Lew Creek Biological and Physical Overview: BC Parks
Mount Hadow and adjacent serrate peaks of the Slocan Ranges mark the upper- elevational southwest boundary of the reserve and provide a spectacular backdrop. Below the vertical headwalls of this peak is a prominent cirque basin containing an alpine glacier which feeds directly into a subalpine lake, the source of Lew Creek. Reserve boundaries enclose the entire rather narrow valley of Lew Creek, a turbulent mountain stream which flows northeast into Trout Lake. Rock and talus are widespread in the alpine zone, as are avalanche chutes in the subalpine forest.:
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The reserve spans three biogeoclimatic zones. At the lowest elevations, below about the 1450 m elevation, western hemlock-western redcedar-western yew forest is quite continuous, and characterized by one-leaved foamflower and oak fern in the understory. Smaller, richer lowland sites support cedar stands in which devil’s club, false-Solomon’s seal and lady fern are typical. Subalpine forests are extensive but broken into ribbons by many avalanche paths, particularly in the upper part of the valley. In the lower, more continuous Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir stands, either white rhododendron and queen’s cup or white rhododendron and black huckleberry are dominant species in the understory. Toward timberline, subalpine fir is more abundant than spruce, tree growth is more patchy and stunted, and whitebark pine, white rhododendron and blue-leaved huckleberry are frequent associated species.
Although a sizeable area is within the Interior Mountain-heather Alpine zone, much of this consists of cliffs, talus, ice and snow.
Habitat capability for ungulates is generally low due to deep snow, however, a few mountain goats and caribou inhabit the area.