Author Archives: Clayton Kessler

About Clayton Kessler
In addition to TracksAndTrails, I am proprietor of First Page Solutions, the home of Kelowna's Digital Marketing Agency. It is the base for my team and I to build secure websites with responsive mobile design and help entrepreneurs reach top Search Engine Rankings through SEO. I live in Kelowna, let me buy you a cup of coffee and show you what I do. Just send me a text that says, "lets beat the competition on Google" to 1 (250) 470 - 8704

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.

Willard Lake Free Camping

At Willard Lake you will enjoy  2 Campsites and be able to get there with a Motorhome

Facilities:Toilets

Site Description:The Recreation Site is located in open grass rangeland. There are no table or fire rings at this site. Only 2 toilets, located across the road.

Driving Directions:Going up the hill from Ashcroft (Hwy 97C), on one of the switchbacks is a sign for Barnes Lake. This is 8.7km from the bridge in Ashcroft. Turn north. Willard Lake is located 1 km from this turn off.

Wild Backpacker

The Wasatch Range, nor the Unita, La Salle, Bear River or Boulder Mountains could keep a wild backpacker from hiking an outdoor adventure. While loving all that Utah has to offer for an outdoorsman, Colton Gardner could not let the Utah Grand Canyon or any other barrier stop him from trekking around home in Utah and far away. He now features backpacking gear, food, exotic destinatinations and much more at his outdoor website, WildBackpacker.com. Following is an entertaining and educational interview with a Wild Backpacker; Colton Gardner.

*How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?
For as long as I can remember, my family was teaching me to enjoy the outdoors. We have explored all around the country with motorized vehicles and on foot. I’ve especially grown to love backpacking and hiking. I’ve been hiking all over, exploring my local mountain ranges near home in Utah and Colorado, and also traveling far to experience exotic places like the gorgeous coastal views of Kauai, the breathtaking waterfalls of Havasupai, or the luscious forests of Alaska. My parents taught me to enjoy, respect, and protect all that nature has for us. My purpose in starting Wild Backpacker has been to share my experience, to give backpackers tips that I’ve had to learn, report on hikes I’ve been on, and share recipes I’ve enjoyed.

*What has been your favorite outdoor recreational area?
My favorite outdoor recreational area… I would say a tie between Zion National Park in Utah or the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Both are magnificent in their own way. Zion National Park has handfuls of diverse hiking trails and breathtaking sights. Their trails range in difficulty from week-long backpacking trips through the Narrows to quick day hikes up Angels Landing. If you haven’t been able to experience the beauty of Zion National Park, I strongly encourage you to visit. My other favorite area is Kauai. As the “world’s wettest place,” the Hawaiian island is full of lush jungle and greenery. I love exploring the island – finding waterfalls, caves, and other hidden wonders. It is also home to my favorite backpacking trail, the Kalalau Trail!

*Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.
As I said, the Kalalau Trail in Kauai, Hawaii, is my all-time favorite trail. The Kalalau Trail is a 22-mile trek, not counting detours to the waterfalls, along the Na Pali Coast of Kauai. Pictures of the valley, beach, and cathedrals are very popular and even more spectacular in person. It is a rigorous hike, but the sights are well worth it. You hike right along the coast, seeing whales in the ocean and waterfalls in the valleys. We spent two days backpacking in to take our time and enjoy it, spending the night at the Hanakapai and Kalalau beaches. I can’t even explain how amazing it was to fall asleep to crashing waves and wake up and look out of your tent into the Pacific Ocean. From eating wild mangoes to meeting crazy natives to having giant killer cockroaches crawling through our backpacks and carrying our dinner away into the jungle, it was an experience I will never forget. If you would like more information about the Kalalau Trail, check out the trail guide on Wild Backpacker.

*Have you ever experienced a wilderness emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.
I have not had any medical emergencies myself, but I have encountered others who have. While hiking in the Zion Narrows, we came upon a group that was planning on making it a simple day hike, but ended up having to stay the night with us in our camp. They weren’t prepared for something like this, but we were. We had extra food and dry clothes for them. We lent them our tent and our 4-person group squeezed into one 3-person tent. It was tight quarters in there, but the other group was able to have a place to sleep that night. This is just one of the times that being extra prepared came in handy.

*Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?
I am a bit embarrassed about this story, but I will tell it anyway. My brother, then 18 years old, decided that he would take me, then 12 years old, one a night-time hike. Even from the beginning, everything that could go wrong went wrong. We forgot important items, I lost my map, and the batteries in our flashlight went out. Luckily, my brother was prepared and had extras. But while replacing them, all our batteries rolled down the trail and off the mountain side. So we continued our trek with one dim headlamp. While still hiking in the dark, my brother stopped me suddenly. He told me to be quiet. He whispered to me that there was a moose up ahead and that we need to wait for it to move. I asked why we couldn’t just scare it off and he explained that they can charge and be dangerous. Don’t ask me why we didn’t think about going around him or turning back, but we stood there in the middle of the trail for a good hour and a half waiting for the moose to move. By the time my brother finally was convinced that it had left, it was light enough we didn’t need our headlamp anymore. That was the longest hour and a half of my life. I specifically remember being so bored I taught myself the ABCs backwards in my head.

*What nuggets of wisdom have you learned from your multi-day backpacking trips?
Go light. The first principle in enjoying backpacking is a light pack. Even if you can’t achieve ‘ultralight’ all at once, just do what you can. Figure out what is the heaviest thing in your pack and determine if you can substitute it with a light solution. It may be that bulky heavy sleeping bag that goes first or dehydrating your food instead of packing MREs. Another common way to lighten up is to acquire a micro-sized stove and filter water instead of carrying large amounts.

*What is your favourite outdoor website?
Of course, I love my own website, www.wildbackpacker.com! It is a one-stop resource for any information a backpacker or hiker could need. But other than my own, I love the Backpacker Magazine’s website www.backpacker.com. You can spend countless hours exploring and learning with trip reports from around the world, backpacking how-to videos, and outdoor skill articles. The forum is also an amazing resource, as it has thousands of other backpackers from experienced outdoors-men to first-time hikers.

*What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?
Most of my online outdoor gear purchases are through REI and Wilderness Dining. REI, Recreational Equipment Incorporated, has any gear you want in any brand. They have very reasonable prices and fantastic customer service. Be sure to check them out. Wilderness Dining is where I buy most of my backpacking food and cookware. I discovered them in 2008 and have been addicted since. Have any questions to ask about their products or services? Feel free to call them – they are open to talk!

Why Food Storage? Top reasons for Food Storage below

Let’s face it. The thought of food storage is a bit daunting right? We know, we get it. With that being said, the reason it’s constantly discussed and we’re pushed to get it done is because of how truly important it is. More importantly the uncertainties we face are out of our control, yet we have complete control on how we prepare for it.

At Wise Foods, we’ve explored, experienced and truly innovated food storage. The purpose of food storage is to be ready for any situation. Beyond a simple 72 hour kit, we’ve complied thetop reasons to have food storage.

Natural Disasters

Unfortunately for some, you’re put into a situation because of a particular crisis. This could be anything from an earthquake, flood, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes — the list is never ending it feels like. It’s common for most of us to think, “that will never to happen to me”, but believe me it does. Luckily though, if you’ve prepared for such a tragic event you’ll be ready to face it.

Food Preparation

As you work to prepare your food storage plan, you’ll find that it teaches you about the fundamentals of food preparation. As you buy foods for your food storage you’ll notice certain foods have different shelf life, have certain types of preparation, etc. This makes you consider all types of things as you compile your food storage.

Emergency Prepardness


I can think of a handful of things we pay for on a monthly basis that are as important as food storage. We know they’ll pay off for us. We should all think about Food Storage the same way. Food storage is no different and will no doubt pay dividends when you and your family enter into a time of need or desperation.

Un-Employment

With the current economic crisis going up and down, a lot have been left without jobs. As a way to relieve some stress, food storage can bring happiness to you knowing your family can have food on the table.

Peace of Mind

With all of these points about proper food storage the key is to have peace of mind for you and your loved one. For us at Wise Foods, we take an innovative approach in providing ready-made food storage meals. We make your emergency food supply dependable, simple, and most importantly — affordable.

Whispering Spruce Campground near Golden BC

Whispering Spruce Campground near Golden BC is the place to make  your escape to spectacular beauty. With rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep grazing along the embankments as you near Golden and even in the grassy meadows of the campground, this is the camping location to begin an outdoor adventure.
Outdoor adventure near Whispering Spruce Campground

Outdoor adventure near Whispering Spruce Campground

Campground Amenities:

Laundry Facilities
Playground
Sani-Dump
Convenient Store
Internet Service
Sites with: Elctric, Water and Eletric, and Water, Electric & Sewer

Different types of charges at Whispering Spruce Campground.

Tent Site: $25.00
Tent Site (w/ 15 amp electric): $30.00
*Max 4 people
*Extra person $3.00

Different types of Campsites Available.

Campsites are all filled with trees and along side South Kicking Horse River.

Website: http://www.whisperingsprucecampground.com/

Address
1430 Golden View Road
Golden
BC
V0A-1H1

Phone Number
250-344-6680

 

What is the meaning to life? Let outdoor guru and innovator, Jeff Walker guide you…

I met Jeff on Twitter and was intrigued by his product that keeps your food stored safe from small animals when in the backcountry.  After speaking with him, I quickly learned that GrubPack is made for the outdoors by a real outdoorsman! His product is great and his stories and outdoor advice is even better. Enjoy your journey with Jeff Walker…

Q: How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

A: I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s.  As kids we played outdoors, not by our choice, but by the choice of our parents.  At some point in life, I just started to prefer the freedom of the outdoors over the stale indoors.  That preference stands today.  We road our bikes, played ball, fished, swam, roamed the neighborhood, climbed trees, packed lunches and took hikes.  All of this was done with zero adult supervision and no organized teams or uniforms!  We walked out the door in the morning and were often missing until supper time.  Sadly, parents today might be arrested for such child neglect.

Q: What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

A: People not familiar with Iowa think we all run through endless flat corn fields chasing hogs while we wear our straw hats.  In reality this area is perhaps one of America’s best kept secrets.  In our immediate area we kayak, canoe and boat on the Mississippi River and hike in the hilly forests of the upper Mississippi River valley bluffs. It’s beautiful all year ’round, but especially stunning in the fall months.

On a larger geographic scale, I’ve never met a National Park I haven’t liked.  We have visited, hiked and backpacked most every big name park west of the Mississippi, and a few to the East.  I do enjoy the West very much, with a special attraction to the Southwest.  No place on planet Earth can equal the Grand Canyon.

Jeff Walker and his son Tim Walker Near the End of a Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon Trek

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

A: Iowa is a state that feels the full force of all four seasons.  Boating and swimming the Mississippi offers relief from stuffy summer heat and humidity.  In the fall, hiking the river bluffs is a warm walk through endless brilliant colors.  In the dead of winter, when many may sit depressed indoors, we clear a spot of ice on the shallow river backwaters and enjoy playing hockey the way it’s meant to be played, under wide open skies!  When spring comes around, you smell the Earth again and it brings the promise of the beautiful wild flowers, freshly plowed fields, the sounds of lawn mowers and flocks of awakening mosquitoes.

Q: Some outdoor folks are very innovative. Please share your product story for the GrubPack.

A: It was built from necessity I guess.  Protecting backpacking food from wilderness animals is essential, but I can’t take credit for inventing the concept.  There was a well respected similar product available and I attempted to buy one for an upcoming Western backpacking trip.  After leaving unanswered phone messages and  emails with the company, I decided to do some checking around.  At the time, no one else was making a light-weight stainless steel mesh food bag to protect against small rodents, animals and birds.  I visited several on-line hiking and backpacking forums and found others were having problems placing and receiving orders too.

I’ve been self-employed for over 30 years, so I decided to start investigating what it would take to make and distribute such a product.  After much research into various materials and sewing procedures the GrubPack was born.  We added some very innovative improvements and options and started selling on-line. We’ve have since decided to keep our sales on-line only to avoid retail mark-ups.  This keeps the price of our quality GrubPack low.  I invite your readers to visit: www.grubpack.com

Q: Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

A: No medical emergencies, but I spend as much time lost as possible.  Being lost and getting yourself un-lost is a great confidence builder.  Being lost makes you feel so stupid.  Getting yourself back in one piece makes you feels like Isaac Newton.

Q: Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

A: I have a year-old yellow lab named Rabies.  (He’s the official mascot of GrubPack.com)  He hikes with me daily… or I guess I actually hike with him.  A few weeks ago I noticed him acting strange… jumping around in circles, moving in and out and yelping a weird tune I hadn’t heard before.  I made my way to him only to find he had his nose directly in the face of a coiled rattlesnake.  I’ve met up with rattlesnakes in various parts of the West and Midwest before, but never with a dog.  Staying behind him, I grabbed his collar and pulled him through thorns and thickets to make a wide detour around his new little friend.  I later learned that veterinarians charge upwards of $1500 for rattlesnake treatment.  That’s enough money for a very nice trip to the Grand Canyon!

RABIES Official Mascot of GrubPack

RABIES Official Mascot of GrubPack

Q: 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?

A: I’ve done numerous multi-day trips… Zion, Glacier Park, Grand Canyon, the Ozark Trail, Yosemite and others.  When you are clomping through a multi-day trek you sometimes wonder why the hell you’re doing it, but those thoughts vanish when you reach the end and immediately start planning the next trip in your head.  Many life lessons are learned on seemingly meaningless trails.  I feel sorry for people who just don’t get it.

Ryan and Tim Walker on Zion West Rim

Ryan and Tim Walker on Zion West Rim

Q: What is your favourite outdoor website?

A: I visit many hiking sites, forums and on-line gear stores.  I can’t say I have a single favorite, but I most enjoy the ones that focus on backpacking in the lightest manner possible.  It’s amazing how much “essential” stuff can be left at home.

Q: What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

A: www.GrubPack.com or course! (:    Actually,  I do enjoy walking through any retail outdoor gear store, but almost always buy on-line.  I have visited dozens and dozens of on-line stores and have bought from way too many of them.

Q: Any future journeys planned?

A: You bet.  I have plans for a 4-5 day backpack along the Tonto Trail (Grand Canyon) in 2010.  I’ll be the old guy hawking GrubPacks in the 110 degree heat.  I’d also like to get to the Colorado Rockies for a few days of wilderness gold panning next year.

Q: What is the meaning of life?

A: Life is short.  Every single day is a gift. Your family is your past, present and future.  Spend as much time with them as possible.  The great outdoors is the perfect place to share frivolous fun as well as your deepest thoughts.  You can find many answers to real-life problems in the time you spend exploring and enjoying quiet places together.  Oh, and if you’re searching for God… He’s out there searching for you too.

A few links worth posting:  www.grubpack.com and  www.twitter.com/GrubPack

Whale Lake Free Camping

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

Facilities:Boat Launch, Tables, Toilets

Site Description:Whale Lake is a small lake accessible by 2 wheel drive. The recreation site provides access to fish, camp and boat at Whale Lake.

Driving Directions:Southwest of 100 Mile House. Access via 1000 Road (Gustafsen South Forest Road).

Whale Lake Free Camping

Westside Regional District - Black Canyon - Follow up

This hiking post is a follow up to the previous post.  A Tracks And Trails visitor and I have been trying to determine the location of the Black Canyon Trail Head in the closed Black Canyon Regional Park on the Westside.

The first picture is where we parked on Tuesday.

These are the directions.

Location:

Frontage on Both Sides of Sandberg Drive

Directions:

From Westbank Town Ctr., north on Elliot Rd., right on Shetler Dr., left on Sandberg Drive.

The problem is that at Sandberg Road at the mailboxes you walk up the hill, then enter an open pit, with a paved road in front of you (which I think might be the Old Okangan highway). The Smith Creek Retreat and Camp is also located just up the hill from the mailboxes and down the road about 50 feet.

That is where the Smith Creek MBT starts, but there are no signs showing hte Black Canyon trail, and it is not clear where the trail starts.

I didn’t realize it was closed. Maybe that is why I could not find the trail for Black Canyon.

That is strange, as the sign at the Constable Memorial (Glen Canyon Park) shows the trail as being an active trail.

Well, thanks for trying.  Maybe a website visitor will be familiar with it and post new info. here.

Those instructions though will not take people to the trailhead as far as I could tell. As you walk straight up the hill and hit the road and then there are tons of trails that spread out (MBT) I believe.

Unless from the mailboxes, I missed it and the trailhead was before the paved road. ??…

Please post any info. you may have by using the comment link below.

Thanks!

Wells Gray Provincial Park Hiking Trails

I am planning for a 3 day kayaking trip in Wells Gray Provincial Park this coming weekend.  Just wanted to share some great hiking trail info about the area.

This site provides Wells Gray route information and is defined by the type of activity. Kayaking, Hiking, Camping etc.

This site is built by one of the park rangers and gives information about what you can enjoy on the way to Clearwater Lake.  It is called The Corridor Part 1 and the Corridor Part 2

Here is the Wells Gray Provincial Park website.

A map of the Clearwater Lake Area and Campground.

What’s a good short hike I can take (2 hours or less)?

Foot Lake

Placid Lake

Helmcken Rim Trail

Ray Farm-Alice Lake-Ray Mineral Spring

Bailey’s Chute-West Lake

Sticta Falls/Dragons Tongue

Osprey Falls Viewpoint

What’s a good medium hike I can take (1-3 hours)?

Placid Lake (Green Mountain) to Whitehorse bluffs

Pyramid Mountain –Majerus Falls

Clearwater Lake Lookout

What’s a good long hike I can take (3-8 hours)?

Battle Mountain

Flat Iron

Chain Meadows

Majerus Loop (bug spray please!)

Trails only for the very experienced and well equipped

The trail to be base of Helmcken Falls-steep and rocky

via corridor2.