moorings only.
  • Minimum Altitude: 1500 Feet
  • Landing zone is: Dirt and water, doesn't freeze.
  • GPS for destination: N55 12.36 W129 30.12 Alt 1957'
  • Print-Able copy HERE
  • Flight Seeing Plan available HERE

Nisga'a Glacial Lake Lodge

This location gives visitors a true "Cabin on the Lake" experience, with plenty of options for guests to experience beautiful Nisga'a Lake. The property has its own dock on the lake, with gently sloping access for swimming, sunbathing, canoeing, or kayaking. Easy access to incredible mountain biking and hiking is just a few steps from the front door of the lodge. Fishing in the Nisga'a lake and river is excellent any time of year. There is adequate crosscountry skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the winter time. There's no limit to the entertainment options here. You just have to get out there and do it.

The Nisga'a Lodge has an inviting great room for meetings or just relaxing by a large fireplace. There are two comfortable couches and plenty of seating and tables. The lodge has a fully equipped kitchen during the spring and summer months. Even though the kitchen has limited food options in the fall and winter, you'll be able to use the facilities to cook whatever you catch. The rooms in the lodge come with all bedding, quilts, linens, and towels. The dirt runway here is long enough for many types of bush aircraft. Pilots also will find enough parking to tie down their aircraft and come inside for a visit. There are no fuel facilities here though and care must be taken to keep any hazardous fluids from getting into the surrounding ecosystem. Drip pan's are provided to all pilots and they are asked to place one under each engine while they are parked. There is also plenty of parking at the dock for floatplane operations and the lake doesn't freeze over in the winter. Land, tie-down and take a walk around to see the sights. ORBX's "Bob" is perfect here.

WaveTop VFR Plan

From: Terrance, BC (CYXT)
To: Nisga's Glacial Lake Lodge

  • NOTAM: Set Weather and Time from Misty's Place, also go to the Map Room to see a rough flight plan of this flight.

Overview: Most of this trip can be done under flight-seeing conditions ... autopilot. Just enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about this beautiful place of the world.

NOTAM: The Last Leg of this journey must be flown without the autopilot. It will take some excellent flying skills to make the sharp turns within the narrow canyons and land safely at Nisga'a Glacier Lake Lodge.

  • This journey starts off in Terrance, BC. Terrance is located 109 miles east, southeast from Ketchikan. Terrance has a population of about 12,000 people. It is situated on the Skeena River and nestled in the Coast Mountains. Terrace offers unparalleled outdoor activities including world-class fishing, cross-country and downhill skiing (with ultimate back country experiences), white water rafting thrills, golfing with beautiful mountain scenery at every hole, endless hiking and mountain bike trails.
  • Terrace is rich in history and culture and prides itself on being one of Northwestern BC's regional centers for shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and sporting events. The Riverboat Days Festival is held over the BC Day long weekend in August and we invite you to join us in the week-long celebration of our history and culture.

COURSE: We will take off from Terrance, BC and assume a heading of 310 flying over the city of Terrance. You are flying up the Kitsumkalum River Basin. Just fly to the center of this wide valley. Our next waypoint is Kitsumkalum Lake about 12 miles ahead.

  • Indigenous peoples have inhabited Northwest BC for over 10,000 years. This region is one of the oldest continuously occupied regions of the world and, long before European contact, was one of the most densely populated areas north of Mexico. Kitselas and Kitsumkalum are two of 14 Tsimshian tribes in the Terrace area that have occupied traditional territories in northwest British Columbia. The Skeena River was known initially as the K'shian river meaning "water from the clouds". The traditional economy of the Tsimshian Nation was based on hunting, fishing and social gatherings, for domestic consumption or trade, on their traditional lands. For the aboriginal people, the Skeena River was used for transportation, communication, war, trade, as a source of food and at times for protection.
  • The upper Kitsumkalum River, located north of the city of Terrace, is an excellent day trip or short overnight trip for canoeing or kayaking. Boaters can start at the confluence of the Upper Kitsumkalum River and the Cedar River, north west of the town of Rosswood. The paddle down the Class 1 stretch of river, which offers excellent scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities, brings you to the north end of Kitsumkalum Lake. A short paddle along the north shore of the lake completes the trip. Paddlers should be aware of any sweepers or dead heads that may be difficult to spot.

COURSE: Over Kitsumkalum Lake, continue your heading.

  • Kitsumkalum Provincial Park. You are now flying into the Kitsumkalum Provincial Park, a small park with a user maintained camp ground. It is an old Forest Service recreation site and is easily accessed by road. There is room for up to seven small camping parties. Fire rings and a pit toilet are the only facilities provided in this park. The lake is easily accessed from the campground and offers some excellent paddling opportunities. The sandy shoreline hugs the lake to the west of the campground and is a great beach for swimming.
  • Location: The park is located about 25 km north of the city of Terrace. To access the park, drive north on the Nisga’a highway #113 towards the town of Rosswood, then turn left on the gravel road just past Goat Creek. There is only a BC Parks Boundary sign marking the entrance. A short drive down this road will bring you to the lake and campground.
  • Wildlife - Like many of the parks in this area, Kitsumkalum Park offers some great wildlife viewing opportunities. Black and grizzly bears, moose and eagles are commonly seen around the park. Paddling along the shores of Kitsumkalum Lake is an excellent way to view some of these creatures.

COURSE: As you leave the lake, on the far shore is the small city of Rosswood. Continue your heading up the wide valley.

  • The Kermode bear that inhabits the isolated mid-coast rain forests of British Columbia is indeed a rare bear...this all white genetic offshoot of the black bear are few in numbers and are protected by law. They are also known as the "Spirit Bear" and inspire reverence, awe and scientific curiosity for many. They are not a separate species from the black bear more common on the coast which makes the trophy hunting now allowed for black bear in the area all the more contentious! All black bears killed in the area are "potential" parents of Spirit Bears...a sad conundrum indeed!
  • A couple near Rosswood, B.C. has been keeping watch over some kermodes in their area and after a year of trying have managed to get a webcam set up outside a hibernating kermode's den! When co-discoverer Stephanie Waymen informed the Provincial Environment officials she was warned to make sure the bear was NOT a female as there would be fears the mother might desert her cubs upon discovery of the camera. Stephanie is sure the bear is male and the camera is up and running. So..if you would like to see a rare Spirit Bear as it slumbers, snores and perhaps scratches through the is your chance. You can visit the snoozing critter (called Apollo!) at this website.
  • Sshhhh ... their Website is HERE

COURSE: Over Rosswood, (the northern shore of the lake), shift your course a little to port to about 313. Again, just stay in the middle of this wide valley.

  • The river you are following now is the Cedar River. Coming up ahead is the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park. This leads us to the Nisga'a National Memorial Park.
  • The dramatic landscape blended with the rich native culture makes this park a special experience. The park offers visitors a chance to explore many unique and interesting features of a volcanic landscape and to learn about the culture and legends of the Nisga'a people.
  • Just outside of the park, there are five communities, four of which are Nisga'a villages. Their names are Gitlakdamix (New Aiyansh), Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City), Lakalzap (Greenville), Kincolith and Nass Camp. All communities are road accessible from the park. Within the communities there are amenities like: grocery stores, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, gift shops, gas stations and health services.
  • Special Features: Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a (Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park) is the first provincial park within the Province of British Columbia established to combine interpretation of natural features and native culture. The park is included in the landmark treaty, the “Nisga’a Final Agreement”, between the Government of Canada and the Nisga’a Nation. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park is also the first provincial park to be jointly managed by a First Nation and BC Parks.
  • The Nisga'a alkali basalt flow is one of the youngest and most accessible volcanic features in British Columbia. The guided volcanic tours offer the park visitor a chance to hike 3 km through a scenic old growth forest and past a variety of volcanic features to a viewpoint overlooking the crater. To protect the special features of the area, unguided access to the volcanic cone is prohibited. The hike is rated as moderate with some hills and steep stairs.

COURSE: As you approach the large mountain ahead, you will be turning to port to a heading of about 280. Continue flying up that valley. You will fly over Lava Lake. After the lake, turn quickly to starboard .. continue following the river system between the mountains, altering course as necessary.

  • NOTAM: Pay close attention to stay over the river in this very narrow section of the valley.

COURSE: As this valley winds to left and right, follow the road and the river. This is the Nass River.

COURSE: Where the river ends, continue up the valley on a course of about 340. Follow the road through the valley.

COURSE: You will come to a wide-opened flattened area. Maintain heading until you come to the Nass river, turn to port and follow the river.

  • Gitwinkshilkw: To the starboard side of the river, we will pass the small community of Gitwinkshilkw. One of four Nisga'a communities, Gitwinksihlkw is located on the north bank of the Nass River 100 kilometers northwest of Terrace, British Columbia. Home to 250 residents, Gitwinksihlkw offers cultural rich history, natural beauty, and access to Canada's newest lava bed.
  • An Enduring History Canada's last volcanic eruption occurred in Nisga'a territory approximately 250 years ago. The lava destroyed everything in its path, sparked fires in the surrounding forests, and covered two Nisga'a villages. More than 2,000 people perished. Survivors eventually resettled Gitwinksihlkw (Place of the Lizards). According to oral tradition, large lizards lived here before the eruption. Today, the lizards are gone but the vast lava beds still dominate the valley. They serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives and as a reminder of the importance of respect-for both the natural world and the wisdom of the elders.
  • A Remarkable Destination Situated at the edge of the Nass River and Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asanskwhl (Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park), Gitwinksihlkw enjoys one of British Columbia's most dramatic natural settings. Nisga'a Highway 113 paves the way for ease of access to our village and each year, the number of visitors continues to grow.
  • Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park is a popular destination with a 16 site campground and a Visitors Center displaying Nisga'a artifacts (open July and August). Join us for guided tours of the lava beds, sport fishing, backcountry excursions, a stroll across the Nass River on a 400-foot long extension bridge, or simply stop and admire our majestic pts'aan (totem poles) that tell of Nisga'a history, culture, and clan relationships. Be sure to stop by Nass Bridges Tourist Information Center and Gift Shop. Local stores serve the community and Bed & Breakfast accommodation is available in Gitwinksihlkw and other villages.

COURSE: Continue to follow the Nass River. This area is called the Nass River canyon for obvious reasons.

  • Nass River is 380 km long, rises in the northern interior of BC and flows generally southwest, draining approximately 20 700 km2, to reach the Pacific at Portland Inlet. Its major tributaries are the Bell-Irving, Meziadin and Cranberry rivers. The name comes from a Tlingit word meaning "food depot," referring to the biological productiveness of the river. Its annual eulachon run in particular attracted aboriginal peoples from afar who traded with the resident Nishga, today still the main inhabitants of the Nass Valley. While the lower valley is an important timber-production area, and many traditional resource-harvesting practices have altered as a result, the Nishga still adhere closely to a complex system of land ownership and title throughout the entire area). There are 4 villages, all Nishga, along the river - New Aiyansh, Canyon City, Greenville and Kincolith. Recent lava flows are a feature of the valley near New Aiyansh and play an important role in Nishga history. According to Nishga sources, some 2000 people were killed by volcanic flows in the late 1700s.

NOTAM: A difficult to see VFR turn coming up ahead. The river will curve to port leaving a wide and dry expanse to starboard. That is your only clue that a critical starboard turn is coming up.

COURSE: Where the river bends to port, you turn to starboard to a heading of 225 You will see a small tributary of water (tiny river) ... follow that little river to starboard between the mountains. Between the mountains you heading should be roughly 310 ... follow the valley ahead.

  • NOTAM: Turn OFF the AutoPilot, flight-seeing is finished, piloting begins!!! Begin to climb, your landing zone is at an altitude of 1925 feet.

COURSE: As you fly, the valley will become dangerously narrow. Fly over the center of it. Toward what looks like the end of the valley, follow the river sharply to starboard.

COURSE: As you make the turn, assume landing configuration, flaps, gear. Your landing zone is ahead 3 miles. Fly to the starboard side of this valley. Your runway is on a diagonal, flying from starboard to port will line you up on this dirt runway.

Welcome to Nisga'a Glacier Lake Lodge

Doug Linn
Charter Manager
Misty Moorings, Inc