Dunn Peak Protected Area is a large wilderness area noted for important wildlife habitat, outstanding backcountry recreation opportunities and spectacular mountain scenery. The 19,353-hectare park is bordered in the west by the North Thompson River and in the east by Harper Creek and the Shuswap Highlands. Surrounding landscape is punctuated by many snow-capped mountain peaks, of which Matterhorn Peak is the highest at a towering 2,634m, making it visible all the way from Kamloops. Most of the park’s higher elevations remain under snow all year round and surrounding areas show scars from glacial erosion. Remnants of the old Windpass Gold Mine (1916-1939) are still visible on Baldy Mountain, as well as an old forestry lookout tower.
The park encompasses several different ecosystems, including part of the Thompson River floodplain, alpine areas, mountain lakes and swamps. As a result, plantlife is very diverse in the park. Surrounding forests consist of Englemann spruce and Montane Spruce, as well as some old-growth Douglas fir.
Dunn Peak Protected Area is important habitat for a variety of wildlife including wolves, cougars, martens, river otters, black bears, mule deer and mountain goats. The North Thompson and North Barriere Rivers are major migration routes and spawning grounds for a couple of fish species. The park is also home to the great blue heron and bald eagle.
There are no camping or day-use facilities provided, but there are still plenty of opportunities for recreational activities. The park’s natural beauty and variety of wildlife is excellent for nature appreciation, such as bird watching and nature studies. There are some unmaintained hiking trails throughout the park, but hikers should remember that mountain weather is very unpredictable and that snow is very common in this park. As well, some portions of the park remain under snow all-year round and may be dangerous to navigate.
Dunn Peak Protected Area is located 90km northeast from Kamloops in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. Access to the park is by ferry and road from Little Fort on Highway 5, or by logging roads in the Harper Valley from Barriere and North Barriere Lake.
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