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Redfern-Keily Provincial Park
About This Park
Redfern-Keily Provincial Park contains some of the most scenic landscapes in the Northern Rocky Mountains and provides backcountry tourism opportunities on an international level. Lush alpine meadows, forested valley bottoms, serrated peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and large valley lakes dominate this mountainous landscape.
Alpine tundra in the upper elevations provide wide open vistas of the surrounding mountains and excellent ridge walking. The glacial features at the Northern end of the park are magnificent. Hidden wonders such as natural arches can be found as long as you are willing to explore and Redfern Lake itself is an impressive sight reflecting the surrounded Rocky Mountain peaks.
The brilliant blue colours of Redfern, Fairy and Trimble Lakes are one of the park’s most outstanding features. Redfern Lake, about eight km long and one km wide is glacier-fed and surrounded by a narrow band of boreal forest, talus slope, alpine meadow, and rugged peaks with small glaciers. Keily Creek contains old growth spruce, and the Besa River has important hoodoos below Mount Dopp.
Abundant wildlife makes the area attractive to hunters; guide/outfitters provide a wide range of services and opportunities for visitors. Fishing, boating, camping, and hiking are also popular. River rafting, kayaking and canoeing out to the Alaska Highway is possible along the Besa/Prophet Rivers or the Sikanni Chief River (although on the latter, the falls must be portaged).
Know Before You Go
Two trail systems provide access into Redfern-Keily Provincial Park. The first, Redfern Lake Trail, follows Nevis Creek and the Besa River to Redfern Lake. The second trail follows the Sikanni Chief River to Trimble Lake. A third trail links Trimble Lake to the Besa River, completing a loop.
Both trails are open to snowmobiles, horses, hikers, and dog sleds; however, motorized off-road vehicles (ORV), mountain bikes, and e-bikes can only access the park via the Redfern Lake trail.
Motorized and Biking Access
- ORVs using the Redfern Lake Trail are restricted to machines weighing no more than 750 kg and must stay within 10m of the route. . Public Access Prohibition Regulation Sec. 2, (Wildlife Act). Map MK 2018 [PDF].
- ORV access along the Sikanni River Trail does not extend into the park. Primitive campsites are found along both trails. There are approximately 26 sites along the Redfern Lake trail, of which seven are located within the park.
- Mountain bike and e-bike use is restricted to locations where ORVs are allowed (i.e. can only access the park via the Redfern Lake Trail)
- Snowmobile access is permitted within the Nature Recreation Winter Zone during the snowmobiling season from Nov 1 to Apr 15; all other areas in the park are closed to snowmobiles.
- Be prepared for any weather conditions while visiting the park, you are in an isolated area and weather can change rapidly.
- Avalanche training is strongly recommended for any winter recreational activities in the park. If you plan to snowmobile in Redfern-Keily Provincial Park you need to be prepared with emergency equipment as it is an isolated area and distances are great.
- Carry extra snowmobile fuel. The Redfern Lake Trail is approximately 80 km, starting at the Alaska Highway. The Sikanni River Trail is approximately 32 km from the Alaska Highway to Trimble Lake.
- Pack out what you pack in.
- Bring your own drinking water. Potable water is not available at the park.
- The public cabin at Redfern Lake is available on a first-come, first served basis, so be prepared to camp outside.
- Grizzly and black bears may be encountered within the park. Please be bear aware, and learn how to stay safe in bear country.
Redfern-Keily is located in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, 80 km west of the Alaska Highway, approximately 250 km northwest of Fort St. John. It includes Redfern, Fairy and Trimble Lakes and the alpine basins and icefields of the Besa River and Keily Creek watersheds.
Maps and Brochures
- Redfern-Keily Park Zoning Map [PDF]
- Google Earth KMZ file of Redfern-Keily Park Winter Recreation Zoning [KMZ]
- The following GPX files of Redfern-Keily Park Zoning can be used with a global positioning system (GPS)
Activities Available at this Park
Redfern Lake is 539 hectares in size and has a maximum depth of 81 metres. Lake trout, lake whitefish, pygmy whitefish, and rainbow trout are resident to the lake and its associated streams. Fairy Lake is 151 hectares in size and has a maximum depth of 56 metres. Rainbow trout are the only residents of this high elevation lake. Trimble Lake is 314 hectares in size and has a maximum depth of 34 metres. Arctic grayling, bull trout, mountain whitefish and rainbow trout are resident to the lake.
Please consult the current BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis for fishing information Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Visitors to the area in winter can ice fish on Redfern, Trimble or Fairy Lake. Due to the cold temperatures, the ice freezes extremely thick making it quite the workout just to drill a hole (unless you have a power auger).
This park has hiking and/or walking trails. Two trail systems provide access into Redfern-Keily Provincial Park. The first, Redfern Lake Trail, follows Nevis Creek and the Besa River to Redfern Lake. The second trail follows the Sikanni Chief River to Trimble Lake. A third trail links Trimble Lake to the Besa River, completing a loop.
Both trails are open to snowmobiles, horses, hikers, and dog sleds; however, motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, and e-bikes can only access the park via the Redfern Lake Trail. Motorized access along the Sikanni River trail does not extend into the park. Primitive campsites are found along both trails. There are approximately 26 sites along the Redfern Lake trail, of which seven are located within the park.
Horses are a traditional way to travel in the area; however, horses' hooves each exert over 1,500 p.s.i. of pressure every time they hit the ground, which can greatly impact trails and campsites. Review the Horse Riders’ Backcountry Ethics adapted for Redfern-Keily Provincial Park to reduce impacts to the environment and keep the park accessible to riders in years to come.
Pets on Leash
Cross country skiing can be done in many locations within the park. One of the better areas is along the shore of either Redfern or Fairy lake. No tracks are set and the trail up to Fairly lake is steep. There are no defined snowshoeing trails; however, there are numerous multi-use trails in the vicinity of Redfern Lake which can all be snowshoed.
Snowmobiling into Redfern Lake is by far the most common form of access into the area. There are two routes which can be used to access the area: the Redfern Lake Trail and the Sikanni River Trail. Both are described above under the "Know Before You Go" section along with a park zoning map which shows the areas open for snowmobile use. Snowmobiling is allowed in the Nature Recreation Winter Zone from November 1 until April 15.
The area is subject to extremely cold winter conditions. Visitors to this area are reminded to be prepared. Temperatures of -40°C and colder are a reality in this area and the temperature can drop dramatically from one valley to another. The BC Parks cabin located on the north east side of the lake is a good shelter to keep the frost off.