Grayling River Hotsprings Overview , Biological and Physical

Posted March 5, 1990 | Categories : 147,Geology,Reports,Species List |

Note there is no management plan available yet on BC Parks website.


Located on the Grayling River approximately 50 km upstream of its confluence with the Liard River. The
ecological reserve represents the Hyland Plateau ecosection and contains a thermal and mineral spring complex of national significance. The ecological reserve is rated one of the bes t hot springs in Canada based on geological and ecological characteristics.
See the complete PDF here: grayling-overview
The hot springs occur in a series of varying temperature along both sides of a small canyon on the Grayling River and on a flat
area further downstream. An impressive tufa formation (calcium deposits precipitated from hot spring water) exists on one of the canyon sites, above which is an unusual cave occupied by bats. The lower hotsprings discharge into a complicated series of
channels and pools within the flood channels on both banks of the Grayling. A major feature is the tufa terrace and steep 20 metre high cliff at the edge of the river. The hot springs have the hottest temperatures in the Liard area. The karst topography is rarely found this far north.
The terraces surrounding the hot springs are in early stages of deciduous succession following a very large fire in 1971, although small remnant stands of mature white spruce exist on north – facing slopes and on the gravel bars of the river. Thermally influenced gravel bars and river banks host one of the richest plant communities in the Liard area, including a distinct and diverse array of warm water plant species. Local plant occurences typically associated with hot springs include yellow monkey –

flower, Philadelphia fleabane, Pennsylvania pellitory and the most northerly occurrence of western witchgrass. Two provincially rare, hot spring – associated plants are prairie wedgegrass and satin grass. The physical diversity of hot spring and non – hot spring habitats found here gives rise to an unusually high number of vascular plant species. The ecological reserve has a significant Little Brown Myotis nursery colony . It also has extensive moose and other ungulate habitat, grizzly bear habitat, and arctic grayling and bull trout are common in the local streams.
fleabane, Philadelphia (Erigeron philadelphicus)
grass, satin (Muhlenbergia racemosa)
monkey-flower, yellow (Mimulus guttatus)
pellitory, Pennsylvania (Parietaria pensylvanica)
spruce, white (Picea glauca)
wedgegrass, prairie (Sphenopholis obtusata)
witchgrass, western (Dichanthelium acuminatum var. fasciculatum
Bear, Grizzly (Ursus arctos)
Grayling, Arctic (Thymallus arcticus)
Moose (Alces americanus)
Myotis, Little Brown (Myotis lucifugus)
Trout, Bull (Salvelinus confluentus)