About 6 months ago I bought a very used ’91 4runner. The main reason was to shuttle bikes up some of our favourite okanagn runs, but its become somewhat of an adventure mobile as well. It’s been exploring all over the okanagan. But this is not a toyota ad, its about some of the roads and spots we’ve been. and you can be there to, even without 4runner. but some kind of 4×4 is recommended.
Up to Greystokes
Greystokes Park was the maiden voyage. We barely made it into the park, the road to hilton cabin is not a road at all. the best we could do was to greystokes lake. We got a little lost on this trip, there are a lot of intersections and randon roads. We crossed a small creek and ended up camping in a snowy clearing. It was October, but there was a lot of snow up there. It’s a cool place, but there was more traffic than we expected.
Bear Creek Road is a well travelled road. Grouse mountain was on the way, so we stopped and checked out a sweet old mine. It got a little rough in spots, but nothing crazy. The road to the top of terrace was different. Again, no snow in the valley, but post-blizzard conditions in higher elevations. We needed winter tires, and even then, we had to park 1km from the summit and hike up. Harder to get lost, and some cool views. We ran into quite a few other people up there.
Dee Lake Route
Off highway 33 onto philpot rd. Keep heading north. Ideal Lake is a cool spot to check out, and the road there only got us stuck twice. It was around February, and there was lots of snow. The rec. site there was unaccessible, but we returned in April and we got there, but i was glad i had 4×4. The road north pretty much ended at ideal lake in February, but we could do the whole circuit in april. We went north and camped at specs lake, a small rec. site. Thats were we turned west and headed past dee lake and beaver lake. i hear thats a decent canoe route in summer. On the was down to winfield, we took echo lake FSR, it looked like it continued and was plowed towards oyama lake, but we wanted to get to the top of wrinkly face park. unfortunately, that road was not drivable, so we had a fire instead.
Take Goudie rd. north off highway 33. James lake is about 20km off. There is a very nice but small rec site there, and a small lake. The road was passable in 4×4 in January. I think the road continues to postil fsr, but we didnt have a snowmobile.
We drive this road a lot because there are some sweet bike trails here. Usually we don’t explore it too much, but we have driven around the mud pits and tried to continue up hill. The 4runner is not a mud pit truck, but they were cool to watch oter people play around it. The trails past the mud pits are just that, trails. We almost got in over our heads (not literally), but we pressed on. The bottom of the truck scraped on the decomissioned road bumps and trenches. We ended up back on postil fsr not much farther up from where we left it and the power steering was overheating from getting royally stuck.
This was a popular winter rec site we did as a loop. We started off bear creek fsr and kinda hung to the left at most major intersections. We finished joining hwy. 97 by glenrosa, by pwers creek and crystal mountain. I know this area a little from before, because powers creek is a popular biking destination for us. It was winter, but we saw a corolla up at the lake. The attempted trip down Jackpine lake fsr was different. we pulled out a humvee that some idiot driver had burried, but continued up the very very snow and sketchy road, until common sense told us to turn around, but we couldn’t. so we backed up for 4 or 5 km on what was barely a rd. it was February, and jackpine lake rd was just a snowmobile trail.
The rd was plowed all winter and There is some small collection of buildings, including a resort. a 2wd and good winter tires would get you up here most of the winter i think. There are a few good comping spots, and some xc-ski trails i will check out in the summer with my bike. also, the KVR goes right by the lake. Just stay on mcculloch rd and you’ll get there. the lake and rec site are not far from highway 33, which is another access point. we tented here in January in 2 feet of snow. It felt like wilderness then, but i think its probably pretty busy in the summer.
It should go without saying that a good map is necessary. A gps too. Backroads Mapbooks are the best, but you have to know how to use them properly, otherwise, they are a good firestarter and thats all. Bring shovels and some kind of winchy thing, and never travel alone. most of the roads have a VHF frequency used for resource trucks, and these can be good if you have the proper license, or even if you don’t.