South Chilcotin – 8 day backpack August 2020

Another backpack adventure that I have been wanting to do for some time. The South Chilcotins, just north of Pemberton and accessed via the seasonal Hurley forest service road, or the rugged Lillooet Pioneer Road 40 via Lillooet. You first come to the very small town of Gold River with a population of 43. So bring what you need as there is not much in the way of supplies after Pemberton or Lillooet.

GPS Track and statistics

South Chilcotins Track and Statistics

Day 1: We started the adventure by diving via Lillooet and arriving at the Jewel Creek train head around 1:30. The plan was to hike into the first campsite located approximately 4 KM in. This would give us a jump on the next days hike to Spruce Lake and only give us 11 to 12 KM.

Day 2: Spruce lake is one of the float plane destination for mountain bikers to fly into and then ride the 20 plus KM back down to town. We were surprised by the amount of people paying for the expensive flight to bring up their bikes. It was nice when we left Spruce lake in the morning and headed to the alpine so we could leave that all behind.

Day 3: The next day was a long and grueling hike to the base of Mount Sheba. We saw the twin peak from the distance and did not believe that we would be hiking up, across and then to the base of it. On the way we did see deer, mountain goats and sheep. This was one of the best trips for wild animals that we have been on.

Day 4: The next day was a little shorter as our destination was Deer Pass, and then exploring and summiting Mount Solomon so we could view the beautiful Lizard Lakes below. It would have been nice to head down and camp there, but it would have made for a longer day. We were happy for the shorter day to relax a bit!

It was a windy night on the pass, so we ended up moving our tents down to a little sheltered area, glad we did as it would have been a long and windy night.

Day 5: Heading back down to the valley to Warner Lake, then drop the packs for a quick hike up to Warner pass. This is where we started to see more Grizzly bear tracks, and lucky for us we only saw tracks and scat, no actual bears.

Warner pass was a very quick and pleasant afternoon hike. Was nice to exchange the big packs for light day ones and peak over to the next valley and see a few glaciers.

Day 6: This was a very cold morning and we woke up to -5 C temperatures. Frozen tents and water. My newer quilt sleeping system kept me nice and warm, so I did not notice the frost on the tent till I moved and it fell from the top and into my face. It was a cold start, but as soon as the sun came up, everything thawed and warmed up quickly.

It was time to head to our next destination, Trigger lake. This was mainly a down route back to Jewel Creek, but we took our time and enjoyed the change in scenery. It was also nice to look up and see the path we took around Mount sheba and the ridges above.

Trigger lake was a great destination, and we did not see anyone now for a couple of days. The camp was beside a beautiful emerald coloured lake that has an out house, food cache and fire wood. It was nice to have a short day and relax, till I saw a cougar that decided to some through our camp. It came down the trail and quickly dove into the woods. It is a rare occurrence to see a cougar around here, and freaked us out for the rest of the night. We did not see it again, but did find its tracks on the trail the next day.

Day 7 : This was going to be another easier day with our destination being only 10 K from the trail head. It would have been a late day if we decided to go all the way out, so we decided that we just wanted to take it easy and spend another night in the backcountry. Lots of bear tracks and scat as we made our way, but no actual sightings.

Day 8 : This was a quick day with only 10K back to the truck. We hit the trail head by noon, relaxed and high fived! The South Chilcotins has so much to offer, and there are lots of trails to explore. It is rugged backcountry and you really feel like you are away from everything.

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