Darkwoods, BC (Photo by M.A. Beaucher)

Darkwoods, BC (Photo by M.A. Beaucher)

Darkwoods: Public access

Hikers at Darkwoods, BC (Photo by NCC)

Hikers at Darkwoods, BC (Photo by NCC)

Darkwoods has a long history of use by local communities. Since the 1960s, the public has been allowed limited access to the property with a permit, and we are happy to continue that tradition and even expand those opportunities. At the same time, the land cannot support all uses, at all times, in all places and retain its special character. Some reasonable limits are required.

When you can visit

Darkwoods is an unmaintained wilderness area open to the public from July through September. Snow on the mountain passes into Darkwoods typically closes roads from October to June. Permits are required for entry, and no camping is allowed.

Darkwoods road access map

Click to display map

All roads require 4WD vehicles, and due to industrial truck activity on the roads during the work week, a forestry radio with the Resource Roads channels programmed in is required. A radio is also recommended for recreational truck access on weekends.

Note: The Blazed/Jersey Creek Forest Service Road that is used to access Darkwoods from the south has been closed south of the property due to instabilities. It is unknown when access via this route will be reopened. Until then, access to Darkwoods is only through Porcupine Forest Service Road.

Recreation options

All visitors must have a permit to access Darkwoods.

Outdoor activities allowed on the property include hiking, fishing and skiing. The use of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, building of fires, trapping and cutting of firewood on the property is prohibited. Dogs are permitted, but be must kept under control at all times. It is recommended that dogs be kept on leash to protect them and you from dangerous encounters with wildlife, such as bears and cougars.

Trails: There are no marked trails on Darkwoods, so hiking requires route finding in challenging terrain.
Hike difficulty: moderate to difficult
Amenities on-site: none

How to obtain a free access permit

  1. Download and complete the DARKWOODS GENERAL PUBLIC ACCESS PERMIT.

  2. Email a copy of the completed permit to canadian.rockies@natureconservancy.ca.

  3. Carry a copy of the permit in your vehicle when you visit Darkwoods. If you have a copy in your vehicle, and we have also recieved it in advance, then the permit will be considered valid.

Any visitor that fails to send NCC a fully filled out and signed permit, and/or neglects to carry a copy of a fully filled out and signed permit in their vehicle, will be trespassing.

Contact the Canadian Rockies Program office at 250-342-5521 or canadian.rockies@natureconservancy.ca with any questions.

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