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Where Geology and Culture Meet

The Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park is a unique experience. Established in 1992, this... read more

Reviewed March 27, 2020
PookyCake
,
Victoria, Canada
Full day needed to see it all

Spectacular scenery. It’s a long drive from one end to the other, so don’t rush it. From Terrace to... read more

Reviewed September 2, 2019
Susan W
,
Vancouver, Canada
via mobile
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Reviewed June 21, 2016

The Nishga Memorial Lava Beds Provincial Park is a very unique geologic landscape made from tectonic forces within the earth approximately 270 years ago. The huge amount of molten lava was forced out of a vent cone in the side of a mountain and as it flowed down the narrow valley to the base of a mountain , it dammed a small river and formed a lake before continuing down the valley and pushing the larger Nass River to the mountain on the far side of the wide valley 16 kms. away. The beautiful green lake that was formed by the lava flow is known as Lava Lake with a gorgeous Mt. Oscar as a backdrop. A few Nishga villages were buried in the ensuing lava flow and approximately 2000 people were buried below the catastrophic rubble. This unique landscape that looks lunar in appearance is subsequently covered with a crispy lichen and moss with trees and plants starting to get a foothold in the porous asphalt-like lava formations of ridges and sinkholes. This lava bed formation is a must see when in the surrounding area as the snow-capped mountains form a surreal environment that is sacred to the Nishga people where wilderness and wildlife abound. There is a self auto tour map available at info centres and signs on the route through the lava beds correspond with the map and info provided. There are several stops where short walks can be taken on the lava flow or into waterfalls and other points of interest. This is also a culturally stimulating drive as one can visit the four main villages and view carved totems and crest carved house panels and a fish wheel in the Nass River. Salmon and Cedar were very crucial elements used by the Nishga people for millennia in their culture and customs. There are four totems, two at each end of the bridge that goes into one of the villages. There are also numerous opportunities to view wildlife along the route to the ocean at Gingolyx at the end of the road where one can get awesome fresh halibut fish and chips. This trip has beautiful mountain scenery throughout this pristine part of the northwest and I highly recommend a trip to the lava beds in the Nass Valley as there are no crowds and very little traffic.

Date of experience: June 2016
1  Thank Grizeagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 9, 2016

My next trip I hope to do the guided tour up to the lava cone, but the interpretive self tour is a great way to see the lava beds. My visit was at the end of May when water levels are still fairly high with the spring runoff of snow melt. Lava Lake, Crater Creek, Ross Lake, Beaupre Falls and Vetter Falls are my favorite stops for viewing and photographs are a must. The Tree Mould stop near Canyon City is a short trail walk into the lava fields in order to find the interpretive sign.

Date of experience: May 2016
Thank whiteriverheli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 3, 2016

Never knew it existed. Was great to hear some of the legends and to actually stand where the lava flowed. Beautiful scenery around there and many interesting sites to travel too. Would definitely go back to check out more.

Date of experience: March 2016
Thank debnsteve05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 1, 2015

We traveled the Strawberry Cutoff on Hiway 37 Forestry Road to the Nisga'a Lava Fields.The road is a bit rough but our Honda Accord Coupe made it without mishap. We stopped at Dragon Lake for a packed lunch and enjoyed the quiet and beautiful mountainous spot. This campsite has a number of well appointed but basic sites and picnic tables. Watch for the bears. We continued on to pavement after 51 miles of forestry road to the Lava Fields. This area is a park administered by the First Nations and the Dept of BC Parks. No charge to visit this area.The Nisga'a Lava eruption occurred in the early 1700's destroying 2 of the 5 Native Villages and killing approximately 2000 people. The large area is covered with lava tubes, spatter cones, a lava dammed lake, caves, and other features that can be seen that were created by the lave flow. There is an interpretative centre with impressive pictures and information on the area. It is maned by a knowlable young fellow. There are tours available but the paved roads through the area gives you a very good view of the devastation that this eruption made. The Nass River runs through the area and you can view the native fish wheels. The area has many interpretative signage and roads to explore. Drive thro the village of New Aiyansh, and the paved road to the ocean for a beautiful view of the mountains, rivers and lakes. There is a Native Museum about 20 miles from the Village that is worth an hour or two of viewing. Check to ensure that it is open. There is a few b & b in the area and many types of accom in Terrance BC. Take a moment and visit the Lava Fields and enjoy the not so well known area in our Canadian North. Oh yes if you carry a fishing pole you may be lucky and catch a salmon for dinner! NOTE: you need a BC fishing license and check to see if you also need a Native fishing license if you plan to fish on their lands.

Date of experience: September 2015
1  Thank AvalonFlyBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 25, 2015

I Love it All. My Husband and I visit here often for many reasons. The Views, the Wildlife, the Birds, the People and even the Smell!
If you go in early Spring/Summer, the aroma is quite Amazing. A Great time of year to visit also if you want to see Bears everywhere.
As they are often feeding by the side of the Road, Bears can come Very close to the Car, so Caution and a Sensible head is Always required.
The only thing I do dislike is people/tourists feeding the Bears.
You must Never do this, and sadly, some of the Bears do beg for food as they have been fed before.
Although tempting, Never feed any Wildlife.

The Auto Car tour of the area is a must. It teaches you the rich history and takes you round the unique landscape, with Stunning Falls, Bright Blue Pools and a Landscape that is Beautiful beyond words.

The Car Tour is over a large area, so be prepared to drive quite a bit.

There is a Campsite and also other places to stay nearby.

We have been in All Seasons and each holds it's Own Beauty.

A Stunning place to Explore, Highly Recommended.

Date of experience: September 2015
1  Thank TishWulf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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