Visual Dairy #032 – Cardiff Mountain Ecological Reserve

VN #032: Cardiff Mountain Ecological Reserve
Posted June 30, 2024


Cardiff Mountain

An Ecological Reserve in the West Chilcotin

Ecological reserves protect special natural ecosystems, and support research and education. Generally, they are not intended for any outdoor recreation; however, this reserve is open to hiking and photography.

Cardiff Mountain

This reserve was established to protect its symmetrical, vertical columns of basalt, reputed to be the finest examples in British Columbia. So striking and distinct, they can be seen from some distance.

A wonderful example of line, texture, and colour

Lava that rose toward the heavens many millions of years ago

Having spent two years photographing basalt columns for the book Motherstone: British Columbia’s Volcanic Plateau, nowhere have I seen beautifully shaped intact columns such as these of Cardiff Mountain.

A study of composition based on tension and a sense of balance

An ancient map of the land

Each column consists of 20 or more blocks 30-40cm in depth, each having five to eight straight sides. Crustose lichens give the columns a magnificent orange tinge.

These basalt columns are painted with a deeper orange than anywhere else in central BC


In 2014 the Tsilhqot’in Nation was granted aboriginal title to this land.  BC Parks is currently working with Indigenous Peoples to better reflect the history and cultures of special places such as Cardiff Mountain.


All of us at Chris Harris Photography thank you for your subscriber support!

Check out my Portfolio’s
Visit Exhibitions
Subscribe to my Newsletters
Subscribe to Visual Narratives