The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) was established in 1984 to give national recognition to the important rivers of Canada. It is a co-operative program between the federal and provincial / territorial governments to conserve the features and heritage values of significant rivers. Each government participates on the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board to review nominations and oversee the system. For a river to be included in the system it must be of outstanding significance in one or more areas: human history, natural history, or recreational value. The river must also be managed to protect and enhance its heritage resources for the benefit and enjoyment of future Canadians.
The Kicking Horse flows through the Eastern and Western Main Ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, leaving the Yoho National Park downstream from Wapta Falls to tumble through the spectacular lower Kicking Horse River Canyon to its confluence with the Columbia River. The section of the river system designated a Canadian Heritage River consists of the 49 km headwaters section which lies within Yoho National Park, along with the 18.5 km Yoho River, the Kicking Horse’s primary upstream tributary.
The Kicking Horse courses through one of Canada’s outstanding natural heritage river environments, Yoho National Park. Its watershed contains features which offer evidence of the earth’s evolutionary history over a period of 600 million to 800 million years. Most notable of these features are:
- the Burgess Shale, a UNESCO world heritage site containing fossils of more than 140 species, dating back more than 500 million years
- many of the highest peaks in the Canadian Rocky Mountains’ Eastern and Western Main Ranges, 28 of which exceed 2900 meters in height
- ”U” shaped valleys and cirques representing long periods of glacial activity
- fluvial erosion features such as river terraces, gorges, hoodoos, alluvial fans, outwash plains and the natural bridge that is the subject of this earthcache
- the Wapta and Waputik icefields
To claim your find, you must e-mail a short note to the cache owner which contains all the following information:
- The text GC1WHDF Natural Bridge on the Kicking Horse River on the first line.
- The number of people in your group.
- Explain the geologic processes that created the natural bridge. You will find the necessary information on signs installed at the site.
- As proof of visit, what is the topic of the signs posted 120 meters, 333 degrees true from the posted coordinates?
Photos of you or your GPS with the natural bridge in the background would be most appreciated.
This earthcache was established with permission from Parks Canada and complies with their geocaching guidelines. In granting permission for this earthcache, Parks Canada conveyed that all geocachers must stay on the designated trails and that no items are to be removed or left at the site.
SOURCES: “CHRS – Kicking Horse River” on the internet at http://www.chrs.ca/Rivers/KickingHorse/KickingHorse-F_e.htm#2, on-site signage.