TRAIL CONDITION UPDATES

Latest update: December 26, 2012

A few of the McBride area trails mentioned here are not currently listed in the guide on this website, but may be found in other area trail guides such as Volume 2 of the Caledonia Ramblers hiking guide 2007 edition. If a trail in the guide on this Web site is not listed below, it means the description in the guide is believed to be still valid as of the date given above.

Ozalenka Valley: Road access to the trailhead is currently blocked off to full sized vehicles due to liability concerns regarding a currently unstable landslip farther up. This adds several km of forest road to the one-way distance to the Ozalenka Cabin. ATV (quad) access to the trailhead is reportedly still possible.

Kristi Glacier: Road access to the trailhead currently blocked off as for Ozalenka Valley, above.

Baker Ridge: Logging roads have been built that provide higher-altitude access to the trail. From the three-tiered sign mentioned in the trail guide, turn left as before and drive the road network as far as you consider prudent with your vehicle, then continue on foot, keeping to the upper branch of the road at intersections. The trail is now accessed from the highest cut block on the east side of the recently logged area. From the end of the road, cross the cutblock in the general direction of McBride and find a short connecting trail (about 100 feet long) entering the woods on the other side. The Baker Ridge trail will be found ascending the hillside just inside the old forest beyond the cutblock.

Groeneveld Trail: There is a "Keep Out" sign on a gate across McNaughton Road and work has been done to re-establish an earlier connection to the Natural Arch trail on the other side of Holliday Creek. However, the crossing log at Holliday Creek is out. If the creek is at a low water stage, you may be able to cross it. If attempting to access the Groeneveld Trail from the Natural Arch Trail, turn right at a large old Groeneveld Trail sign about 1 km up the Natural Arch Trail and check for a safe crossing of Baker Creek whan you come to it.

Kiwa/Raush: The trail description in the guide is many years old now, and the author has not checked road conditions lately. You may find that a number of km. of road walking must be added to the hike. An access condition report would be most welcome if you've attempted to hike this trail lately.

Swift Current Creek: The trail listed in the guide has been replaced with a new one in its entirety, due to the loss of the rail car bridge to a large debris flow, and severe brush ingrowth beyond the bridge site. In its place, an early-day horse trail on the east side of the creek has been re-opened by local horse users under an agreement with Mount Robson Park. This trail is very suitable for hikers and well as horses. It begins at a parking area at the end of Howard Road, off Highway 16 just east of the Swift Current Creek Bridge. Walk a short distance toward Swift Current Creek on an old road from the parking area (actually a piece of Highway 16 from the days when it was a dirt track). Just before reaching the creek, the trail climbs steeply off the old road on your right. This steep climb includes almost all the elevation gain on the trail, getting the hard work out of the way right at the start. On the hillside above Howard Road, the trail arrives at easier slopes and benchlands, heading up the Swift Current Creek valley with little additional elevation gain. Major bog areas are currently bridged with sturdy boardwalks and the rest of the trail is mainly dry and relatively stable. The valley floor gradually rises to meet you and the trail ends at the foot of the Swift Current Creek gravel flats. Upstream, the flats broaden out into an appealing open region that is well worth visiting. However you will find that there are places where the creek swings over to the east side of the flats and forces you to either take to the forest for considerable distances or, at low water, don a pair of stream crossing shoes of some sort and ford the creek several times. At one point you will need to cross the currently un-bridged outlet stream from a large marshy area. Continue north along the gravel flats keeping west of the marshes. Once the valley widens further upstream, there are long stretches of easy and picturesque hiking on the flats. If you have opted not to cross the main channel of Swift Current Creek out on the flats, you will find yourself on the opposite side of the creek from the old BC Parks cabin at the head of the flats, at a point where the creek is quite rocky and swift. Crossing near the cabin could be hazardous at almost any water level.

Mica Mine Trail: A parking area currently exists near the trailhead.

Mt. Trudeau Trail: A fine handcrafted wooden sign has been erected at the trailhead. However this sign was reported to be down or leaning over sometime in the winter of 2011/2012; current condition unknown.

Swift Creek Loop: Good condition except for the Swift Creek footbridge which has broken in the middle due to age and snow loading. The west half of the bridge still spans the creek. As of September 2012 it was observed to be still useable with some caution. The trail has been re-routed for a few feet near the footbridge after a short stretch of it was eroded away by the creek. The footbridge will clearly not survive the spring 2013 freshet in its present condition and is planned to be removed by then. Replacement plans are currently under discussion.

Swift Creek/Crooked Creek Ridge: A new branch road leaves the access road described in the guide, branching to the left not far from the trailhead parking area at the foot of the fireguard. Keep straight ahead at this intersection to arrive at the original trailhead.

Selwyn Traverse: Cleared of all windfalls in spring 2012; a few minor new ones have fallen since. Trail thoroughly cleared of brush by Reiner Thoni, from the northwest end to a point between Snowcourse Creek and McKirdy Creek. Rain pants recommended in wet weather for the rest of the trail due to brush ingrowth. Watch for yellow "recreational trail" ribbons that show the way at a couple of relatively new forest road junctions on the southeastern portion of the route.

"5-Mile" trail to McKirdy Meadows & McKirdy YORA cabin: Trail cleared of windfalls June - August 2012. Access road graded and some maintenance done in summer 2012.

McKirdy Lake Trail: Trail thoroughly brushed out and all windfalls removed July 2011. Annual regrowth of thimbleberry etc. makes the trail difficult to find in one location near the bottom; simply head uphill for a short distance.

McKirdy Mountain Summit Trail: Brush regrowth thoroughly trimmed back from trail on August 17/08 by Art Carson, Paul Marklund, and Dean & Toni from NZ. All windfalls cut out September 2012 by Reiner Thoni.

Mountain bike descent trails above Swift Creek Loop: good condition as of fall 2012.

McKirdy Creek Trail: Now includes a section referred to in the guide as the Cross Trail. The original McKirdy Creek Trail that enters an alpine valley on the Swift Creek/McKirdy Creek divide is currently signed as "Miwa's Trail" and was cleared of windfalls by Reiner Thoni in September 2012. A loop is possible by continuing up the trail directly behind the private lodge at McKirdy Lake. You will arrive at the treeline within about 20 metres of the top of "Miwa's Trail" and can descend the latter back to the junction with the McKirdy Creek Trail.

McKirdy Lake/McKirdy Creek Cross Trail: This cumbersome name has been discarded. Now considered to be part of the McKirdy Creek Trail; see above.

McKirdy Mountain South Ridge Trail:   More rebuilding of this early-day trail has been done since the description in the trail guide was written. It is currently not recommended for general public use over its full length due to hazardous areas at mid-elevation. Experienced mountain hikers will find it to be a useable alternative route to the summit of McKirdy Mountain with the possibility of a loop including the McKirdy Mountain Summit Trail. Access has currently been established from a relatively recent cutblock just below the junction of the South Ridge and Packsadle Loop trails. Turn right onto a recently built spur road a few hundred metres before the gate described in the southeast approach to the Selwyn Traverse. Park in the middle of the last cutblock where a route (that will be subject to rapid plant regrowth) has been cleared and flagged uphill to the Packsaddle Loop. Turn right at the Packsaddle Loop trail (still in the cutblock) and follow it almost to the southeast edge of the cutblock, then turn left and follow a cleared and flagged route for one hundred metres or so, to the top right-hand corner of the cutblock. Here you will find the South Ridge trail ascending steeply into the old forest.

Packsaddle Creek Loop: The Packsaddle Creek bridge on the loop has washed out. There is currenty no way to complete the loop other than by a potentially hazardous crossing of the creek on one of the windfall logs that span it downstream of the bridge site. The creek has also "taken a bite" out of the trail on the left bank near the bridge site, necessitating a short bushwhack around the area. The portion of the trail on the right bank, accessed from its junction with the Selwyn Traverse, makes a nice out-and-back hike, however. You may want to use the alternative access described under McKirdy Mountain South Ridge Trail, above.

Bulldog Creek Glacier Lily Trail: June 2010 - Maintenance on this trail has progressed considerably this year after an initial restoration in 2009. The initial 4.5 km section along the old "C" road has been re-brushed and the majority of the remaining little shrub stumps removed from the centre of the track to reduce bicycling hazards. However there are still a few little stubs sticking up here and there, so caution is advised. The rest of the trail has had the majority of old windfalls cut out and some brushing has been done up to the 6,000 foot level. The old trail above that point has been located but the route is still flagged slightly to the north through subalpine openings and is adequate. Many thanks to Patricia Thoni, Darryl Polyk and many others for assisting with maintenance on this trail.
August 2012 - alders and willows are beginning to bend into the trail fron the sides along the 4.5 km of old road up from the trailhead, especially in the first 1.5 km. Some minor brushing was done in the summer of 2012, but one should expect to encounter considerable wet brush over the initial few kilometres of this trail during or after a rain. As of summer 2012 the first 4.5 kilometres were still practical for mountain bikes with a degree of extra effort.

Robena Lakes: It has been found that the Keyhole snowmobile access trail to the alpine is a practical alternative to the route described in the guide. To use this route, turn right at a junction at on the Keyhole forest road network and park at the end of the road. Follow a partially brushed-in skid trail up to the left to another curblock, then up to the right to the highest cutblock at the northeast corner of the road network (farther southeast than the trailhead described in the guide). Find the start of a well cut out snowmobile route at the top of the final cutblock, about one third of the way from left to right along the top of the block when looking up. Follow extensive cutting and use caution not to lose the trail in a brushy, relatively open forest area a short distance up it where little work has been done. Continuing up a gradually narrowing ridge, the trail makes a sudden left hand turn, hops over a little sub-ridge in the forest and descends slightly to the first subalpine meadow on the route. At the far end of the meadow it aims for a low point in the ridge in the general direction of Clemina Creek Valley. Afer ascending through this slight pass, it turns left and angles towards the left side of the ridge, contouring across some rocky areas and up little creeks that flow down broad slopes to the left of the ridge it had been following. At treeline you will be close to the route described in the guide, having avoided a long walk along a re-contoured former logging road, but at the expense of some uncertainty in places along the alternative route and the more advanced route-finding that will be required in order to stay on it.

Art.

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