Monashee lake is a beautiful alpine lake nestled in the Monashees just past Cherryville. This hike takes you into the heart of an area known as The Pinnacles.
To reach this alpine paradise drive east of Cherryville and follow South Forks FSR off of Hwy 6. Watch out for signs posted that will direct you to the trail head. From the trail head you will hike through a cedar forest, into an alder jungle and eventually up into the alpine. In some areas the trail is difficult to follow because the area is constantly changing from rockfall and spring run-off, watching for ribbons that mark the trail should make things easier. From Monashee lake in the later summer you can hike up to a peak between the three tallest mountains in the Pinnacles (Mt Severide, Pinnacle Peak and Pinnacle E4). From this smaller peak the view is certainly beautiful. There are two possible routes to the peak, one is easier, and one takes you on a scenic walk along a steep ridge. Just below the peak on the other side there is even a small grassy area that could be camped at, although the area must be respected because this is a delicate alpine.
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For those of you going to Sugar Lake at the end of June to enjoy some camping, here are a few details that I have found; first and most important – the Kokanee Lodge and Resort is completely closed for 2008 but the good news is that they will be open in 2009. This news means that for those less hardy campers – there will be no campground on Sugar Lake with running water – aside from the water running in the creeks!
So besides the resort, the other options for camping on Sugar Lake are 5 British Columbia Forest Service Recreation Sites. The sites range from a few campsites up to 40 campsites so there should be ample room for all. Other reasons why we should camp at Sugar Lake are – BIG FISH and some very nice waterfalls to check out as well as a very cool looking BC Hike based on the topography map of the area. The hiking trail is called Sugar Mountain Trail and looks to be a complete of hiking.
Rainbow Falls can be found when you from Lumby for 22 km east on Hwy 6 and turn left onto Sugar Lake Rd. Afterl an additional 24 km you will reach Sugar Lake and you then cross the bridge and drive an additional 22 km further on the gravel road. Turn right at 22 km onto Spectrum Creek Road where signs are visible pointing to Monashee Provincial Park. After driving another 3 km towards Monashee Provincial Park, you will see the turn-off to the Rainbow Falls on your left. Travel ½ km to the Rainbow Falls parking lot where you will see the trailhead leading to the falls. The trail down to the falls is approximately a 5 to 10 minute walk and in excellent condition, but watch your step, as there may be some slippery sections along the way.
Brenda Falls is located on the way to Rainbow Falls. Follow the same directions to Rainbow Falls and when you cross the bridge at Sugar Lake, drive 200 metres and turn left on Rieter Creek Rd. Follow the road for about ½ km to a parking lot. You may view the falls from the parking lot or choose to access a viewing area below the falls. The trail located through the trees on the lower part of the falls is short and quite steep.
Along with the cool water falls and great potential for catching some nice sized fish, it will also be fun to check out the islands in Sugar Lake – some of the teenagers may want to set up their own bivouac on the islands.
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