Your Favourite Hike or Backpacking Trip.

Is your favourite hike a short walk in the city park, a stroll in the regional park or a adventure multi-day backpacking trip?

Share your favourite hike, walk, backpacking thoughts in the comments below.

My favourite local hike is on the Mt. Hayman bluffs.  The Hayman point juts out over the Rose Valley Resevoir and gives you views that take your breath away. Literally!

Yellowjacket Creek Camping

At Yellowjacket Creek you will enjoy 10 Campsites and be able to get there with Road (Motorhome)

Facilities:Tables, Toilets

Site Description:10 unit campsite on edge of Kinbasket Reservoir

Driving Directions:Valemount Area: take Canoe East FSR 19 km south (radio-controlled road)

Woss Lake Free Camping

At Woss Lake you will enjoy 24 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive.

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:

Among the trees you can enjoy a large site with numerous campsites . Sandy beach, swimming and boat access will provide you a great opportunity to explore the rest of the lake .

Driving Directions:

From Port McNeill, travel southeast on Highway 19. Turn right at Woss and turn left at the logging camp office. Go across the bridge and travel another 1.5 km to the Woss Lake turnoff. The campsite is on the right.

Free Camping Map

 

World Reknown Okanagan Mountain Biking Trails!

Mountain bike trails seem to be everywhere I hike in the Okanagan.  I like to mountian bike but I would never take these crazy jumps and ramps that seem to be built in many hiking areas.  I admire the passion that mountain bikers have for the sport.  It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish what has been done in the Okanagan.

I was emailed this mountain biking question recently;

Q) I am interested in visiting Kelowna for the long weekend and doing some mtn biking. I really liked your website and found it very informative. What are the best maps for the area? What are the primo areas? Is it possible to ride around Okanagan Mountain Park in a day?
Any advice you can give me regarding mtn biking in Kelowna would be appreciated.

A) Thanks for visiting Tracks And Trails and emailing your question.  Being that I am not crazy enough to take the extreme single tracks and crazy ramps and jumps that are out there, I have put together a Mountain Biking Resource for the Okanagan that you can view via this link. It includes where to get trail map info as well as fourums to get up to date mtn biking  intel.

My thoughts on Primo areas are;  (Okanagan Park does not have the jumps built)

1) Gillard Forest Service Road.  Dude you just gotta be there.  This place is alive bikes! (motor and non)

2) Powers Creek! Holy Smokes – you aint seen nothing till you been here.  I think I noticed a forum (on PinkBike) that said there was a world class competition here at some point.

3) Glenmore Hills has lots to offer.  Enter the hills at many points from Clifton to the Dog park just past the Kelowna Land Fill on Glenmore Road.

4) Okanagan Mountain Park could probably be seen in a day by ….maybe Phil, or someone else who bikes 400 km just for kicks so they can enjoy the feeling of thier lungs coming alive in agony and pain!

What you want to do here is enjoy the park.  Start with a ride through Wild Horse Canyon, camp at one of the backcountry campsites, continue way up to any one of the several lakes and then loop back to Kelowna by taking the Old CN Trail or exit to the KVR along Mountain Goat Trail (you will have to carry your bike some parts) and ride down to the Kettle Valley Trestles.  Please comment here when you are complete!  I would love to hear about it.

I would have mentioned the Crawford Trail area but I have heard that mountian bikes are not allowed anymore???  Anyone care to comment.

Woods Lake N. Free Camping

At Woods Lake N. Free Camping you will enjoy 16 Campsites and be able to access there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:

Two small sites of open and treed will give you a different experience. There is good fishing opportunity here, as well as good access. The last 3 hours into the lake are rough.

Driving Directions:

Follow Hwy 97 N onto Pinuis FSR, then Will Forest Service Road, then Ingram Forest Service Road onto Ingram/Wood Rd. A link to useful directions and highways in BC http://www.milebymile.com/main/Canada/British_Columbia/Canada_British_Columbia_road_map_travel_guides.html

 

 

 

 

Wonders await in Blue Hawk Mine (abandoned and dangerous)

 

A low elevation hike, bike or car ride that is fun and interesting as well as easy to get to when all of the hills are still covered in snow is Blue Hawk Mine on Blue Grouse Mountain.

Blue Hawk mine is located on the East slope of Blue Grouse Mountain on the West side of Okanagan Lake. The mine shaft is approximately 90 metres long. It’s now inactive, but at one time 5 metric tonnes of ore was mined yielding 560 grams of silver and 156 grams of gold.

If you want to check out the mine make sure you bring a good flashlight. You may also need some good waterproof shoes or boots. There’s normally quite a bit of water pooled at the entrance. The rest of the mine is relatively dry. The mine contains many undisturbed geological formations.

Here is a link to Blue Hawk details Wikipedia.  Directions are below.

If you geocache, you will find a cache there as well.

Blue Hawk Mine Directions;

From Westside Road take Bear Lake Main Road AKA Lambly Creek Road (Across the road from Traders Cover Park.)
Just past the timber yard, and the 7km marker turn right onto the road leading to the motocross lower pits. There are signs posted.
When you reach the parking lot turn right and go up the hill.
Keep on the same road the rest of the way but there is one turn that goes north to Terrace Mountain, it looks like a main road but don’t take it.

When you see the swamp on your right;

Continue for 0.9km past it and keep straight at the old cabin and continue for 0.5km into the clearcut area.

Keep straight at the intersection (there is now a small trail sign that says Blue Grouse and points at the road going to the top of Blue Grouse I presume.  Continue for 0.2km past the clearcut area

When you see a small road to the right that is quite steep, park and hike for a few meters,

the Blue Hawk mine is on your left going into the hillside.

Track from GPS:
Blue Hawk Mine GPS Track

Wolf Man - a bare foot hiker

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

I grew up on a farm in Niagara-on-the-lake and spent most of my time outdoors. My grandfather was a World War II vet and believed that young people needed to learn about the outdoors and how to survive.

What has been your favourite hiking trail or outdoor area?

I love the desolation of the mountains. I spent Halloween in the Adirondack Mountains near Mt. Marcy last year and it was spectacular. There is a certain awe that I feel in the presence of mountains that makes you feel very spiritual and close to nature.

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

I spent June and July of 2009 hiking the entire Bruce trail barefoot from Niagara to Tobermory. In Boyne Valley there is a place called Murphy’s Pinnacle. I arrived there late one evening and made the short trip to the summit. Although being only 500m tall, it was so beautiful and moving. I sat there and watched the sun set with my dog.

Have you ever been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

I have learned good directions and have never been lost for more than an hour or so in wilderness. It’s surprising how when you step off trail to camp or relax how quickly the trail disappears into the woods and is difficult to find. Always use landmarks or temporary marking tape to not get lost.

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

During my Bruce Trail Hike, I awoke to hear a noise outside my tent. I gently unzipped the tent to find a huge buck staring at me. He breathed out and I saw the mist from his nose. It was a mind blowingly beautiful reminder of the wild place I was visiting.

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors. Each year I spend most of my free time in the wilderness. I’ve hiked through Algonquin park, Killarney park, and Frontenac park as well as travelled through the United States and walked barefoot on the Salt Flats of Utah, and the floor of Death Valley. From all those trips I’ve learned how beautiful Canada and the United States really is. I also learned that shoes are not as necessary as people may belive if you are tough enough to handle it. I’ve also learned that if nothing goes wrong, it’s not an adventure

What is your favourite outdoor website?

backpacker.com

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

I always love military surplus stores, gears designed for our troops who are often called professional campers and of course Mountain Equipment Co-Op

If you are a website administrator please add your url here.

http://www.wolfmaan.com

Windy Lake Free Camping

At Windy Lake Free Camping you will enjoy 1 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Tables,Toilets

Site Description:A small, 3 unit parking lot with facilities. Lake access by trail (5 min walk)

Driving Directions:TFL 18–take Road 2 then turn left onto Road 10. Site is located along roadside.

Windsor Lake Free Camping

At Windsor Lake you will enjoy 2 Campsites and be able to get there with Boat-in (Non-Motorized)! Enjoy Camping, Canoeing, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Swimming opportunities.

Amenities:Boat Launch,Tables,Toilets,Wharfs

 

Site Description: is an an overnight stop on the Powell Forest Canoe Route in preparation for the portage to Goat Lake.

Driving Directions:Paddle on the Powell Forest Canoe Route

Windfall Lake Free Camping

At Windfall Lake you will enjoy 3 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Tables, Toilets

Site Description:A small high elevation recreation site on the Bonaparte plateau that provides access to Windfall Lake Camping.

Driving Directions:Access is off Westsyde road out of Kamloops and onto Jamieson Creek Road

Windfall demolishes Hardy Falls bridge along popular hiking trail.

Hardy Falls, a scenic but short hiking trail just South of Peachland, B.C., was hit hard by strong winds and one of several short trail bridges that allowed hikers to view the falls was demolished.

Image supplied via Kelowna Capital News.

This sad event has happened just a few weeks after the falls themselves took a turn as mother nature let a number of boulders tumble down the surrounding cliffs into the gorgeous pool at the foot of the falls.  More details of the slide can be found in the Kelowna Daily Courier news.

 

Hardy Falls South of Peachland, B.C.

Hardy Falls South of Peachland, B.C.

Follow this link for map directions.

Windfall Creek Free Camping

At Windfall Creek you will enjoy 2 Campsites and be able to get there with a two wheel drive

Facilities:Tables
Toilets

Site Description:The site offers camping and access to the Sukunka River

Driving Directions:From Chetwynd, head south on Hwy 29 towards Tumbler Ridge, drive 23 km to the Sukunka FSR. turn West on to the Sukunka FSr and Drive for 45 km to the Recreation Site

Go to Windfall Creek Free Camping Map

Wilma Lake - Aberdeen Plateau Survival Camp

On Saturday May 16 2009 3 or 4 teenagers and 3 preteens and I (Clayton) will head out to Wilma Lake on the Aberdeen Plateau.

We will have a short hike and then enjoy learning and using survival skills to build a fire,  shelter and if time permits, a raft!

View Hiking Trails and Camping at Wilma Lake –  BC, Canada in a larger map
On Sunday morning, after a fun night of campfire stories, we will break camp, remove any trace of our being there, and head out for a hike to check out Doreen Lake then take a scenic bushwacking hike back to our vehicles.

 

Have room for one more adult or teen in the second vehicle.  Leave a comment or send an email if your interested in coming along and practicing some survival skills.