The Selkirks are located in
the heart of the Columbia Mountains, surrounded
by the Purcells to the east, the Monashees to
the west and the Cariboos to the north. The
rock here is some of the oldest on the planet,
formed as much as 800 million years ago, much
older than the predominantly sedimentary faces
exposed in the Rocky Mountains to the east.
It is a complex geological mix of metamorphic,
sedimentary and igneous rock, characterized
by towering, sharply angled peaks and narrow,
This landscape is the result
of alpine glacial erosion and stream erosion.
Most of the Selkirk peaks are composed of very
hard rock: quartzite, schist, marble, gneiss
and granite. They erode slowly, breaking along
fault lines of softer sedimentary rock. The
resulting features such as horns, aretes, ridges,
cirques and hanging valleys retain their sharp
edges despite their age. Where water is the
erosional force, it cuts deep valleys rather
than the broad u-shaped riverbeds of more meandering
The distinct features of the
Selkirks are particularly evident when compared
to the more rounded profiles of the Purcell
Range on the other side of the Beaver Valley.
These more subdued mountains support vast alpine
meadows, which can be accessed via the Beaver
River and Copperstain Creek Trails.