Road Forum - Janice Strong

Volunteers that Help Restore or Build Our Trails

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

Thanks to these volunteer groups for their volunteer work on the trials.

Columbia Valley Trail Alliance

Summit Trail Builders in the Invermere area

Kimberley Trails Society

Fernie Trails Alliance

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.)

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

Click image for Road Photos from this year

Kootenay Back-Roads and Trails 2017 & 2016

What did you find out on the remote back roads!

See Road gallery images (below) submitted by users of this forum.

Several groups maintain trails in the East Kootenay See thier websites:
Summit Trail Markers Society - Invermere
Columbia Valley Greenways Trails Alliance
Kimberley Trails Society
Fernie Trails Alliance

East Kootenay Back Country is an active Facebook Public Group Get current road info and trail data.

2017 Road Forum
Date Road Name Description, Location, or GPS coordinates Other Details Sent From

Aug 28, 2017

Three Sisters Mountain in Fernie

The road was dry and drivable, still high clearance but 2WD. The bridge at the beginnig of the trail needs someone to spot where your wheels go as you cross it. The brdige is just 2 I-beams of steel so your tires have to go right onto the metal rails or your truck might slip off it. The Three Sisters trail to the summit is in excellent shape and it is super beautiful. AC

Aug 26, 2017

Road Access to Mortal and Pestle Lakes

The road to St. Mary Alpine Park for the Mortar and Pestle Lakes access has been ditched about 1 km up from Dewar Creek FSR. An ATV may still cross the ditich but even not drivable anymore for a high cealrance truck. It makes for a very much longer walk to the trailhead. As an alternative we tried going up Wesley Creek Trail instead, but that trail is so overgrown as to be almost not worth going. AC

Aug 23, 2017

Forsyth Creek to Connor Lake

The road into the rec site is good except for an exposed culvert nearer the rec site. Easy to cross with high clearance but could be a problem for a small car. Quarrie creek was an easy ford. Ankle deep. AP

Aug 20, 2017

Brewer Tarns and Chalice Creek

The road and trail to Brewer Creek is in great shape. The road is high clearance the last several kms from the final bridge but better than it has been Chalice Creek Road is smooth and cleared of alders. The lower hiking access bridge is wrapped in wire for good traction. The trail is in excellent shape. JS

Aug 20, 2017

Elk Lakes Park to Petain Basin

The Elk Lakes Prov Park is in great shape this year. Most of the trails have been rebuilt and the parks staff cut the trail access to Petain Basin. Petain Basin is a grueling steep access up an avalanche slope to an open limestone basin with a massive glacier fed waterfall roaring down the southern slope. BC Parks staff cut the avalanche debris to open the trail access better. Took us 2.5 hours to reach the basin from the Upper Elk Lake campground (Not the lower Elk Lake campground near the trailhead.) JS

Aug 16, 2017

Bugaboo Pass Trail and access

We really enjoyed our hike up to Bugaboo Pass – the drive in was very easy with just a short walk on the decommissioned road to the trailhead. Trail was fairly clear all the way in – ribboned nicely until you got to the large open area and then had to find your way up the old mining road which was very overgrown in places but quite obvious still as to where you were going. Bugs weren’t too bad either – not like Silver basin.

The 1st creek crossing has a double log bridge now so very safe. It took us about 2 hrs 15to get to the pass – we really liked it although it was very hot.

the other trails we have been on this year that have very easy road access:

Templeton Lake, Buster and Azure Lakes, and Silver Basin

PS... Looking forward to your new book (spring 2018 JS)

Aug 18, 2017

Templeton Lake Trail and access

We did the hike up to Templeton Lake on August 5. The road is still narrow, but in great shape. Low clearance would be fine, and trees were cleared last year. J

Aug 10, 2017

The slide on Meachen Creek Road

As mentioned earlier, the avalanche debris block the Meachen Creek Road at 20 km (not 19km as mentioned) People have worked to clear some debris from an slide before the big slide, but it appears they have given up. See some photos of the slide on Facebook The huge slide still is packed with snow and trees and DB estimates it is about 3 metres high and about 100 or so metres across. You can not drive the remaining 10 km to Hour Glass Lake Trailhead. DB

Aug 8, 2017

Sunken Creek Trail and access

The access road to the Sunken Creek Trail is no longer suitable for a sturdy car. Deep muddy ruts and the cattleguard crossing has about a 40 cm drop on one edge of it. The trail is used by ATV and the apparent main trail goes straight up to a mine site.

But for the hike remember to turn a sharp right turn and follow.

The creek is flowing very high and the second bridge has lost is safety handrail. It will be a frightening crossing until the water flow lessens. All that water might be melting into undergorund springs from the Dibble Glacier at the headwaters. ML

July 31, 2017

Middle Fork of th White River east of Whiteswan Lake

A lightening strike fire forced fire crews to close the road about the 45 km mark. e-Know

July 25, 2017

West Fork St. Mary Road
Meachen Creek Road
Perry Creek Road

St Mary West fork has a 25foot high slide across road at about 5km

Meachen Creek looks like 2 bridge closings by government and a slide across at about 19km

Perry Creek at about 28 km a bridge closure by goverment.


July 28, 2017

Wildhorse Creek Road

We were up Wildhorse Today and we met the grader. They removed the big rock at Km 19 (approx)and bladed it from 14 to 21 km. Still need good tires, as there are very little fines to smooth out the road. The machinery was not up toward Bear Lake GW

July 25, 2017

East Kootenay Back Country on Facebook

There is a Facebook Group where members share road and trail information. It is a good resource to check out East Kootenay Back Country JS

July 25, 2017

Lake of the Hanging Glacier

our Government website is still locked so I can't do road updates on there. Just to let you know that the road to Height of the Rockies up the Middle Fork of the White River at 60km will be closed for the next 3 weeks while we replace two bridges. BC Forest Service LP

July 23, 2017

St Mary River Road

St Mary River Road past the lake is graded and they are logging out of Dewar Creek. Went for drive and went up the West fork of St Mary. About 5km on the West Fork Road a slide is blocking the road. This slide is about 25 feet high. Logging out from Dewar Creek, Use road radios to keep in touch with the industrial traffic. FS

July 10, 2017

Lakit Road

The Lakit Road is ... Terrible, terrible, terrible; definitely need a high clearance 4x4 along with some careful driving. I suspect it won't be passable in a few years except for ATV, unless some work is done on it. Huge rocks/boulders stick out as the softer soil plus smaller rocks around them have eroded away. We were most fortunate in that we didn't meet a single vehicle either way as "passing lanes" are few. Take an ATV the road is awful. FS

July 4, 2017

Baldy Lake Phillips Creek Road south of Elko

Re-visit Baldy Lake in the next couple weeks, the bear grass are going to be amazing this year. The plants on the south facing slopes and up high are already in bloom, those lower down and on different aspects need another week to be in full bloom. Those plants around the lake are all in bud but also need a week or so to bloom. Other wildflowers are also going to be amazing. The road is a good 2 wheel drive road for most vehicles. Phillips Creek Road. LG

July 8, 2017

Spineback at Island Lake Lodge, Fernie

Fabulous hike with glacier lilies and some snow along the trail. Island Lade Lodge staff are so welcoming. Stop by for a beer or a meal after your hike. Road is a good 2 wheel drive road for most vehicles. JS

June 29, 2017

Mause Creek to the Tarns

On Thursday June 29, 2017, Bill and I walked up the Mause Creek -- Victor Mine road, not quite to the Tarns. Mause creek was high with snow runoff. The first crossing by the Trailhead/parking lot was easy over the remains of the old footbridge.
The old mining road is a mess with lots of fallen logs (aspen, larch, balsam) due to the windstorm a few years ago, but a path has been cleared. Not much snow at first, just a few patches along the shaded banks here and there, with water running down the road. We didn't see any bears--but there was some occasional black bear scat lower down by the Fisher Peak trailhead. The middle ford crossing was too deep still. We had to go upstream along the bank another 50 feet, to a couple of fallen logs bridging the creek. We delimbed them and crossed there. The top ford near the collapsed tramline shed was a foot deep too. But we got a plank from the old building and managed to bridge the gushing water (photo). Except to get the plank we had to first cross over to the old Victor Mine camp. Again, there was a fallen log bridge about 100 feet upstream, which allowed us to get to the collapsed building and dig in the snow for a plank. It was a bit shaky, so we wrestled this log against it for a brace. The sign for the Sunken Cr trail is nailed to a fallen tree not far away up the road on the right.
Those old mine tunnels were active around 1920, to get at gold, silver, lead and zinc in a steep quartz/galena/pyrite/chalcopyrite mineralized vein, with traces of copper and cadmium as well. We walked up the tailings to the mine tunnel, but it was still plugged with snow, with rusty railroad rails sticking out.
Small tracks in the snow showed a packrat getting inside from along the cliff above. The snow is packed hard, and we had fun boot-skiiing back down in style. Take mosquito repellent.

June 1 and July 10, 2017

Wildhorse Creek Road

Overall the Wildhorse road is in pretty good shape, some washboard at the cemetery hill as usual. Smooth once past. *** This is a concern for drivers as it is narrow with a steep dropoff down to the creek. (JS) *** A two foot high boulder is blocking a third of the road at about 19km, after the East Fork, around Tackle Creek. We squeezed by, with a dropoff to the Wildhorse River on one side, and a steep rocky bank on the other. The photo shows Pete's truck dragging another rock off to the side with a chain. Bear Creek is high and a foot deep running across the road at 21km, just past the Bear Lake turnoff. Fordable, but watch for a log under there on the right side. RN

May 18, 2017

Alkli Creek Road and Trail

The Alki creek access road is dry, cleared of boulders, and good to the trail head for any high clearance vehicle. The trail has been cleared of dead fall as far as the old camp where the Murphy and Alki creek trails divide. Significant snow remains from this point on. AA

May 4, 2017

Bull River and Wildhorse Creeks

No road info. Just a quick hike up the Dewdney trail beside the Wildhorse Creek, along the top ridge bluffs. The top creek is running, no ticks seen. And a check of the Alberferdy Dam up Bull R. The river is gushing. I notice BC Hydro has "Danger Strong Currents, no trespassing" signs now on the trail just to the left past the Casselman Bailey bridge. I'm eager to check the Ramcreek Hotsprings. Last year Peter and I took shovels and dug parts of both pools from 8 inches deep to 2 feet deep. (That's the fine gravel and rock that came down in the big mudslide.) Somebody left a shovel there as well. RN

**** 2017 ABOVE THIS LINE ****

July 4, 2016

Spillimacheen FSR
beyond the McMurdo Creek turnoff.

I went up the Spilli to km 55.7 and it is nice and wide and flat and good for 2WD all the way. My problem was that there was the sign (attached photo) See this year's road photos. on the main Spilli road (so the right hand side) right after the turn off to McMurdo Creek. I don't remember any trip report from Caribou Pass or Bald Mountain mentioning that. We accidentally passed it going in on Canada day so intent was I on figuring out where we needed to turn off. On the way out we stopped to read it and realized it probably meant business.

Did they had close off the rest of the road to public access? Readers let us know -- What do you think?

We went on the 55.7 turn off onto the Baird FSR. This was wide (not as wide as the Spilli, but wide for a logging road) for the first ~3km and it was obvious they were actively logging. They had (probably recently) made two off shoots to the left called Spur 1 and Spur 2. Between them there were logs pilled up. The road was rough and eaten up by logging trucks driving it when wet but otherwise good.

Then the road went back to what it must have been like before: narrow and bumpy with some holes full of water. Shrubs scratched the car but it was easy enough in my Mazda CX5. So high clearance AWD, but nothing heavy duty. We drove all the way past the lodge parking to the end of the road and the large lot there. We then did Bald Mountain and Copperstain hikes. I'd picked this weekend before the lodge opened so as not to have to deal with any lodge guests (they wouldn't be bothered by me, nor I them).
On Sunday we woke up super early, a bit scared the rain was making the road worse, but more scared about the logging trucks. Vaguely remembering the sign and wondering if we had made a huge mistake going in there. We got up at 4:50am and packed up camp. Getting back to the trailhead at 8am. We were out of the danger zone at McMurdo Creek turn off in about 1/2 and hour. Didn't see any logging trucks that early. But they clearly had been in there on Saturday as the road was much flatter and easier to drive. I am sorry I went there if they meant it.

July 2, 2016

Alki Creek Trail
St. Mary Lake area.

3km of acess road is good for High Clearance vehilce. Trail to Alki Creek alpine in good shape. Lots of snow stillin the highest basin.

Murphy Creek completion of the loop is rough and care required to follow orange markers on trees. Lots of bugs on the Murphy side.


June 30, 2016

Lussier Road
Top of the World access road.

Minor washout may be driven over carefully with high clearnace SUV. But if you can not drive over it, it's a 4km walk to the trailhead of Top of the World Provinical Park.

See this year's road photos.

White Swan FSR and Lussier Roads are busy with industrial traffic.Use a logging frequency radio and drive aware.


June 20, 2016

Cliff Lake
Bull River FSR

Cliff Lake: Bull River FSR is in great shape to the turn off to Van Creek FSR, and the latter is also in good shape, except one part about 2/3rds to the trailhead where there was a small slide. It is passable with a 2WD, but high clearance is needed if you don't want to scrape your vehicle's undercarriage. The pullout at the trailhead has a swale and ditch in front of it - to get in and park, 4WD, HC is needed.

The trail to the waterfall was a bit muddy in the lower sections, and has about 4 trees down that are easily climbed over or around. From the waterfall to the lake, the trail is in very good shape and about 90% snow free as of June 12. There was one trail junction half way up where we went left and ended up doing some 4th class scrambling (had to haul the dogs up that pitch...). Turns out we should have gone right - that is where the trail actually goes, but we didn't see the flagging. I added some more flagging tape at that intersection, so now it's easier to see.


June 12, 2016

Mause Creek road and hike

I made it to the trailhead and only ended up making into to the tarns at Mause Creek before calling it a night and hunkering down, in the snow! There was probably about 4 ft of snow from the trail split just before the tarns and all the way up. The trail below that was covered in some fallen logs and run off but still manageable. See this year's road photos.

I wouldn’t recommend the trail to anyone who isn’t ready for snow hiking and camping at this point. Your guidebook certainly helped me avoid getting lost, despite not being able to see the trail under the snow!


June 10, 2016

Mount Stevens/Teepee Mt. road and hike

The road to the trailhead is in good shape.The trail had a few patches of snow on it and we were about to get all the way to the ridge.

Not sure what the road is like farther along enroute to the old Estella Mine. (JS)


June 7, 2016

Mount Evans road and hike

There are a couple of small patches of snow on the trail above the the old cabin but mostly it is clear walking all the way to the summit. The trail above the end of the last mining trough to the summit ridge is badly overgrown and difficult to find but doable. There are some trees down on the first 2 kms of the trail but easy to crawl over or under, the rest of the trail to the basin is good.

There is a small mud slide onto the Meachem creek road before the waterfalls but is passable, at km 14 the Mt Evans road is clear all the way to the trail head.


June 5, 2016

Lakit Lookout road and hike

On Wildhorse they were grading the lower road to just above the Brewery Creek corner. On Lakit it is much same as last year with ruts, rocks. Park at big corner for another two weeks. Snow on last bit after about 150 m.

It is still a rough, narrow, 4x4 high clearance road with drop offs down a steep sidehill. Use an ATV is you have one. (JS)


May 16, 2016

Moyie Lumberton Roads for Cooper Lake Hike

Cooper lake is a great spring short and easy hike. Logging is taking place along the roadway and fully loaded trucks are pounding the road to deep ruts, that would be mushy in wet conditions.

The new logging radio frequencies are in effect and the old frequencies are not used. So unless you have updated your radio frequencies this spring, you might be surprised when your radio cannot connect to the industrial traffic.


May 10, 2016

Perry Creek Road up to 10 km
For the Perry Creek Falls Hike.

The "trail" for the last 300 metres or so is partially washed out and people have edged a steep track around it. It will be be very slippery access in wet conditions. The creek is pounding very high and powerful right now- impressive to look at but dangerous.

The road is a bit washboardy, but fine for a car.


May 10, 2016

Doctor Creek Road.

I would also echo the conditions noted in 2014 for Doctor Creek.  Washout at 30km, and although there are tracks heading into the creek bed, the water is far too fast and high right now to cross!  On the South side, there's a ramp up the bank made up of railroad ties.


May 25, 2016

Ptarmigan Lake Trail via Moscow Creek Road

Ptarmigan Lake trail, you now must start at the intersection 500m off Moscow Forest Rd, making it about 7.5km hike each way.  It's intentionally blocked, with a sign in the middle of the road.  Doubtful an ATV could pass, and they certainly would encounter some blockages further up including fallen trees and a couple washouts.


May 25, 2016

Mount Baker

Road up Mount Baker has been clear of snow for a month or so, but there is a few inches of new snow up there, but so far it's not a problem.


June 5, 2016

Marmalade Basin - Road Access

Road up to the creek crossing leading to Marmalade Basin is in good shape.Road to Ram Creek Hotsprings however, is barricaded beyond the left turn leading to the basin.

You must walk 200 metres up to the hotsprings.


May 25, 2016

Bear Lake Road and Trail

The road is clear all the way to the parking lot at 5km. A few last snow patches are almost gone.
There were some spots with alders scraping the sides, so we trimmed those back with loppers. And moved some big rocks off the road. No trees down.

The Bear? creek crossing at 4 kilometre is about a foot deep. We crossed after moving some helmet sized rocks from the ford.

Once you climb one kilometre up the trail you start walking on packed snow. Lots of flowers seen peeking up in bare spots. See this year's road photos.



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