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Posted: July 30, 2012

Ram Creek Springs covered by slide

BC Parks is reporting that Ram Creek Hot Springs, 13 km northeast of Sheep Creek (up the Ram Creek Forest Service Road), have been closed by a landslide that occurred sometime between July 12 and 16.

BC Parks reported on July 16: “Due to a significant rain event from a large thunderstorm, and resulting debris flow, the hot pools within Ram Creek Ecological Reserve have been destroyed. The debris flow also badly damaged the access road just below the parking area for the hot springs site. This road has been closed at the 10.2 km mark (at the obvious turnaround – 300m below the site), as it is not traversable by motor vehicles, and backing down to the turnaround is difficult.”

Established in 1971 as part of the 121 hectares Ram Creek Ecological Reserve, Ram Creek Hot Springs have been ‘the local’ springs for several decades.

As Lussier Hot Springs, located at the entrance to Whiteswan Provincial Park, became more and more popular in the early 1990s, so too did Ram Creek.

Access to the hot pools was traditionally from the Top of the World Provincial Park side, stemming from the Whiteswan Provincial Park area, as well as a 13-km uphill wind from Sheep Creek. In 2008 a landslide closed the Top of the World access.

Even the small parking area below the warm springs has been covered by the slide.

Ram Creek was a unique spring environment, in that it looked up across a forest fire burn area, which occurred (Ram Creek Fire – 1985), and was known to have an abundance of poison ivy, often listed in hot springs directories. That designation served to limit the number of visitors until Lussier Hot Springs exploded in popularity following a BC Parks renovation of that site in the mid 1990s.

Technically a ‘warm springs,’ rather than a hot springs such as Lussier (average temperature 40-42°C), Ram Creek averaged 30-35°C. It had a large main pool, capable of easily holding more than 20 people, and was deeper than most natural springs. Just above the main pool was a much smaller, warmer pool. And above that was the main spring leading to the pools, which was often bored out by regular users and only large enough to hold one medium-sized adult.

It is unclear at this point what BC Parks intends to do in terms of rehabilitation of the difficult-to-access site.

Location map: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/map.html

Ram Creek management: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/planning/mgmtplns/ram_crk_er/ram_crk_er.html



Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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