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Backroads in the East and West Kootenay       

Kootenay Backroads 2013 - What is happening this season??

public forum -- share our road access comments.


Post Your Road Conditions Comment Here!
"Email me from this link"
What did you find out on the remote back roads!

There are a couple of BC Government websites that may also post road and trail information.

(These are not completely current, but they are a guideline to what is open or closed.)

The BC Sites and Trails website. You must know the trail name and it lists the entire province sites.



Here is the BC Government Rocky Mountain Forest District Road-Work Website.


The Summit Trail Makers Society - are a fabulous group that repairs and restores the local hiking trails.

2013 Road Forum
Date Road Name Description, Location, or GPS coordinates Other Details Sent From

Oct 4, 2013

Mause Creek Trial


Grizzly Eating another Grizzly Bear


There is a grizzly eating another grizzly 100 m from the Maus creek trail, down in the creek. Likely a hunter/poacher killed bear and opportunistic feeding, although it could be a male killing and eating a female who was trying to defend cubs, but the dead one is missing a head, and a missing head is a bit of a human thing. I once saw a grizzly feeding on a black bear, on a beach on Great Slave Lake, but that was from a float plane!

Not something you want to stumble upon - please let folks know.


Sept 30, 2013

Jumbo Creek Road


I went on Jumbo Pass & hut, 11 days ago. The access road in is OK but needs a high clearance vehicle. There is one creek crossing by ford, and my driver had to put the vehicle into 4WD.

JA (treasurer, STMS)

Sept 30, 2013

The BC Forest Service


The BC Forest Service has posted a bulletin in the local newpapers about the bridge replacements and continued road closures. Check their website for details.


Sept 29, 2013

Mause Creek Road


to Fisher Peak and Mause Creek and Tanglefoot Lake

Are they rumours or real. But I a have been told many times that the Mause Creek Road is drivable again and repaired. By who? Let me know if you know anything about the road.

Heard by someone that knows him, DK has been up the road. JS


Sept 29, 2013

Lower Bugaboo Falls

Lower Bugaboo Falls- P&D S went out on their own and cleared this trail. Talk about taking initiative!

sent by Summit Trail Makers

see link above


Entire season for the Work Party Summary: We've gone out 13 times to date, with the above 3, that brings the total to 16 times! 8 trails were worked on this year with a total of 65 man days volunteered by 30 different individuals!! Honorable mention to Bernie, Kars, Tracy and Brian W for going out between 5-9 times each!
A great year!


Thanks from all of us that use the trails ... JS


Sept 29, 2013

Welsh Lake road

Norbert has enough help for the Welsh lakes project. They will be clearing the final 2 Km of access road of alders. That will help preserve the paint jobs!

sent by Summit Trail Makers

see link above


Sept 29, 2013

Lake of the Hanging Glaciers Trail

Lake of the Hanging Glacier: Kars would like 4 volunteers to help remove the bridge for the year. Please email him directly if you can help with a work party Oct 17th or 18th, In case you are not aware, the STMS puts the bridge in over hell roaring creek every spring and removes it in the fall.

We try to put it in as early as feasible and remove it as late in the season as weather allows which makes for cold working conditions. Thanks to those who brave the elements for the rest of us!

sent by Summit Trail Makers

see link above


Sept 29, 2013

Brewer Creek Trail

hot off the presses........ appears that access to the Brewer Creek trail head by vehicle is now possible. Cheers, brian.


Brewer Lakes - some enterprising person or group shoveled off the debris avalanche from the road so you can now drive to the parking lot!


Thanks for that, whoever it was,

sent by Summit Trail Makers

see link above


Sept 29, 2013

Gibraltar Lookout

Gibraltar lookout: We worked hard for 2 days but aren't done yet. Doug has volunteered to lead another work party on Oct 2nd and needs a lot of help - 3 km left to go! Please contact him to lend a hand

sent by Summit Trail Makers

see link above


Aug 26, 2013

Brewer Creek Road

Brewer Lakes/Meadows. A recent side slope debris torrent has cut off the last 1.2 km of road to ALL motorized access.

Park at the km 24 bridge and walk the last 2 kms to the trail head.

Avoid the new logging road at +/- km 14 by keeping left.


Aug 26, 2013

Mitchell R - Aurora Ck FSR

Mitchell R – Aurora Ck FSR. The washed out bridge +/- 4 kms up Aurora Ck adds 2 kms one way hike/bike travel to the trailheads for Assiniboine Lake and Marvel Pass.



Aug 12, 2013

Bear Lake










.... and

Dipper Lake


We did the Bear Lake hike yesterday. Your description of a short, steep hike is very accurate. We were a slower group but still reached the lake in just over an hour.... (small cutthroat were rising everywhere) ..... The Wildhorse road was in good condition. The road up to the trailhead was quite rough (this last 5-6 kilometres took us at least half an hour) but we made it - barely - in our Subaru Outback.


The trailhead is a long drive from Kimberley - probably 1.75 hours but with this year's washouts there weren't many options. Thanks for your help.

... we also did the Dipper Lake hike in Kimberley Nature Park. We start from the waxing hut at the Nordic Center. Normally we can cross the lake by this time of year and get on the Horsebarn Valley trail to the old cabin.


The lake is still impassable so we had to divert up Shannon Trail. We love the view from the Bear Mountain lookout. I recommend you include this in your beginner/intermediate day hikes. It takes about 3.5 hours including a circuitous trip through the Nordic Trails.


Aug 12, 2013

Alki Creek Road to Pyramid Creek Trail


The boulder on Alki creek road has been removed by a backhoe thanks to Lisa Cox, and we have recently cut some brush off the sides off the road, mostly at the top end. The road is once again driveable by any high clearance vehicle. Also the deadfall on the lowest 1 1/2 hours of the Pyramid creek trail has been cleared.



Aug 6, 2013

Dewar Creek and alternatively road to Yurt


... "ventured up Dewar and of course around Patrick the road was 'gone'!! a fairly extensive washout there. decided to slog up to the Yurt instead. Hut is in great shape, But the road going up is very over-grown and barely passable by foot let alone anything else. "

..."There is another washout not very far below the Yurt. We saw evidence that people have been leaving the quads there.
The roads in general around the St. Mary's are extremely rough. I think I could cycle it faster!!"


July 30, 2013

Meachen Creeel Road


"I drove up to the 10km (2 km past the Meachen Falls trail) and it looks like you might be able to drive a pick-up around the slide, .... but I didn't try it."



July 30, 2013

Brewer Creek FSR and trail


Road and Trail in good shape.

Even the washout after the last bridge on the road from last summer has been repaired to drivabele degree.


July 26, 2013

Bear Lake on Wildhorse Creek FSR


We went up to Bear lake today - the creek crossings are the roughest I have seen them, but doable . We drove up in the truck so am in a similar vehicle this time. Just take your time of course.

Had lots of horseflies but bear lake is swimmable but a little nipply.


July 26, 2013

Thunderwater Lake and Forster Creek FSR


We did go to Thunderwater. There are two two-log bridge crossings just after the CMH lodge, easy to cross.

The road was fine all the way to the end.

The gushing stream coming out from Catamount Glacier is ... well ... gushing. You have to cross it in four places, four braids. It's okay to do if you bring water shoes or don't mind getting your feet wet.


July 26, 2013

Trans Canada Trail Across the Grey Creek Pass

The Gray Creek pass will be closed for repairs July 29-31 for repairs.


We now have a Trans Canada Trail Register at Gray Creek Store so please advise all who are walking or cycling the Gray Creek Pass, either east or west, that we need them to register. This will create a record to help the TCT establish this route as an official part of the Trail. Besides - those following the TCT are most interesting people.

The road will be closed Mon, Tues, & Wed of next week. It will be closed at 6 ½ km on the Gray Creek side.

Clive Webber of the TCT is planning a series of signs along the Pass - these will also help all travellers, as some begin to wonder if they are still on the right route.

Please go to for current info on pass conditions - thanks to Forest Service and travellers who keep the store updated.

Tom Lymbery
Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce


July 20, 2013

Bugaboos Road from Brisco.

Philips Creek (Baldy Lake)


Bugaboo Road is in good shape. But lots of Logging traffic Please carry a radio or drive following an industrial vehicle.


Philiphs Creek Road to Baldy Lake trailhead is in good shape.

Lots of Logging and Industrial Raod building traffic.

Baldy Lake trail in good shape.
During the week, there is active logging with trucks coming down Meff Gorrie Road (38-km-sign) and down Philipps Creek Road.



July 20, 2013

Alki Creek
(St Mary's Lake area)


Alki creek road has a huge boulder on it about 2 km up. It is possible to drive around the boulder but 4WD is strongly recommended. The trail to Alki pass is in good shape, all bridges are in, snow still at the pass, spring flowers abound.

The boulder is scheduled to be removed by heavy equipment but the timeline is uncertain due to high demands for road repairs.


July 8, 2013

Grey Creek Pass is Open


Grey Creek Pass Road is Open from Kimberley St, Mary's Lake Road to Kootenay Lake Grey Creek



July 6, 2013

Top of the World Prov Park Road (Lussier FSR) at 38 - km


Top of the World Rd

This is the worst of the washouts on the road to Top of the World - Lussier FSR. This you can drive through.


About 2 km past this about 1/3 of the road is also washed out, on the left side so stay right. You'd loose your car if you hit that one.

(click photo for larger image)


July 6, 2013

Lakit Lookout Road - Drivable but still a bad road.


Lakit Road. I just wanted to report the road was not damaged by the heavy rains. The road is open and basically the same as it was last summer.

PS -- Many vehicles drive up this road, (high clearanec and 4x4) but be aware that there is nowhere to turn around if you meet an oncoming vehicle until you are at the top parking lot. The road is steep with drop offs from the downhill side only for experienced backroad drivers.
(Janice Strong)


July 3, 2013

Fairy Creek – Mt Proctor Trail


Fairy Creek – Mt Proctor Trail

CLOSED until further notice due to bear encounter.

2 hikers were involved with a bear encounter this morning on the trail.
The hikers were taken to the Fernie hospital .

Conservation officers are in the area dealing with the injured sow grizzly.


July 1, 2013

Island Lake Trails - Open Fernie
Tamarack Trial
Lizard Lake


Tamarack Trail. I thought we might also be able to do a few km on the Mountain Lakes trail
but it was snowbound at the junction with Tamarack.

Lizard Lake (which was full of large frogs or maybe toads!) and then went up to the ridge for lunch. It was too hot to go further but I understand it's possible to hike the ridge in either direction and make a loop.


June 30, 2013

Hartley Lake Road - Open


Hartley Lake Road (Fernie) is open and in good condiiton for access to hikes Ghostrider Mountain and Three Sisters Mountain (although we did not drive past Ghostrider Trailhead).

Trail in good conditon to the lower viewpoint. Snow covered slopes to summit of Ghostrider.


June 25, 2013

2 Photos of Mause Creek Road

Both before the Fisher Peak trailhead.

Mause Cr Rd


Small slide just up from cedar grove (4km) but passable by quad now - photos Doug Hogg

Mause Cr Rd

Major washout just past the slide and maybe passable by quad in the future. Walked to Fisher parking lot and road is ok past this 200' section.

photo DH


June 25, 2013

Photo of Wildhorse Creek A high clearance narrow vehicle can get past this mess at 15.5 on the Wild-horse. Road ok to Bear Lake and 9 Basins (very rough) - photo DH rock on road


June 25, 2013

Every Day more closures There are too many new closeurs such as; bridges washed out or damaged, water on the road, road washouts, avalanches, mud slides and regular scheduled road work. Backcountry travel is not recommended. Check the link at the left for the daily updates.


June 24, 2013

Besides the known items on Southern Alberta Beaver Mines Lake campground was closed due to a washout when we drive by yesterday as well as the O'Hagen road across the river otherwise not too bad in that area. Machines were in site at the campground donor should be back open soon. I usually don't include Alberta places, but this one is a well known place for EK people.


June 24, 2013

Many More Washouts and Road Damage Summer Lake road washed out at 50km impassable.
Bull River washed out at 63km 200 feet of road gone impassable
Wildhorse 15.5km Big rock on road impassable
Mause Creek 4km big slide road impassable
Mitchell Creek Fsr at 32.5km road washed out road impassable
Whiteswan Fsr 32.5 km bridge approach washed out road impassable.
St. Marys Lake outlet bridge closed and blocked off due to high water and instability.
Kootenay FSR bridge 32km bridge approach washed out.
Elko on the River road 3km bridge approach is washed out

(This is nuts, and it keeps raining, ) And some of the highways are down to single lane and closed too. "Drive BC" website for highway info too.




Thanks to the BC Forest Service for keeping us informed.

June 23, 2013

St Mary's Lake Outlet Bridge

Farnham Creek road

The St. Marys Lake outlet bridge has been blocked on either ends with lock blocks due to the high water and the condition of the bridge. The bridge is going to be replaced this year between July 15tha and August 31st if not sooner.

Farnham Creek road to the glacier is washed out at about 3km(Montezuma slide)


June 21, 2013

Flooding wide spread

We do not recommend travel in the backcountry. Here are the roads of risk:
37 km Whiteriver FSR washout cannot be repaired until water levels recede
32 km Bull River FSR 2 feet of water on road, road posted as closed
138 km Elk River FSR debris slide on road, road closed at this location
23 km Horsethief, FSR both approaches to the bridge under water. Road closed at this location
27 km Horsethief FSR Bridge at risk as creek is near jumping banks
5 km Kootenay FSR water on road, road not safe for travel
35 Km Skookumchuck FSR wash out. Road closed at this location
10 km West Fork of the St Mary's Bridge approaches washed out, road closed at this location
20 km Findlay FSR, water on the stringers and lots of debris, bridge at risk, Canfor is monitoring
18 Km Lavington FSR, Approach washing out, bridge not safe

This is the best link for backcountry road conditions.
Information on other closures and updates will be posted:


June 17, 2013

Jumbo Creek FSR

The Jumbo Creek FSR is blocked by an avalanche about 8.5 km from the Jumbo Pass trail head as of Sunday June 16th, 2013.

From Lake Louise staff


June 16, 2013

early Break-Up many roads clear.



It has been an early melt year with freshet a month early which means that the roads have melted clear early (doesn't mean you can hike the trail, but you can drive to the trailhead).
The road to Bear Lake is open,
as is Lakit Lookout (lower parking lot),
Fisher Peak and the road is almost clear to Mause Creek
except for the last few hundred meters as there is snow on the road.
Meachen Creek is open,
Gray Creek Pass is still closed.
Horsethief Creek (Lake of the Hanging Glacier) is open.
Forster Creek is open. Bugaboo Creek is open.
Flathead is open.
White Boar is open.
Cross River is open.

Hikers and drivers, let me know what else you may find out there on the Kootenay Backroads. Thanks Janice


May 21 - 25, 2013

Wildhorse Cr FSR



Replacing the decking and the ballast walls on the 1st bridge on the Wildhorse Cr FSR at 19km. It starts today (May 19) and will run through to Saturday. We are replacing the wood with concrete.



May 19, 2013

Alki Creek FSR



Alki creek road has been cleared of a tree and some large boulders and although we were unable to move the largest one very far it is not difficult to drive around it. A high clearance vehicle is recommended for this road though 4X4 is not necessary.

The Alki creek trail has been cleared of deadfall as far as the bridges crossing Alki creek both to Murphy Creek route and to the upper end of Alki creek. Snow remains from here up.

The wood ticks are out as are the Calypso orchids.


2012 Road Forum

2011 Road Forum

2010 Road Forum

2009 Road Forum

2008 Road Forum

Also share your backcountry experiences of any kind with me! Save everyone the frustration of driving for hours on a backroad only to find the last bridge has been pulled or there is a huge impassible washout. Also tell us about the roads that are new, or rebuilt.

The East Kootenay stretches for 200 km north and south in the southeastern part of BC between the summits of the impressive Canadian Rockies and the height-of-land in the rugged Purcell Mountains. See Kootenay Maps

**** Janice Strong's Hiking Guide Book to the East Kootenay / Southeastern BC
Mountain Footsteps

**** See Also the Updates for Mountain Footsteps the Hiking Guide Book


Thanks to Summit Trail Builders in the Invermere area for their volunteer trail work.