At the confluence of Botanie Creek and the North Thompson River stands a great natural monument to the entrance of a beautiful valley. An ancient geological creation erupting from the Early Cretaceous period, it stands alone in stark contrast to its surroundings.
The Nlaka’pamux have been passing before this geological wonder for thousands of years, as it is this monolith that guards the remarkable Botanie Valley and all that it provides. A traditional healing and gathering place the valley is home to some of the rarest plants and flowers in the province. Rich with a diversity of flora, the Nlaka’pamux have gathered roots, berries and flowers from the valley since their people were created. The valley is also the source of a variety of herbs used in traditional healing which grow in abundance. In addition, the Botanie area is a geological wonder.
The area is probably the youngest deglaciation region in the province, with the great ice melt happening nearly ten thousand years ago. As the glaciers melted they carved through and created the plateaus, canyons, bench lands and rock formations, as we know them today. As the ice moved south and southeast in waves across the Interior Plateau it also moulded and sculpted the valleys. The mighty waters carved out magnificent canyons creating rivers large and small, depositing gravel and silt in abundance, as well as literally moving and depositing large boulders, called glacial erratics.
Botanie Creek flows over a bed of yellow sand and fine gravel, but flows over solid rock near the creek mouth where it meets the North Thompson River. The creek itself follows one of the many geological fault lines in the area. The geology of the creek and the Thompson in this region is generally of the Kingsvale Group, which includes many of the rock characteristics of intrusive igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Much of the rock is volcanic shale of red arkose, red conglomerate and grandiorite. There is also lots of limestone, with some known to have uranium bands deep within. The exposed colours of the steep walls and cliffs of the creek, river and surrounding hills vary from red, mauve, green, purple, brown, grey and white.
Looking beyond into the valley past the mighty monument there are drumlins. These formations are the result of the glacial drift depositing debris in the form of a mound or hillock. In the Botanie Valley these drumlins vary from 50-feet in height and 200-feet in length to as much as 100-feet high and 300-feet long. Most are covered with verdant vegetation.
The glacial ice created an amazing geography in the Botanie region and where the creek and the valley meet stands one of its greatest achievements. The magic of the glacial waters sculpting the rock and creating the great monolith that stands there is a wonder to behold at the gateway to one of the province’s most beautiful valleys.
As you look upon the massive rock at the entrance to the Botanie Valley, you can feel a protective life force emanating from the great monolith. And if you stand quietly you can hear the pulse of the rock gently beating, passing all that is great and remarkable in waves through the ground into the rich Botanie Valley. The great Botanie Rock, the Botanie Valley guardian, who knows all that passes before it in the heart of Gold Country.