Camelsfoot Range

The Camelsfoot Range is a sub-range of the Chilcotin Ranges subdivision of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia. The Fraser River forms its eastern boundary. The range is approximately 90 km at its maximum length and less than 30 km wide at its widest.[1]

Camelsfoot Range
Southern ridges in the Camelsfoot Range near the Fraser River
Highest point
PeakRed Mountain
Elevation2,445 m (8,022 ft)
Coordinates51°12′13.0″N 122°32′55.0″W / 51.203611°N 122.548611°WCoordinates: 51°12′13.0″N 122°32′55.0″W / 51.203611°N 122.548611°W
Area2,390 km2 (920 sq mi)
South BC-NW USA-relief CamelsfootRange
Location map of Camelsfoot Range
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Parent rangeChilcotin Ranges

Terrain and location

The far southeast end of the Camelsfoot is extremely rugged, and dropping to one last point at 7000'-plus before plunging into the gorge of the Fraser Canyon at Fountain, near Lillooet. For 45 km NW from there, the range is rocky and lightly forested with lodgepole pine, breaking into high benchlands and large creek basins draining through benchland country via small canyons.

Beyond that the range's terrain is much more gentle, with high, meadowed ridges running east towards the Fraser Canyon between treed plateaus and small canyons, and a few large, barren domes running further north along the Fraser. The range is bounded on the north and west by a large and impressive benchland-and-hoodoo sand canyon similar to those along the range's east flank - that of Churn Creek, which is a provincial protected area. The historic Empire Valley Ranch is near the mouth of Churn Creek and is provincially protected for heritage and environmental reasons. It is on a high side-valley above the Fraser Canyon; north of it beyond Churn Creek is the historically significant Gang Ranch.

Camels in the Cariboo

Camelsfoot Peak and the range itself take their name from an odd episode in the story of the Fraser and Cariboo Gold Rushes. Frank Laumeister, a United States veteran of the Camel Corps, bought 23 camels from the US military, which was ending their use. He used the animals to carry freight on the Douglas Road and the Old Cariboo Road from Lillooet to Fort Alexandria, and later on the new Cariboo Wagon Road from Yale. After this, he finally discontinued using the camels. Horses could not stand their smell, the camels' soft feet were hurt by the rocky soils of the BC Interior and the canyon trails, and handlers found them difficult. Many escaped retirement into the wilds.

The last confirmed sighting was in the Ashcroft area in 1905, possibly 1910 by some claims. Barroom stories recount sightings elsewhere in the southern Interior into the 1930s, but these are taken with the same amount of stock as the Sasquatch or the Cariboo Alligator.

The original Log Cabin Theatre in Lillooet, still exists today, originally was used by Laumeister for a camel barn. No one knows if the camels roamed the Camelsfoot. The new highway bridge in Lillooet is named the Bridge of the Twenty-Three Camels to commemorate their role in local history.

The name of the Yalakom River is a simplified version of the Chilcotin word for the ewe of the mountain sheep. Shulaps, the name of the range to the west of the Camelsfoot, is a simplified version of the Chilcotin for the ram.


There have been copper prospects operating on Red Mountain 2445 m (8022 ft), the highest in the range, and on Poison Mountain 2264 m (7428 ft), just south Red, is located where the spine of the Shulaps Range intersects with that of the Camelsfoot, at the apex of the Yalakom valley which runs SE towards Lillooet from this point. Poison Mountain's name comes from the toxic leaching of its orebodies into local streams (and rumours of mercury in the copper ore) while Red's comes from the colour of its cuprous earth. Red's flanks show ziggurat-like scars that are evidence of the scale of ore-sampling that at one time was underway.

There are projected open-pit mine and smelter plans for the Poison Mountain-Red Mountain orebody, using power from the also projected Hat Creek lignite deposits nearby on the other side of the Fraser. These have never been brought forward in the public planning process, nor are they likely to be given the scope (and overlapping) of First Nations land claims in the immediate region.

Red has a twin summit, French Mountain 2231 m (7320 ft), originally named French Bar Mountain after a rich gold-bearing bar on the Fraser just east. North of them is a remote, gentle summit known as Black Dome Mountain 2252 m (7388 ft). China Head 2125 m (6972 ft) and Nine Mile Ridge 2422 m (7946 ft) are southeast of Red and are large, wide ridges covered in meadow; Nine Mile Ridge is a protected area. China Head's name is thought by some to have to do with a conical-shaped hill atop the ridge visible from the Fraser, but the name may have to do with long-established Lillooet entrepreneur Cheng Won, who owned a hog ranch on Leon Creek, another valley south and "Wo Hing General Store" in Lillooet. The term "head" in 19th-century frontier usage was a synonym for mountain or ridge or headland, and not meant as a reference to a head.

Due south of it is the isolated massif of Yalakom Mountain 2424 m (7953 ft), which is one of the highest in the range and remains a redoubt of mountain sheep and other big game, and historically was part of a long-standing wildlife preserve. East of Yalakom Mountain is Hogback Mountain 2149 m (7051 ft), whose name is not descriptive but concerns Cheng Won's hog ranch on its shoulders from which the pigs would run wild onto the mountain.

South of Hogback and Leon Creek the range becomes much more rugged as it narrows. Mount Birch 2232 m (7323 ft), just south of Leon Creek, is named after the Lieutenant-Governor who ran the Crown Colony of British Columbia for most of the alcoholic Frederick Seymour's term as Governor. Birch has a twin summit on its short, sharp ridge - Mount Duncan 2182 m (7159 ft) and a southern foreshoulder overlooking the confluence of the Yalakom and Bridge Rivers is named Mount Bishop 1,721 m (5,646 ft). From Bishop south to the Fraser the boundary of the range is the very lower stretches of the Bridge River, after its confluence with the Yalakom. A rural farming and ranching community named Moha, also called Yalakom, is located around that confluence, which also is the lower end of the Big Canyon of the Bridge River.

Southeast from Duncan there is Slok Hill (Red Hill) 2081 m (6827 ft) which is a mountain despite its name, which is St'at'imcets for "red". The upper canyon of Applespring Creek nearly bisects the range to nearly connect top Slok Creek, south of which is Camelsfoot Peak 2014 m (6608 ft). Below Applespring Creek along the lower Bridge is the rancherie of the Bridge River Indian Band, Xwisten (which is the name of the river in their language). Their combined reserves extend much further up the Bridge on its south side, almost to Moha, and comprise one of the largest Indian Reserves in British Columbia.

The southeastern shoulders of Camelsfoot Peak overlook the town of Lillooet. The confluence of the Bridge and Fraser Rivers is at the range's southern foot. Just upriver from it is a final unnamed pinnacle of the range, in a locality sometimes referred to as North Fountain (Fountain is south of the Fraser at this point), that is the site of an old forestry lookout, accessed by a decommissioned side road off the "main" road up the west side of the Fraser from Lillooet.

Ranches off that west side road, known as the Slok Creek Forest Service Road or, more traditionally, the West Pavilion Road, access ranches on high benchlands atop cliffs that plunge to one of the Fraser's deepest gorges, plunging in near-desert between Fountain and Big Bar. Although road-access today, these once were accessed only by cable ferry on the river far below Pavilion, or via tortuous horse trails over the southern Camelsfoot. Some of the ranchlands and spreads in this area, which is called Blue Ridge as well as West Pavilion, were part of the Diamond S Ranch holdings at Pavilion founded by American settler Robert Carson and owned in later years by the Martley family and their descendants to this day.


The range is home to black bear, black-tail deer, moose, mountain sheep, mountain goat, cougar, lynx and smaller creatures. Encounters with grizzlies may occur in this range, but they are not so common here as in the Shulaps Range and west from there. Contrary to media myth there are no rattlesnakes in the Lillooet region, nor west of the Fraser at all except a few near Lytton and Boston Bar. There are, however, many species of lizard and non-venomous snake.


All of these summits and many other high areas of the range and other nearby ranges are accessible by 4x4 (preferably with a winch) or mountain bike or horseback. The main roads encircle the range via the Yalakom and Fraser Rivers, converging via China Head and northeast via Watson Bar and Big Bar Ferry.

Geographic classification issue

In some classifications, they are a parallel region to the Pacific Ranges rather than its subdivisions, and in others they are part of the Chilcotin Plateau. That is to say, part of the Interior Plateau, along with the Marble Range and Clear Range on the other side of the Fraser River from it. In such a classification system, the boundary of the Chilcotin Ranges would stop at the Yalakom River, the North Fork of the Bridge River, which is the western boundary of the Camelsfoot.

On the other hand, those ranges, classified as part of the Interior Plateau, are really part of the same geologic system as the Coast Mountains across the Fraser or the Cascade Range south of the Thompson on the near side of the Fraser, which has been riven by the gorges of the Thompson and Fraser Canyons to separate the Pacific Cordillera into different ranges.

The Camelsfoot Range is crammed into the division point of the huge Fraser and Yalakom Faults, which converge south of Lillooet at the south end of Fountain Ridge, and compositionally is more similar to the Marble and Clear Ranges than to the Shulaps Range, which is to the west across the Yalakom.


  1. ^ "Camelsfoot Range". BC Geographical Names.
Arthur Birch (colonial administrator)

Sir Arthur Nonus Birch KCMG (September 1837 – 31 October 1914) was Lieutenant Governor of Ceylon, Colonial Secretary for Ceylon and acting Lieutenant Governor of Penang and Province Wellesley (1871-1872).

The son of H. W. R. Birch, he joined the colonial service as clerk in the Office of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in February 1855, served as Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's assistant private secretary in 1858, and Chichester Fortescue's private secretary from September 1859 to February 1864 when he accepted the post of colonial secretary of British Columbia. He served in that capacity and for a time as administrator of the government until 1866 when he returned to England to resume his duties in the Colonial Office. He remained with the Colonial Office, serving as acting Lieutenant Governor of Penang and Province Wellesley, colonial secretary of Ceylon and Lieutenant Governor of Ceylon, until his retirement from the service in June 1878.

After his resignation from the Colonial Office Birch joined the Bank of England where he remained until retirement in 1913.The writer Dame Una Pope-Hennessy was Birch's daughter.

Black Dome Mountain

Black Dome Mountain is the most northerly summit of the Camelsfoot Range, which lies along the west side of the Fraser River, north of Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada. It is an ancient butte-like volcano located in the formation known as the Chilcotin Group, which lie between the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains and the mid-Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada.

Cariboo camels

The Cariboo camels were a number of camels that arrived in British Columbia as pack animals. The Bactrian camels were used on the Douglas Road and the Old Cariboo Road in 1862 and 1863 to haul freight during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Although the experiment was a failure, the Cariboo camels retained an almost legendary status in local popular culture.

Chilcotin Plateau

The Chilcotin Plateau is part of the Fraser Plateau, a major subdivision of the Interior Plateau of British Columbia. The Chilcotin Plateau is physically near-identical with the region of the same name, i.e. "the Chilcotin", which lies between the Fraser River and the southern Coast Mountains and is defined by the basin of the Chilcotin River and so includes montane areas beyond the plateau. East of the Chilcotin Plateau, across the Fraser River, is the Cariboo Plateau, while to the north beyond the West Road (Blackwater) River is the Nechako Plateau. West and south of the Chilcotin Plateau are various subdivisions of the Coast Mountains, including the Chilcotin Ranges which lie along the plateau's southwest.

Included within the definition of the Chilcotin Plateau are the Rainbow Range, near Bella Coola and the similarly volcanic Ilgachuz Range and Itcha Range both of which are major shield volcanoes. The Camelsfoot Range, north of Lillooet, is included in the Chilcotin Plateau by some systems of classification.

The plateau is nearly entirely drained by the Chilcotin River and its tributaries, the largest of which are the Chilanko and Chilko Rivers. Also draining the plateau on its eastern edge is Churn Creek, which forms the east flank of the Camelsfoot Range and enters the Fraser directly. On the west side of the plateau, the basins of the Dean, Homathko and Atnarko Rivers penetrate the massifs of the Coast Mountains and have their beginnings, or the early part of their courses, on the Chilcotin Plateau.

The Chilcotin Plateau consists of basaltic lava of the Chilcotin Group, a group of related volcanic rocks that is nearly parallel with the Fraser Plateau. It extends along the adjacent Garibaldi Volcanic Belt in the Coast Mountains. Volcanism of the Chilcotin Plateau is considered to be a result of extension of the crust behind the coastal Cascadia subduction zone.

Chilcotin Ranges

The Chilcotin Ranges are a subdivision of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains (in some classifications they are a separate subdivision). They lie on the inland lea of the Pacific Ranges, abutting the Interior Plateau of British Columbia. Their northwestern end is near the head of the Klinaklini River and their southeast end is the Fraser River just north of Lillooet; their northern flank is the edge of the Plateau while their southern is the north bank of the Bridge River. In some reckonings they do not go all the way to the Fraser but end at the Yalakom River, which is the North Fork of the Bridge.

They are not one range but a collection of ranges, often very distinct from each other. There are three major named subranges:

Dickson Range

Shulaps Range

Camelsfoot Range (assigned to the Interior Plateau in some definitions)To the west of the western end of the Chilcotin Ranges, and considered by some to be part of the group, are:

Pantheon Range

Niut RangeSouth of which are the Waddington Range and the Homathko Icefield.

Churn Creek

Churn Creek is a tributary of the Fraser River in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Churn Creek Protected Area

The Churn Creek Protected Area is a 36,747-hectare (90,800-acre) provincial protected area in British Columbia, Canada. It is a mix of dryland canyon and steppe and adjoining rangeland flanking the canyon of Churn Creek and that stream's confluence with the Fraser River at the northern apex of the Camelsfoot Range. The historic Gang Ranch is just north of the Churn Creek Protected Area. The Empire Valley Ranch ecological preserve was added to the Protected Area in an expansion.

Coast Mountains

The Coast Mountains are a major mountain range in the Pacific Coast Ranges of western North America, extending from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the Coast of British Columbia south to the Fraser River. The mountain range's name derives from its proximity to the sea coast, and it is often referred to as the Coast Range. The range includes volcanic and non-volcanic mountains and the extensive ice fields of the Pacific and Boundary Ranges, and the northern end of the volcanic system known as the Cascade Volcanoes. The Coast Mountains are part of a larger mountain system called the Pacific Coast Ranges or the Pacific Mountain System, which includes the Cascade Range, the Insular Mountains, the Olympic Mountains, the Oregon Coast Range, the California Coast Ranges, the Saint Elias Mountains and the Chugach Mountains. The Coast Mountains are also part of the American Cordillera—a Spanish term for an extensive chain of mountain ranges—that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western backbone of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.

The Coast Mountains are approximately 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) long and average 300 kilometres (190 mi) in width. The range's southern and southeastern boundaries are surrounded by the Fraser River and the Interior Plateau while its far northwestern edge is delimited by the Kelsall and Tatshenshini Rivers at the north end of the Alaska Panhandle, beyond which are the Saint Elias Mountains, and by Champagne Pass in the Yukon Territory. Covered in dense temperate rainforest on its western exposures, the range rises to heavily glaciated peaks, including the largest temperate-latitude ice fields in the world. On its eastern flanks, the range tapers to the dry Interior Plateau and the subarctic boreal forests of the Skeena Mountains and Stikine Plateau.

The Coast Mountains are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire—the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean—and contain some of British Columbia's highest mountains. Mount Waddington is the highest mountain of the Coast Mountains and the highest that lies entirely within British Columbia, located northeast of the head of Knight Inlet with an elevation of 4,019 metres (13,186 ft).

List of mountain ranges

This is a list of mountain ranges on Earth and a few other astronomical bodies. First, the highest and longest mountain ranges on Earth are listed, followed by more comprehensive alphabetical lists organized by continent. Ranges in the oceans and on other celestial bodies are listed afterwards.

Mount Bishop

Mount Bishop may refer to:

Mount Bishop (Elk Range) on the Continental Divide and the boundary between the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada

Mount Bishop (Fannin Range) in the North Shore Mountains of British Columbia, Canada

Mount Bishop (Camelsfoot Range), a mountain near Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada

Mount Bishop (Antarctica) in Antarctica

Mount Bishop (Camelsfoot Range)

Mount Bishop is a mountain in the Camelsfoot Range in the Lillooet Country of the Central Interior of British Columbia. Named for an old settler, it is located four km north of the settlement of Moha, which is at the confluence of the Bridge and Yalakom Rivers.

Pacific Coast Ranges

The Pacific Coast Ranges (officially gazetted as the Pacific Mountain System in the United States but referred to as the Pacific Coast Ranges), are the series of mountain ranges that stretch along the West Coast of North America from Alaska south to Northern and Central Mexico.

The Pacific Coast Ranges are part of the North American Cordillera (sometimes known as the Western Cordillera, or in Canada, as the Pacific Cordillera and/or the Canadian Cordillera), which includes the Rocky Mountains, Columbia Mountains, Interior Mountains, the Interior Plateau, Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Great Basin mountain ranges, and other ranges and various plateaus and basins.

The Pacific Coast Ranges designation, however, only applies to the Western System of the Western Cordillera, which comprises the Saint Elias Mountains, Coast Mountains, Insular Mountains, Olympic Mountains, Cascade Range, Oregon Coast Range, California Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, and the Sierra Madre Occidental.

Pacific Ranges

The Pacific Ranges are the southernmost subdivision of the Coast Mountains portion of the Pacific Cordillera. Located entirely within British Columbia, Canada, they run northwest from the lower stretches of the Fraser River to Bella Coola and Burke Channel, north of which are the Kitimat Ranges. The Coast Mountains lie between the Interior Plateau and the Coast of British Columbia.The Pacific Ranges include four of the five major coastal icecaps in the southern Coast Mountains. These are the largest temperate-latitude icecaps in the world and fuel a number of very major rivers (by volume, not length). One of these contains Mount Waddington, the highest summit entirely within British Columbia. Also within this region is Hunlen Falls, among the highest in Canada, located in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park.

Other than logging and various hydroelectric developments, and a large ski resort at Whistler, most of the land in the range is completely undeveloped. Historically, in the southern part of the range, mining was important at various times in the Lillooet, Bridge River and Squamish areas, and large pulp and paper mills at Powell River, Port Mellon and Woodfibre. The largest hydroelectric development in the Pacific Ranges is the Bridge River Power Project, though smaller hydro plants are on the Stave River-Alouette Lake system in Mission and Maple Ridge, the Daisy Lake-Squamish River division of the Cheakamus Powerhouse, and another power dam and power plant at Clowhom. Although the range was extensively surveyed for possible rail routes, only that of the Pacific Great Eastern (now part of CN) was eventually built; the Homathko River-Bute Inlet route, however, was one of the two main choices in the deliberations of the CPR's routing.

Red Mountain (British Columbia)

Red Mountain, 2445 m (8022 ft) prominence: 740 m, is the highest summit of the Camelsfoot Range, part of the Chilcotin Plateau located on the west bank of the Fraser River to the north of Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada. Located at the headwaters of the Yalakom River, which is the main north fork of the Bridge River, it has been the site of copper prospects but no major mining activity has so far taken place.

Shulaps Range

The Shulaps Range is a subrange of the Chilcotin Ranges subset of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in southwest-central British Columbia. The range is 55 km NW–SE and 15 km SW–NE and 2,970 km² (1150 mi²) in area.

The range is fairly high in elevation, with dryland-type summits with some very small icefields. Its highest summits are Shulaps Peak 2880 m (9449 ft) and Big Dog Mountain 2,862 m (9,390 ft). Another prominent summit is Rex Peak 2684 m (8806 ft), a conical mass dominating the southern end of the range, which is delimited by the buttress-wall of the Bridge River Canyon.

Spruce Lake Protected Area

The Spruce Lake Protected Area, was a 71,347-hectare Protected Area in the British Columbia provincial parks system 200 km north of Vancouver. The area had been the subject of an ongoing preservationist controversy since the 1930s. Formerly known variously as the Southern Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park, Southern Chilcotins, and also as South Chilcotin Provincial Park. In 2007, its status as a provincial park was downgraded to protected area.

Recreational activities included camping, hiking, cycling, swimming, fishing and hunting. There were walk-in wilderness camping sites. Wildlife in the protected area include grizzly bear, California bighorn sheep and wolverine.In June 2010, Bill 15 - created the South Chilcotin Mountains Park, a "Class A" park of 56,796 hectares from Spruce Lake Protected Area. The remaining approximately 14,550 hectares were set aside for tourism and mining, but commercial logging is still prohibited. The bill also confirmed the implementation of the 2004 decision for mining/tourism zones in the Lillooet Land and Resource Management Plan area.

Yalakom River

The Yalakom River is a tributary of the Bridge River, which is one of the principal tributaries of the Fraser River, entering it near the town of Lillooet, British Columbia. In frontier times it was also known as the North Fork of the Bridge River, and joins the Bridge River proper at Moha, a rural community with a history in ranching, farming and mining. The river is approximately 50km (30 mi) in length. The valley's climate is semi-arid in character and lodgepole pine predominates below treeline.

The name Yalakom comes from the Statimc language word for the ewe of the mountain sheep and is also applied to one of the major peaks of the Camelsfoot Range, which rises along the east bank of the Yalakom. West of the river is the Shulaps Range, which is similarly named for the ram of the mountain sheep in Statimc. The upper part of the valley's east bank, in the area of Yalakom Mountain, had been for many years a wildlife preserve and the area remains rich in game.

The rural farming and ranching community of Moha is located at the confluence of the Yalakom and Bridge Rivers, at the mouth of the Big Canyon of the latter river. Copper prospects at Poison Mountain and Red Mountain at the head of the valley remain undeveloped, although there is a major reactivated gold claim on the flanks of Big Dog Mountain to their southwest at the head of the Shulaps Range.

The yalakom River watershed is located within The British Columbian Wildlife Management Unit number 3-32 as depicted in the B.C

Data Catalogue Wildlife Management Units.

Published by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development - Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management and Licensed under Open Government License - British Columbia.

And within the B.C. Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis which is published for the ministry of Forests lands and natural operations By Munday Tourism Publications . These M.U. boundaries are approximate only. For a more precise definition consult the BC Recreational Atlas, 6th edition.

*Indigenous Fur Bearing Animals within the Yalakom Watershed;

Canines; Wolf, Coyote, Red Fox, Cross Fox.

Felions; Cougar, Lynx, Bobcat.

Weasel Clan; Wolverine, Fisher, Coastal Marten, Ermine.

Rodents; Beaver, Red Squirrel Flying Squirrel.

Procyonidae; Racoon.

Bears; Grizzly, Black Bears of Various colour fazes

*Indigenous Game Animals Within the Yalakom Watershed;

Deer (Cervidae); Moose, Mule Deer.

Bovids (Bovidae); Mountain Goat, California Bighorn Sheep.

All of the Fur Bearing list above are Yalakom inhabitants

*Indigenous Upland Game Birds Within the Yalakom Watershed;

Grouse; Blue Grouse /(Dusty of the interior), Spruce Grouse, Ruffed Grouse,

Ptarmigan; Rock Ptarmigan,

*Miscellaneous other Indigenous rare fauna within the Yalakom Watershed;

American Pygmy Shrew (Sorex hoyi Baird, 1858), One was brought into the Ministry of Wildlife

department branch in Surrey B.C. where a Ministry Wildlife Biologist Identified it as the Pygmy Shrew. This specimen came from near Rataskit Creek about a mile West of the Yalakom River.

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) One was brought into the Ministry of Wildlife department Branch in

Surrey B.C. Where a Ministry Wildlife Biologist Identified it as a Boreal Owl. This specimen came

from Big Dog Mountain Within the Yalakom Drainage.

Pacific Ranges

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