Forbidden Plateau Road Association

Forbidden Plateau is an area rich in local history and folklore.  The name is derived from a local native legend.  Located on the lower slopes of Mount Becher, Forbidden Plateau is better known today as a year round recreation area for biking, hiking, climbing and fishing but, in the history of the Comox First Nations, the Plateau has a much darker side. Slavery amongst the coastal tribes was common at one time and, for the most part, this was carried out by enemies attacking in canoes from the sea. When the Comox where threatened in this way they would send their women and children up to the Plateau for safekeeping. But, on one occasion when they were under attack by the Cowichans, the women and children vanished without a trace and, since then, the Plateau has become taboo for it was believed that it was inhabited by evil spirits who had consumed those they had sent. Hence the name of the area became the Forbidden Plateau.

European settlement arrived in the late 1800’s and the Plateau has since been a recreation destination.  The first lodge was built on the plateau in the 1930’s and served as an access to the back country and to what is now Strathcona Provincial Park.   In 1949, ski lifts were installed and skiing operations began as Wood Mountain ski park.  In 1982 the original lodge burned to the ground and in 1999 a huge snow load collapsed the roof of the day lodge.  Since 1999, the lifts have not turned and what remains now are a few burned out buildings, the abandoned lift towers and some of the orange chairs of the main lift.

In 1946, the Plateau was the epicenter for the largest earthquake recorded in Canadian history, measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale.  There was not much damage in the immediate area, but it was recorded that nearly all of the chimneys in Cumberland crumbled on that day.