Lion’s Bay, British Columbia

British Columbia has a lot of young mountains, and a lot of rain. The combination (with the help of omnipresent gravity) results in significant landslides on a regular basis. In the fjords, the only relatively flat ground (and thus where settlements form) is built up by years of debris flows. Howe Sound has had debris flows along Alberta, Harvey, Charles, Turpin, Newman, Disbrow, Sclufield M- Creek, and Magnesia creeks. In 1981, a debris flow on M-Creek destroyed a bridge, and five cars drove into the ravine resulting in nine deaths.[ref name=”blais”]AndrĂ©e Blais-Stevens, Oldrich Hungr (2007). Landslide Hazards and their Mitigation along the Sea to Sky Corridor, British Columbia {4th Annual Canadian Hazards and Risk Network Symposium[/ref] In 1983, a debris flow from Alberta creek damaged the community of Lion’s Bay. To protect the community, a debris retention barrier was constructed on Harvey Creek. The barrier is designed to hold events of 60,000 cubic meters, far larger than the typical event size for the creek.

Access & Location

Location: 49.46, -123.23
Accessibe via exit Lion’s Bay on the Sea to Sky Highway, Crossing Creek Road. A short park hike ends at the base of the barrier.

This site is visited as part of the UBC EOS 114 Beauty and Disaster on the Sea to Sky Highway field trip. The field trip is open to all students in EOS 114 and 114DE, and usually takes other interested parties on a waitlist.


Earle, Steven. 2003. Debris Flow Defensive Structures at Howe Sound

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