Silvern Lakes

Silvern Lakes Trail starts at a creek crossing and the fist part of your hike is going to be a grunt as you climb about 70 meters. On your left is Glacial creek you steadily climb over boulders. At the top you join up with the old trail that comes from Duthie West Trail. There are signs showing which way to go. Stay left and cross the creek. The trail along this part is beautifully cut through the forest with a nice easy grade. You don’t get very much for view along this stretch but you get glimpses of Opal Ridge and the Turquoise Range. This part of the hike is about an hour. As you enter the red valley it is truly breathtaking, I was not expecting the mountain to be as red as it was(my pictures don’t even do it justice). You wander down to the valley floor and cross the most amazing red creek then head back up the other side of the valley.  The views of the back side of hudson bay mnt are amazing. As you climb up the other side thru a series of switchbacks this part of the trail is uneventful once you round the mountain from red valley you come across fields full of alpine flowers. Then you start down again and you get your first glimpse of The lower Silvern Lake. as you descend to the lake you can hear the marmots whistling warnings. The lower lake is a great place to camp there’s a fire pit their and lots of places to set you tent. To get to the second lake its another 15 minutes down the trail, follow the orange flagging. Their are 3 trails here the one the goes straight up take you to the back side of the peaks of hudson bay and gives you an amazing view of the basin. This could be a thru hike if you go thru the pass behind the upper silvern lake it takes you down Toboggan creek road and comes out below Glacier Gulch ( this route is approx 18km).

Silvern Lakes is 20km round trip and approx 7hrs.

Directions:

From Smithers take the Ski Hill road for about 15km to the junction of McDonell forest road. At about km 10 on the McDonell road turn right (before the Dennis lake campsite turnoff) and drive about 800 meters to a parking spot at a junction.
Walk down to the right until you see a creek, there is a marked trailhead here. Cross the creek and follow the skid road and the flagged route through the clearcut.

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Crater Lake

Crater Lake is a very accessible alpine trail for all ages with some amazing views of the bulkley valley and surrounding areas. There’s lots of ptarmigans and marmots. The trail itself isn’t very long. and you could spend hours exploring the prairie creeks and shallow ponds. If your feeling brave enough you could go for a dip in crater lake. I have dones this its freezing even on the hottest days. You can also access the South Peak from here.

Directions:

Turn off Highway 16 (west) on to King St. Go to Railway Ave and turn left (south). Cross the railroad tracks and continue on the Ski Hill Road for 24 km. Go to the last parking lot at the Green T lift. Walk up the hill on the left along the rough dirt road. Take the footpath; bear left at the top.

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Glacier Gulch

Glacier Gulch Trail is considered a black diamond trail. This trail was not maintained last year when I did and there was lots of windfall. There’s a couple of crossings where there’s cables set to help you cross. You can get up to the Glacier on this trail which I’v done a couple times but last year the wind was pretty bad and you could hear the rocks coming down around us,so we didn’t make it to the top but we we’re pretty far up. Again weather changes fast up here.I wouldn’t recommend this hike for beginner hikers unless you go with someone with more experience then you. The trail is only 5km but gets longer every year as the glacier melts more. Be very careful once you hit the scree slopes above tree line they are steep with lots of loose rocks. The mining activity has currently stopped but there’s tons of leftover mining junk up by the ice and ice caves to explore( Just be careful!!)

Directions:
At 4km west of Smithers turn left from Hwy 16 to Lake Kathlyn road. Follow signs for “Glacier Gulch and Twin Falls”. Cross the railway track and turn left on Glacier Gulch road.
Follow signs for Twin Falls Recreation site. At the site there is parking, fire pit, picnic area under the trees. Parking is at 750 m elevation.

South Peak Hudson Bay Mnt

The South Peak, I did this 5 years ago with my best friend and her husband and 3 preteens. after you get to crater lake you can either go below the lake and climb behind it and take the trail up to the peak or you can go above Crater lake and take the trail from there. This is a good day hike and I mean day!!! The views are amazing from the top. I would advise wearing good hiking boots because the rocks along the trail up on the ridge are big and you’ll want the extra ankle support.

Directions

Follow the ski hill road to Ski Smithers. Drive past the parking lot and the lodge to the T-bar. Here, you’ll see many of the private ski lodges. Hike away from the T-bar up the hill and onto the Prairie. Directly ahead and about a two hour hike will be the South Peak. Slightly off to your left is Crater Lake. An alternate route is hiking the ridge overlooking Smithers. This is off to your right. It’s a longer, but less demanding route than the straight ascent to the South Peak. Keep your eyes alert across the gulch to the peaks on the opposite side. Mountain goats are often seen picking their way across these craggy slopes.

Once you leave the T-bar area, you are above timberline. The Prairie is home to a flood of wildflowers earlier in the summer. Willow ptarmigan and marmots can also be seen. Avoid walking on cornices that may overhang Crater Lake early in the summer. The hike to the South Peak is moderately demanding but very rewarding. Sign the book kept in a cairn on the summit of the South Peak. Weather is very changeable, even in mid-summer so take extra clothing.