Latest update: August 15, 2020
Wow, this update list is getting pretty long - I guess it's time for a revision of the trail guide on this website. Stay tuned as they used to say...
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. 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: The Ozalenka Cabin is being rebuilt as of summer 2020. Check with Ozalenka Alpine Club in McBride BC at (250) 569-2596 for current trail condition etc.
Kristi Glacier: Check for current trail condition at (250) 569-2596 (Ozalenka Alpinr Club) for curent trai condition.
Baker Ridge: Logging road access to high altitude trailhead is deteriorating rapidly. Was passable for a 4 wheel drive vehicle as of summer 2019 as far as the final switchback in the access road.
Groeneveld Trail: The official trailhead is marked by a sign about 200m beyond the signed parking area. Take the right hand road at the parking area. As of summer 2020 a new logging road intersects the trail at a high altitude and active logging is progressing in the area of the trail at and above that point. https://dunstercommunityforest.ca for more info.
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, and the condition of the trail itself may be disappointing.
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 horse trail ends at the foot of the Swift Current Creek gravel flats. A few feet before the horse trail descends onto the flats, a rough hiking trail branches to the right and continues upstream. This trail is well cut out in forested areas but becomes a flagged route in more open locations. Watch for yellow and orange groups of flagging tape with the words "recreation trail" on the yellow ones. At the end of this trail 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: The old handcrafted trailhead sign has been relocated to km. zero on the West Ridge Forest Service Road. A smaller sign marks the trailhead at around km 14.5. Note that this trail is intended primarily as a mountaineering access route and may be found to be somewhat vague and rough here and there, with numerous wet sections and an unbridged stream crossing.
Swift Creek Loop: Good condition. Crosses Swift Creek on a fine suspension bridge. This trail has numerous intersections with trails of the Valemount Mountain Bike Park and a few sections are shared with bicyclists. For safety, keep to the marked hiking trail #6 and be alert for bicycle riders on shared sections. Note that this is not the multi-day Swift Creek Circle route referred to elsewhere in the trail guide.
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. Now generally referred to as the Swift Mountain Trail.
Selwyn Traverse: Currently in good condition through out except for the usual few windfalls here and there. The winfall situation changes frequently so be prepared to step over or around a few tree trunks. For reference, see Village of Valemount Hiking Trail Brochure (formerly listed as "Friends of Valemount Hiking Trail Brochure".
"5-Mile" trail to McKirdy Meadows & McKirdy YORA cabin: Trail now slightly longer but much less steep on average, with the addition of several switchback sections at former steep areas. Main trailhead is now located at a parking area about 1 km before the end of the 5-mile road (also known as the Valemount Bike Park shuttle road). The old trailhead at the very end of the road is still signed (in miles, from 1980!) and usable, but requires you to descend a short distance before joining the current trail and beginning your ascent of the mountain.
McKirdy Lake Trail: Trail in poor shape except for a short section at the bottom that has been restored as of 2020. Currently not recommended unless you know the route from previous hikes or have a GPS track to follow.
McKirdy Mountain Summit Trail #4b: Currently quite severely fallen in and brushed in as far as a small pass on the McKirdy Creek/Snowcourse Creek ridge. A new trail built in 2020 ascends from the Selwyn Traverse about 0.8 km southeast of McKirdy Creek and follows the above-mentioned ridge to join the summit trail at the small pass. This trail is currently unmarked at its junction with the Selwyn; it begins approximately at the top of the long ascent in the Selwyn Traverse southeast of Mckirdy Creek.
Mountain bike descent trails above Swift Creek Loop: These have either been abandoned or merged into the Valemount Bike Park as "old school" trail types. See https://ridevalemount.com/mountain-biking/, or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/204214616367427/
McKirdy Creek Trail #4a: 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 a little-used branch off the present McKirdy Creek Trail and is unsigned. However 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 the original 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: Reported to be significantly blocked in some sections by windfall trees at the moment. Also has some sections with significanr fall hazards - currently not recommended.
Packsaddle Creek Loop and upper Packsaddle Trail: A living but totally horizontal cedar tree has been equipped with a railing to serve as a bridge across Packsaddle Creek on the loop. However two other issues have arisen: (1) the creek has shown signs of changing course in the bridge area and currently a small flow of water corsses the trail a short distnace northwest of the bridge. An old windfall tree at the edge of the trail can be used as a crossing at this point. This tree is in contact with the ground for its full length and presents no significant fall hazard but does keep your feet dry. (2) the original loop has been closed due to revocation of permission to cross a short section of private property at the southeast end. To avoid the private land, a somewhat longer loop has been established that includes a part of the original 1970s Packsaddle Trail. This section connects the Packsaddle Loop Trail with the Packsaddle Forest Service Road via about 1 km of rapidly growing-in spur road (still drivreable by 4X4 vehicles as of 2020). This re-route avoids the private property issue. The Packsaddle Forest Service Road connects to Canoe East Forest Road near the top of the hill at km. 6 of the latter. Watch for #3 signs indicating this re-route. The upper Packsaddle Trail is currently being restored and slightly extended to connect with open slide areas in order to make it possible for experienced wilderness "bushwhackers" to force a route to the headwaters of Packsaddle Creek in a single long day, as was possible in the 1980s and 1990s before the upper end of the trail wa allowed to deteriorate.
Bulldog Ridge/Glacier Lily Meadow Trail: This hike is currently much easier and shorter and has less elevation gain since re-activation of the old logging road leading to the trailhead. This road is now de-activated with fairly gentle cxross ditches, mostly near the start, but is passable by high clearance vehicles. Turn left off the Canoe East Forest Road just beyond the Valemount Marina, proceed for about 4.5 km and park just across the yellow bridge at South Horse Creek. The trailhead is a small gap in the roadside brush on the right side just beyond the yellow bridge. It is marked with a cluster of yellow and orange flagging tape.
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.
RW Starratt Wildlife Refuge Trail #2: With the building of two long pedesatrian boardwalks, it is now possible to avoid town streets entirely when circling Cranberry Marsh on this trail. In either direction, keep toward the marsh at the old Ash Street junction at the northeast end of the boardwalks.
Lower West Ridge Loop #15: The trail now follows a spur road that connects with the West Ridge Forest Road around km. 10, rather than connecting at Km. 13. Follow signs for the family snowmobile loop.
West Ridge YORA Hut Trail #16: The management of the hut and trail was transferred from YORA (Yellowhead Outdoor Recreation Association) to VARDA (Valemount Area Recreation Development Association) several years ago. For information contact VARDA (https://ridevalemount.com).
stop-of-interest sign at a pullout on Highway 5 south of
Valemount describes the historical significance of the
YORA Clemina Cabin #18A: This cabin is now called the Porcupine Cabin in order to better differentiate it from the Clemina snowmobilers' cabin further up Clemina Creek. No change to trail description.
Dixon Glacier Route #18: The snowmobilers' cabin referred to in the trail guide as a starting point is no longer there. A new cabin has been built for snowmobilers on the opposite side of the road about 1 km further up the valley. If you encounter this cabin while driving to the trailhead, backtrack about 1 km and proceed as described in the trail guide.