The area’s varied terrain ensures incredible hiking, boating and camping experiences during the summer months and cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling during the winter season. Wildlife and bird watching opportunities are plentiful year round and the night skies are clear and dark for stargazers to enjoy.

Remember, hiking and exploring the back country can be dangerous for the unprepared. Hazards include sudden weather changes, wild animals, steep terrain, avalanche hazards, crevasses etc.

Be Prepared! Carry with you:

  • Topographic map and magnetic compass – and learn how to use them.
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulb)
  • Extra clothing (including mittens, hat, jacket and rain gear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra food and water
  • Waterproof matches in waterproof container
  • Candle/Fire starter
  • Pocket knife
  • First aid kit
  • Space blanket or two large heavy-duty trash bags – These items can help provide shelter in an emergency situation and can be used as a raincoat or a windbreak.

Educate yourself about the particular hazards of the area, i.e. wildlife, steep terrain, sudden weather changes etc – and be prepared.

Plan your trip and let other know where you are going and when you are likely to be back.
Know your limitations and stay safe!

A good website to visit is: www.bcadventure.com/adventure/hiking/safety.htm

There is an excellent selection of nature, safety and map books as well stories and histories for reading in the tent available for sale at the McBride Visitor Centre.  Also available is Rob Bryce’s comprehensive guide – Hiking North Central BC (with interactive CD) as well as a good selection of other hiking guides.

Hiking Trails West of McBride:

Ancient Forest:
2.3km GPS location parking lot: 53 45.7702N 121 13.0235W     617532.7E 5958393.7N 10 Elevation: 2594 ft/791m   Located 94 km west of McBride on Hwy 16. At the trail sign on highway turn left and drive 50m through gravel pit to parking lot. There are 2.3 km of trails. The trail follows a road for 250m to edge of cedar forest and 100 m to the trail junction. The left fork is a more direct route to waterfall, the right fork winds through large cedar trees. The right fork continues for 300m to another junction. At this junction the right fork leads 150m to Treebeard Falls, and the left fork to the Treebeard.

Avalanche Valley:
Drive 5 km west of McBride on Highway 16 and turn left onto Dore River Road. After 1.9 km the road turns to gravel. At 8.1km turn left onto the Dore South Forest Service Road. After 21km, you come to a sign “Eagle Valley Trail Left”. You may be able to drive past the Eagle Valley turnoff, but currently road restrictions mean a longer trek on foot… Spectacular view of the magnificent Roberts Glacier, the mountain ranges to the south and west, and the entire upper Cottonwood River Valley.

Bell Mountain:
2.9km from end of road. GPS location Bell Mtn. Recreation Site/Parking: 53 18.2622N 120 19.3352W 678425.9E 5909257 .2N 10 Elevation: 5140ft. /1567m. Located 9.3km west of McBride on Hwy 16. Turn left on Bell Mountain Road. Stay right after 830m. Stay left at 3.6km. Continue past the ski area and ski cabin to the left. Continue another 14.5 km to the recreation site (not necessarily driveable). If driveable, 4wd recommended beyond this point. The hiking trail accesses the new cabin. Continue up past the cabin and follow the poles from an old ski lift. 500m to the top of Little Bell.

Boulder Mountain Trail:
6.8 to peak. GPS trailhead: 53 28.7334N 120 35.1786W 660171.8E 5928257.2N 10 Elevation: 2874ft/875m. Located 34km west of McBride on Hwy 16. Turn right on the Goat River Forest Road. {3.5km before Goat River}. Trailhead parking is 1.2km down the road to the right. Follow the trail for 1.1km then turn left into cedar hemlock forest. Watch for trail sign and lots of ribbon or you’ll pass the trail. At 5km mark the trail enters alpine meadows then turns right and passes a burnt cabin. Summit is another 2km. Spectacular view from the summit. BC Parks.

Driscoll Ridge:
5.4km to peak. GPS main trailhead: 53 47.6902N 121 16.4829W 613645.8E 5940782.4N 10 Elevation: 2445ft/745m. Located 99km west of McBride on Hwy 16. Turn left onto a side road. There is a “Driscoll Trail” sign at the entrance. There are a few parking spots on the side of the road just off the hwy. Approx. 250m up a washed out logging road turn right at a junction, and hike 50m until you reach a trail to the left. The trail is a 15.5km loop from the main trailhead to the Ancient Forest trailhead.

Eagle Valley:
Moderate 9 km from trailhead to cabin, 1.8 km from cabin to glacier. GPS trailhead: 53 10.3938N 120 21.1944W 676895.6E 5894812.7N 10 Elevation: 4164ft / 1269m. Drive 5 km west of McBride on Hwy 16. Turn left on the Dore River Road. After 1.9 km, the road turns to gravel. At 8.1 km turn left onto the Dore South Forest Service Rd. at km 0.0 (sign points left for Eagle Valley). Take the left fork and drive 200 m over Dore River to parking lot. Start of the trail is on the deactivated road east. There are many magnificent views of mountains on either side of the large glacier. The cabin is 9 km from the trailhead. It has a woodshed and outhouse. Reservations for the cabin must be made in advance through the Ozlenka Alpine Club @250-569-2596.

Erg Mountain:
8.8km from Ptarmigan Creek crossing. GPS trailhead: 53.34.4486N 120 51.5884W 641711.8E 5938055.6N 10. Elevation: 2890ft / 881m. Located 53km west of McBride on Hwy 16. Turn left onto the Catfish Forest Rd. and drive 5km to Ptarmigan Creek (stay right at fork just before Ptarmigan creek).There is no bridge over Ptarmigan creek so you can go15m across a cable that is attached to old bridge abutments on each side. Follow the old gravel pit road about 2km until you reach the Erg Mountain Trail sign in a grove of western hemlock. The trail becomes very steep through a hemlock and cedar forest. Watch for signs of grizzly bear. Great views of the mountains.

Morkill Old-Growth Cedar Trail:
Moderate/8km. Located approximately 50 km west if McBride near Crescent Spur. From Highway 16 go 7km on Loos Road (north) to the Morkill Forest Service Road (FSR) on the right (north). Travel the Morkill FSR for 10km. After driving 2/3 through a large clear-cut that started at 10km, there will be a small clear-cut hill at 11km on your right (east). The trailhead is on the east end of the clear-cut, on the north side of the base of the small clear-cut hill. Park on the right (east) side of the road and walk through the clear-cut towards the small clear-cut hill, with a spruce-fir-cedar forest edge on your left (northeast) until you come to a magnificent cedar grove at the trailhead. This trail is in a v-shaped valley with large cedar on all sides, and huge devils clubs along a small stream.

Mountain Lion Cedar Trail:
Moderate/10km. Located approximately 50 km west of McBride near Crescent Spur at 1km on the Morkill FSR (see D. MORKILL OLD-GROWTH CEDAR TRAIL above for directions to Morkill FSR). As soon as you cross the Fraser River bridge at 1km you will see a gravel road on your right (east). The trail begins on the hill just to the left (north) of this gravel road in the forest traveling parallel with the Fraser River. This is an impressive trail with large trees of several species, rock outcrops, views of the Fraser River, and groves of very large, old cedar (over 12 feet in diameter, after 2km). Look for deer, moose, wolf, cougar, and fisher sign, and a large variety of birds.

Goat River Canyon Trail:
Moderate/8km from highway. Located 35km west of McBride on Highway 16. The trail is accessed by an old road on the right (south) side of Highway 16, 1/2km before the Goat River bridge and rest area. The old road is easily missed by those driving on Highway 16, because of the steep drop it takes off the highway. It is best to park at the Goat River Rest Area and walk west on the left (south) side of Highway 16 to spot the access road. This is a 4-wheel drive road at the best of times which turns into a hiking trail at about 2km. Thousand year-old large cedar with silver tree bark, moss covered forest floor, salmon spawning grounds, and the Goat River rock canyon end-point make this a very special trail. Watch for grizzly and wolf sign plus a large variety of birds.

Kristi Glacier:
Moderate 10.9km from bridge out to glacier. GPS trailhead/Parking (bridge out): 53 12.1034N 120 26.7638W 670585.8E 5897539.0N 10. Elevation: 4346ft / 1325m. Drive 5km west of McBride on Hwy 16 and turn left on Dore River Rd. just after the Dore River bridge. After 1.9km the road turns to gravel . You will reach a junction with an Ozalenka Trailhead sign. Take the right fork and drive another 7.4km to another junction with an Ozalenka Trailhead sign. Stay left and follow the road for 7.8km to where the bridge has been removed at a creek crossing. Park here. The trail follows a creek much of the way up to Cariboo Pass and Kristi Glacier. Scenic waterfall, alpine meadows and great views of glaciers. Backcountry campsite with camp pads and privacy available.

Ozalenka Valley:
6.9kmto cabin, 1.7km from cabin to lake. GPS trailhead: 53 15.4392N 120 24.5766W 672790.0E 5904026.8N 10. Elevation: cabin 5718ft / 1743m, lake 6485ft / 1977m. Drive 5km west of McBride on Hwy 16 and turn left onto Dore River Rd. After 1.9km road turns to gravel. Follow Ozalenka Trailhead signs for a total of 19.4km from hwy. Well marked trail. Great view of glacier and surrounding area. Cabin reservations must be made in advance by calling 250-569-2596. Sleeps up to 10 people.

West Twin Old Growth Trail:
1.2km full loop return. GPS trailhead: 53 26.4112N 120 30.3218W 665699.0E 5923920.8N 10. Elevation: 2954ft / 900m. Drive 29km west of McBride on Hwy 16 and turn left at the trailhead parking lot which is about 800m before the West Twin Bridge. There are information signs along the trail. The trail winds through impressive old growth cedar/hemlock forest.

Trails East of McBride

Beaver/Holmes River Falls Trail:
Easy/2 km. The signed trail head is located off Highway 16, about 11 km east of McBride, west of the Highway 16 bridge over the Beaver/Holmes River. The trail travels upstream along the north side of the Beaver River. You will see up to 10 species of trees by the trail. The falls is located 500 m from the parking area. Watch for black bear. Chinook salmon may sometimes be seen in pools below the falls and jumping the rapids in August. This is a natural setting without railings- please stay away from overhangs and the cold fast-moving stream, and supervise children.

Natural Arch Trail:
Difficult/9km. Located about 22km east of McBride on the north side of Highway 16 along Baker Creek. Just after passing a rest area on your right (south) there will be a road leaving Highway 16 to the left (north). The marked trailhead is within 1km up this road on the right (east). This road can be considered a 4-wheel drive road so you may want to park your vehicle and walk to the trailhead. An impressive stone arch can be viewed from the ridge at the top. Watch for grizzly bear, black bear, and mountain goat sign. Many species of birds and bats can also be found.

Dunster Trail:
Difficult/8km. From Highway 16 turn right (south) onto the Dunster access road 29km east of McBride. Follow this road about 4km until it ends at a “T”. Turn left (east) and immediately turn right (south) onto Pepper Pit Road. Follow this road 2km to the gravel pit at the end. The trail starts at the top of the pit and is steep all the way to the alpine. There are good views from the top on clear days of the Raush River watershed (the largest undeveloped, unprotected watershed left in the southern half of BC).
Tete Jaune Cache/McClennan River Spawning Ground Trail:
Easy/3km. About 1km west of the junction of Highways 5 and 16 turn south onto Blackman Road, cross the Fraser bridge, and turn right (west) onto Old Tete Jaune Road at about 3km. Cross the railroad tracks at 2.5km and take the first gravel road on the right (north). This road leads to the spawning ground site. There will be a sign denoting the spawning grounds. Watch for elk, deer, moose, and a large variety of birds.

Lost Lake Trail:
Moderate/6km. From Tete Jaune Cache, at the junction of Highways 5 and 16, go about 2km east on Highway 16 and park at the (second) rest area on the right (south), about 1km east of the weigh scales. Cross the highway at the west end of the rest area and you will find a sign at the trailhead. This trail leads through old Douglas-fir to a small, beautiful lake at 1.5km in a canyon with mountain and cliff viewscapes and two lookouts. Watch for waterfowl, beaver, muskrat, and warblers.

Jackman Flats:
Easy/many kilometers of flat trail. Located about 6km south of the Highway 5 and 16 junctions off of Highway 5. A sign denoting Jackman Flats can be seen on the right (west) side of Highway 5. You can choose from 5 trail loops varying in length from 1-6km or a 2km long interpretive trail from the parking area. Jackman Flats contains a unique assemblage of vegetation in a pine forest growing on sand dunes. Much care and effort went into making this trail system. It is educational and enjoyable. Be extremely careful not to miss or step on the many rare species of plant life. Many birds and mammals will be encountered.

Valemount Salmon Spawning Viewing Area:
Easy/very short walk. Located off Highway 5 in Valemount on Swift Creek. Instead of turning east off of Highway 5 into Valemount centre turn west at the same intersection and then immediately turn right (north). Follow the signs and go 1/4km to the spawning grounds and footbridge at the edge of a paved parking area.

Mount Robson:
Mount Robson is located 80km east of McBride toward Jasper. The Kinney and Berg Lake trails are beautiful.  The Berg Lake Trail toward (Emperor Falls) and beyond is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Rockies. Big trees, waterfalls, canyons, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains are around every turn. The first 6-7km to Kinney Lake can be mountain biked and would be rated as being easy to moderate. The trail gets a bit more difficult as it progresses beyond Kinney Lake.   The hike is in the shadow of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3954m. The trail starts off at the parking area 2km behind the visitor center (and cafe) at the top of Mt. Robson pass off the Yellowhead highway. Gas, camping, and a cafe convenience store are located nearby.  The trail is well marked   and the hike progresses in several stages, appropriate for various abilities. The first stage of the hike takes you on a very wide and well marked trail to Kinney lake. Big trees, some interpretive signs, and rushing water characterize the first 5km. At Kinney Lake, some 6km into the trail, there is a primitive campground, and a rest area. This is a nice destination for those out for a day hike. Mountain bikers can carry on a little further around the lake until they see a bike lock-up. You must continue on from there by foot, and you’ll see a sign for two options at the metal bike rack. Both reconnect with the main trail at the end of the lake (and a larger bridge). Shortly afterward you’ll face an uphill section, with switchbacks, which flattens out and carries on for a few more kilometers to the Ranger station and Whitehorn Campground — near the suspension bridge. This is a great day one stop. You must reserve your campsite with BC parks.   The next stage continues on 1 km beyond the campground and then 4km of daunting steep uphill towards Berg Lake via Emperor Falls. Lots of lookouts. You are in the valley of 1000 Falls. When you reach Berg lake you are treated to views of Mt. Robson and the Emperor Face. You can also watch the Glacier calf into the water. There is primitive camping and a BC Parks hut at Berg Lake. Many smaller day hikes are available from here; to the toe of the Robson Glacier for one.   Although some people go to Berg Lake on day one, consider making it a two-day hike (biking to the 7km point helps a bit) and, you’ll want a full day or two at Berg Lake, minimum. Although the trail is easy to follow, this is wilderness, and be prepared for weather changes, bugs, and wildlife (i.e. bears). Bring your first aid gear, sunscreen, good boots, food, and lots of water even if you are not spending the night.

Groeneveld Trail:
Difficult 8.7km to Groeneveld Peak. GPS trailhead: 53 10.9480N  119 54.0337W  306180.4E  5896280.5N 11. Elevation: 2612ft / 796m. Located 23km east of McBride on Hwy 16. Turn left onto a side road 400m past a highway rest area. Follow the road until you get to the  trail sign for the Natural Stone Arch Trail. The trailhead is shared with the Natural Stone Arch Trail for the first 800m. Then you will find a Groeneveld Trail sign which leads to the right. After 70m the trail crosses the creek. The log bridge is washed out. The trail climbs up to a junction that connects with McNaughton Pit Road. (This is an alternate access point from Highway 16, east of Baker Creek.) The viewpoint is reach at 5840ft where you can see the Stone Arch Ridge to the north. Great views of the Rocky Mountains and Cariboo Mountains.

Lucille Mountain:
Easy 13km GPS lower parking lot: 53 17.1438N  120  11.8649W 686801.5E  5907502.4N  10. Elevation: 2542ft. / 775m. From the McBride Visitor Centre turn east on 1st Ave. for 650m and turn right onto Sansom Road. Continue for another 2.2km. and turn left onto Lucille Mountain Forest Rd. Drive 650m to lower parking lot. At the 4.5km junction take the right fork. Park at meadow with small kiosk. (Road conditions may not permit vehicle traffic as far as the parking lot with information sign at the subalpine.) The trail continues up through the subalpine, past the Big Country Snowmobile Association’s cabin 2.7km below the peak.

McBride Peak
(Mount Teare): easy 2.1km to McBride Peak 4.2km to Mount Teare. GPS upper parking lot: 53.20.2319N  120 7.7448W  691147.9E  5913407.9N  10. Elevation: McBride Peak 7446ft/ 2267m, Mount Teare 7120ft / 2168m. Drive 2.4km east of McBride on Hwy 16 and turn left onto Mountainview Rd. Drive 600m and turn right on Rainbow Rd. The first 6km is on a good steep 2wd road but the last 4km to the upper parking lot is much steeper  (4 wheel drive recommended). From there, the pedestrian-only trail climbs through small but ancient trees, and above the tree line to the historic, refurbished fire lookout. There is a junction 600m further. Left goes up to McBride Peak, right crosses a valley to Mount Teare. Great views of McBride and the Robson Valley.

Mount Terry Fox:
difficult 10.3km. GPS trailhead: 52  53.8262N  119 18.4321W  344801.0E  5863099.5N  11. Elevation: 3019ft / 920m. From the junction at Tete Jaune Cache, turn south onto Hwy 5 and drive 13km to Stone Road. Turn left. Drive 300m down Stone Rd. and turn left after crossing railroad tracks. There is another fork in the road after 830m, stay left. Leads to the parking lot. Trail leaves to the left of the trail sign. The radio tower is 8.1km from trailhead. The summit is 2.2km further along the ridge to the east
Paradise Trail/ Mount Munroe:
Difficult 7.9km to Paradise Ridge 10.2km to Mount Munroe. GPS parking lot: 53 22.8455N  120 15.1178W  682781.4E  5917930.4N 10. Elevation: Paradise Ridge 6733ft / 2050m , Mount Munroe 7590ft / 2311m. Drive 2.4km east of McBride on Hwy 16 and turn left onto Mountainview Rd. Drive 12.6 km. The parking lot is located at a roadside pullout on right side of road. Trail heads east along an old road. There is a junction 800m up. Take left fork. A trail climbs steadily for 7.9km total to Paradise Ridge. The route to Mount Munroe heads east along the ridge.