Twin Falls Recreation Site, Smithers, BC

Twin Falls is the premier outdoor site to which Smithers visitors are taken, so it was an honour to be asked by Recreation Sites and Trails BC to prepare a new map for it.

The map is 22 x 30", and therefore at the extremely large scale of 1:1,375. Fortunately good quality aerial photography was available in the form of  the BC government's 2006 Natural Colour UTM 9 WMS service ( I displayed it at the bottom of the stack with -44 brightness and +47 saturation. It gives a nice sense of the depth of the site in its narrow canyon.

The contour lines were generated from a 0.75" DEM downloaded from the Geospatial Data Extraction site. They are a bit oversized (0.3 mm and 0.8 mm thick) and a purply-grey (#bfbecf) so that they show up nicely over this saturated image.

The Parking and Campground inset was constructed in Inkscape using SVG tree symbols from landscape architecture. I wanted to capture the heavy feeling of this wet forest where the sun rarely shines and cedar trees are side-by-side with giant spruces.

The site lies in a narrow canyon running roughly east–west, with walls rising up to 800 metres on either side, so getting a good GPS signal in here is more or less impossible. I walked around quite a few times, measured things by pacing them out, and took photographs so that I could re-construct details later. I was there in early November, shortly before snow closed the road in.

The maps features a north arrow/compass rose based on a twelve-pointed star. It sounds like it shouldn't work (compass roses are usually 16-pointed) but it's actually quite effective.

A second map was also prepared, at 1:3,500, to show the greater area and the complete route to the glacier.

The aerial photo shows the glacier extent in 2006, but I was able to obtain the actual present glacier extent from a Sentinel-2 image taken in September 2020.
It has retreated about 150 metres in those fourteen years.

Grey contours lines were not going to work over the glacier, so I digitized a mask for the ice-and-rock area, and clipped the contours against it. These contours are displayed in black.