This is one of a group of Canadian Rocky Mountain parks that are collectively on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Hamber Park covers 24,000 hectares remote wilderness.It comprises a portion of one of the world’s largest blocks of protected areas. The park was designated as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It has few facilities. The park sees 400-500 visitors annually.
Hamber Provincial Park was named to honour the late Eric W. Hamber, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia from 1936-1941.
Flora and fauna
Vegetation around the lake is thick with spruce and balsam with a very heavy understory of false azalea and rhododendron.
Weather in Hamber varies depending on the season. Almost half of the days during the summer have rain and wind, so hikers should come prepared for these conditions.
Park vehicles at Sunwapta Falls parking lot to access the park via 22 km of overland trails.
Fees and permits
- Fishing: Fortress Lake, home to brook trout, offers excellent angling opportunities. There is an air-accessed commercial fishing camp on Chisel Creek Fan (midway down the lake’s south shore). Fortress Lake is open for ice fishing in the winter season, but is a long way in to travel to fish. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
- Winter Recreation: There are backcountry skiing and snowshoeing opportunities in the park. There are no defined trails and is remote winter travel.
Buy, eat and drink
There are no services in the park. The nearest town, Jasper, has hotels, restaurants, shops and bars.
Bring your own drinking water or be prepared to boil or filter water, as potable water is not available in the park.
There is a rustic campground and toilet at the east end of the lake. There are several traditional campsites are identifiable along the north shore. Each campsite has a pit toilet and bear pole for storing food. Visitors may camp during the winter season but be prepared for conditions.
A trail to access these sites is being re-opened from the east end. The easiest access to lakeshore features is by renting a boat from the fishing camp. No other trails exist, but midway along the north shore, Washout Creek provides a steep, rugged, but relatively open access to scenic alpine tarns.
There are no other developed facilities.
- Fortress Lake Lodge (at the Chisel Creek end of Fortress Lake), ☏ . It is available during the summer months starting June 1st and can hold 12 people at a time. There is a fee for using the lodge and you can reserve.
Windfalls are common and blow-down of large trees is a significant hazard during high winds.
Hikers must cross the Chaba River. The river crossing can be dangerous. Stream crossings can be treacherous at times, depending on seasonal daily run-off fluctuations.
Bear Country precautions are essential : grizzly and black bear habitats are extensive throughout the park. Bear poles are available at the campsites.