Once again, my wife and I decided to play it safe and turn back prior to discovering our Canadian hiking destination. This time we were exploring Scenic Canyon Regional Park and beyond to find out how to get to Mission Creek Falls which are about 7 km past the 16km marker at the end of Mission Creek Greenway Stage 2 – along rough, ungroomed hiking / ATV / pasture trails . (I will be posting the directions to the falls at www.tracksandtrails.ca soon but if you need more info before then just leave a comment below.)
After crossing Mission Creek just up from KLO Creek:
And then crossing it again another 1 or 2 km up from KLO Creek;
We noticed a large black bear track on the trail. The trail was well used with motorbike and human tracks but the bear tracks were recent and over top of the older tracks. A few yards down the trail, the large tracks went off the trail but then we noticed small bear tracks and presumed them to be the cubs. We followed these tracks until we came to a fork in the trail. The tracks kept going down the way we wanted to go and the bears, if they were still close by would have been upwind of us – meaning they may not smell us. If I had a large group with me I may have decided to continue on but since there was just two and 1/2 of us along with a little bear spray, I decided that we should go back to Scenic Canyon and find the falls another day.
Here is a snapshot of where we were heading, another reason for retreating was that the trail led to a narrow part of the valley – putting us very close to the bears.
So remember to bring your Bear Spray with you. It can be obtained from most outdoor stores. Bear Bangers may also be a useful item to have in your backpack.
Directions for using Bear Spray (Capsicum);
Remove yellow plastic cable tie after purchase. Place forefinger through hole in handle with thumb on safety clip curl. With thumb, pull safety clip straight back and off. Depress black actuator tab for burst of spray. Aim at face and eyes of aggressive bears. Press Trigger using short bursts. To Disarm; Replace safety clip by pushing firmly with thumb until until audible ‘snap’ is heard. Check to see if safety is completely in place. No gap should be visible between actuator handle and safety clip. Canister empties in approximately in 7.2 seconds / 10 blasts.