Esperon Lake Recreation Site and Free Camping on Crown Land

Esperon Lake Recreation Site and Free Camping on Crown Land

Sad update to Esperon Lake. TracksAndTrails.ca won’t be publishing any information about any backcountry cabins that I find in my travels.

This is a note from a local Recreation Officer; Hi Clayton and thanks considering dropping or changing Esperon Lake info – Last year 2 people in 2 trucks got the info from your web site and decided it was a 2 wheel drive road right to the cabin and after a couple of days being stuck they brought in a machine to pull them out and knocked the life out of the road prompting me to install  a gate – later this summer. These guys should have known better but they didn’t. The cabin has be vandalised and we have experience theft so will be installing a heavy locked door then make the cabin use by reservation only. The Lake is a community watershed reservoir and we do not want to promote camping at the main parking lot (also the head gate location) as there is no outhouse nor do we regularly maintain the area.  I can see eventually we will be in a position to welcome guests Clayton but not now so please consider changing or dropping – thanks

 

Esperon Lake is East of Big Horn Reservoir near Fintry and easily accessed via Bear Main FSR and then by taking Esperon Forest Service Road just past Big Horn Reservoir where you take a small unmarked (unmarked as of June 2012) forest service road east for approx 5km where it deadends at Esperon Lake.

 

 

 

Two John Lake Free Camping – North East of Big White off the 201 FSR.

Two John Lake Free Camping – North East of Big White off the 201 FSR.

East of Kelowna on Highway 33, Big White Road will take you to Big White Ski Resort but for real outdoor recreation you need to head North East on the 201 Forest Service Road just a few km up the Big White Road. Graystokes protected area and official snowmobile trails can be accessed from the 201 the area is also known as the West Kettle. The West Kettle encompasses many streams and two lakes, Derickson Lake and Two Johns Lake. My friend Ray Derickson is the registered owner of the age old trapline that is on the West Kettle and this track is one of several that document some of the country on the trapline. You can follow the track and find numerous crown land camping locations for some free camping. For an awesome camping experience plan for a backcountry stay and be prepared to fend of grizzlies, elk, moose, cougar and squirrels.
The track above ends just before we got to Two Johns Lake because I lost a satellite connection for my BlackBerry. Interesting to note that when I was at the lake and took the picture of the cabin, the latitude and longitude were noted and uploaded though! That is cool as the location of the cabin picture on the track is exactly where it is. The cabin wouldn´t give much shelter but in a pinch, one could use the supplies there to “hole up” if he/she was hurt or lost.When we hiked to Two Johns lake, we stayed on the high side as the lower section had a lot of water. Typical though, we went a little too high and had to double back through brush. Nice hike none the less. Coming back, you can see in satellite view that we took the cut block back – found the beginning of the block and stayed to the bottom of it until we were back at the parking lot.

Wow - the matches still work!

Two John Lake

The side road we took was Derickson Logging Road. As I look on the map, I see that if we parked and stayed to the high ground, with a gps waypoint of Derickson Lake, we could have a little hike right to Derickson Lake.

Also, on the drive to Two Johns, there was a road that went to the south east – I am thinking that road will take us near Big White, we will try to explore that area next time. A look on this map in satellite view will help determine the way for the next exploration trip to Big White and Derickson Lake.


View Two John Lake on the West Kettle in a larger map

Idaho Peak Lookout

Idaho Peak Lookout

The Idaho Peak Forest Service Road sign shown below says:

12 km of steep narrow road to parking lots
limited pullouts for vehicles to pass
no motor homes or trailers allowed
1.4 km of hiking trails from parking lots to peaks
No water at Idaho Peak
Sandon to Idaho Peak and return – allow 4 hours
Drive Slowly and Carefully

Idaho Peak Lookout Trail Head in Sandon BC

Idaho Peak Lookout Trail Head in Sandon BC

To get there, go to Sandon near New Denver and look for the sign in the heart of Sandon and follow the road up the hill. Best to go in August (or at least check with someone in the area for snow levels) as when I was there in July there was still snow at the top and I was not prepared for the snow.

Here is  great comment emailed to me by Greg,

I LOVE THE KOOTENAY VALLEY! We were in Kaslo a few months ago. There was a black bear in someone’s front lawn eating apples. The locals said be careful and to walk in the middle of the road! That’s it! Walking an extra 5 feet away will save my life! Obviously, they’re used to living with bears.

Since you’re going to be in the Kootenay region, consider going to Sandon on just off of 31A. It’s a ghost town with some preserved buildings and a museum. The highlight for me was DRIVING up Idaho Peak, just outside of town. You drive up 95% of this mountain, on a rough road with steep drop-offs. At the top there’s a short walk to the peak where you look down on New Denver & the Slocan Valley. Beautiful.

You’ll have no problem doing the drive in a truck. I was in a small station wagon and had no problems inching along at 5 kms per hour! Hopefully the weather will be clear for you. I was going to write about this drive/hike onhttps://www.tracksandtrails.ca, but you may beat me to it!

Crawford Trail Wilderness Campsite on Bellevue Creek near the KVR Trestle.

Crawford Trail Wilderness Campsite on Bellevue Creek near the KVR Trestle.

16 years ago I heard of a quality built camp that was created by a youth group somewhere just North of Bellevue Creek Trestle. Today my son and I finally found the camp after embarking on a successful exploratory mission.

The camp was built in 1990 by two Environment Youth Corps crews over the course of 4 months.  I will research the people listed on the map and hopefully get their comments below!  To get to this camp, take the logging road that leads off of the KVR on the North side of the Bellevue Creek Trestle on the KVR which is approx 4 km  north of Gillard Road on the KVR.

Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park map (please read map and cautions listed on it)

Here are other ways to get to the Little White Mountain  Summit

Little White Repeater Upgrade Hike

Crawford Trail Wilderness Campsite-map - click for larger image.

Crawford Trail Wilderness Campsite-map - click for larger image.

Taken right from the Scouters handbook, this bridge is built with the perfection of a craftmans touch.

Taken right from the Scouters handbook, this bridge is built with the perfection of a craftmans touch.

An incredible well built cold storage cellar remains with entrance crashed by windfall.

An incredible well built cold storage cellar remains with entrance crashed by windfall.

If you look close, you can see the hinge to the door that leads to the cold storage.  A little digging and removing of debris and it will be usable again.

A little digging and removing of debris and the cold storage will be usable again.

Some very useable firepits remain for the next backpackers who rebuild the camp.

Some very useable firepits remain for the next backpackers who rebuild the camp.

The Gazebo that covers the picknick table has been crashed by mother nature.

The Gazebo that covers the picknick table has been crashed by mother nature.

Of the six tent sites, one can be used with no brush removal

Of the six tent sites, one can be used with no brush removal

Another of the six tentsites needs a little clearing.

Another of the six tentsites needs a little clearing.

Actually, five of the six tent sites need to be cleared prior to being used by backpackers and campers.

Actually, five of the six tent sites need to be cleared prior to being used by backpackers and campers.

Moose and/or Deer like the area as is shown by this "Moose Rub" where Bucks and Bulls have been rubbing new antlers.

Moose and/or Deer like the area as is shown by this "Moose Rub" where Bucks and Bulls have been rubbing new antlers.

A small stream that feeds into Bellevue Creek above the Bellevue Creek Trestle makes a great water source but needs to be cleared of windfall.

A small stream that feeds into Bellevue Creek above the Bellevue Creek Trestle makes a great water source but needs to be cleared of windfall.

With a little housework the outhouse seems to be usable!

Open Door Policy.

Open Door Policy.

Moose or Deer Rub on the backpacking trail to Little White Summit.

Moose or Deer Rub on the backpacking trail to Little White Summit.

You will have to join the next expedition to Little White Summit to see how many more "moose Rubs" we can find.

You will have to join the next expedition to Little White Summit to see how many more "moose Rubs" we can find.