Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia

The Selkirk Mountains begin in northeast Washington where they are low forested ridges that separate scenic, small farm valleys. In northern Idaho, the Selkirks begin rather abruptly, but the most striking part of the range is in British Columbia, especially north of the small city of Nelson.

Several relatively small portions of this range have been reserved as spectacular provincial parks, wilderness areas, and two small national parks, but most of the range in open to serious logging. Most drainages, including hundreds of thousands of acres of interior old growth rain forest have been logged without anyone but local folks even being aware. The off-the-tourist-track traveler will find mountains and forests so pretty they almost bring a tear, and then emerge into a large rectangular clearcut. One advantage of the logging in this country, however, is that unlike most of the logging in the interior Rocky Mountains of the United States, the trees rapidly grow back due to the high rainfall. If anything, my impression is that the clearcuts often come back in vast fields of berries and provide habitat for many black bears. The open roads, however, are bad for grizzly bears, and the Selkirk grizzly bear is in trouble, especially south of Nelson.

Battle Mountain in the Battle Range of the Selkirks.
Battle Mountain in the Battle Range of the Selkirks. Photo from the Incomappleux River canyon.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan 

In British Columbia, the Selkirks are paralleled by two equally spectacular chains of mountains -- the Purcells and the Monashees. Eventually the Purcell merges into the Selkirks, and then the Selkirks and Monashee become the Cariboo Mountains. 

Watching grizzly bears in Whitewater Creek Canyon. Goat Range of the Selkirks. Copyright © Ralph Maughan

Selkirk Mountains. Glacier National Park. B.C.
Selkirk Mountains in Glacier National Park, British Columbia Copyright © Ralph Maughan


Mt. Sir Sandford, the highest of the Selkirks. The
big clearcut at the base of the mountain is not shown in the
photograph. Copyright © Ralph Maughan

 Mt. Sir Sandford, highest in the Selkirk Mountains


Subranges of the Selkirks in British Columbia-






Slocan Lake between the Valhalla Range (left) and the Kokanee Range (right).
copyright © Ralph Maughan 2002


Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia/by Ralph Maughan/ revised on Feb. 4, 2005

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