Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

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Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
IUCN category II (national park)
BrandywineFalls 1200W.jpg
Brandywine Falls (camera angle used has shortened the apparent height of the falls)
LocationBritish Columbia, Canada
Nearest cityWhistler
Coordinates50°02′07″N 123°07′07″W / 50.03528°N 123.11861°W / 50.03528; -123.11861Coordinates: 50°02′07″N 123°07′07″W / 50.03528°N 123.11861°W / 50.03528; -123.11861
Governing bodyBC Parks
 
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Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
IUCN category II (national park)
BrandywineFalls 1200W.jpg
Brandywine Falls (camera angle used has shortened the apparent height of the falls)
LocationBritish Columbia, Canada
Nearest cityWhistler
Coordinates50°02′07″N 123°07′07″W / 50.03528°N 123.11861°W / 50.03528; -123.11861Coordinates: 50°02′07″N 123°07′07″W / 50.03528°N 123.11861°W / 50.03528; -123.11861
Governing bodyBC Parks

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada, located adjacent to BC Highway 99 between Garibaldi and Whistler, British Columbia.[1] It is managed by Sea to Sky Parks for BC Parks.

Falls

The 70 meter falls are located on Brandywine Creek,[2] which has its origin in the Powder Mountain Icefield to the west, and are formed by the lip of a lava flow flanking the west bank of the Cheakamus River. Just downstream of the falls is Daisy Lake.

Geological History

At least four basaltic lava flows, ranging in age from nearly 34,000 years old to synglacial, comprise the vertical walls surrounding Brandywine Falls.[3] These are part of the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, a northwest-southeast chain of volcanoes and related lavas that form the northern end of the Cascade Volcanic Arc. The lava flowed over deposits of glacial till, silt, and gravel then cooled creating a hard weather resistant top cap over loose unconsolidated material easily weathered. The perfect conditions for a water fall creation. 10,000 years later the Fraser ice receded from Cheakamus Valley releasing melt water and creating the Brandywine creek. This worked its way downstream and started to erode the looser material and undercut the hard basalt top layer, creating the falls.

Recent History

The name Brandywine is believed to have come from a wager between two surveyors (Jack Nelson and Bob Mollison) for the Howe Sound and Northern Railway over the height of the Falls. The correct guess winning a bottle of brandy(wine). The height was measured with a chain and it was Mollison who won the bottle of brandy and Nelson then named the falls Brandywine.

Another explanation of the naming of the falls comes from around the 1890s when Charles Chandler and George Mitchell passed out there after drinking too much Brandywine in their tea.

Around the early 1900s Brandywine Falls used to have a train station and many log cabins adjacent to the falls. Some cabins can still be seen in a dilapidated state by the side of the trail. As part of the Highway 99 improvements for the Whistler/Vancouver Olympics the area was subject to many day use improvements which replaced overnight camping with parking and picnic tables.

Facilities

There is free parking for cars, motorbikes, RV's and buses. The park has four outhouses and eight picnic tables located in the car park. Brandywine Falls Park has no running water, no RV sani disposal or electricity. Camping and overnight parking is prohibited and the gates are closed every day at dusk and opened at dawn.

Trails

A 15 minute walk from the car park on easy gravel trails takes you to a platform built on the cliff line offering spectacular views of the falls. Further down the trail (another 2 minutes) are two other views, one of the falls from a different angle and a view of Daisy lake and Black Tusk.

There are a few trails leading away from Brandywine falls. The "Sea to Sky trail" runs through the car park towards the falls and leads to the Bungee Bridge and then down the access road to Calcheak camp ground. It is a trail suitable for biking and hiking. The "Swim lake trail" a 1 km hike over basalt rock fall is accessed from the main Brandywine falls trail, includes an "unmarked Calcheak Suspension bridge trail" 4.5 km (both not suitable for bikes) The " Northbound Calcheak suspension bridge trail" 3.5 km that goes to Mcguire and then on to the Calcheak suspension bridge.(suitable for bikes).

Map Brandy Wine Falls Trails Map

Flora and Fauna"

Pikas, black bears, and coyotes are common and seen often. Therefore dogs must be kept on leash. Also the rare red toed frog can be found at swim lake.

References