Between Harrison Mills and
Agassiz off BC Highway 7
Page 2 of 2
Distance From Vancouver:
100-120 km to
the beginning of the FSR
either via Highway 1 East, then via Highway 11 North and 7
East. Or via Highway 7 East (Broadway, turning into Lougheed Highway in Burnaby) directly from Vancouver. The FSR
itself ends shortly after the 31 km mark in a small washout and then a massive
Natural views (especially great views of Chehalis Lake), peacefulness, fairly good gravel road with few potholes.
FSR is suitable for 4x4 or high clearance 4x2 vehicles only, remote
wilderness area, no cell phone signal, active logging area with frequent
logging truck traffic. Chehalis FSR ends shortly after the 31st
kilometer in a small washout followed shortly by an enormous rockslide.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition)
Beginning of the FSR: Page 4 (Chilliwack)
December of 2011 WARNING:The Provincial Government warns of a
risk of a further landslide and resulting tsunami at Chehalis Lake.
Reconsider your visit to the slide (starts at km 31 of Chehalis FSR and
described in this trip report) and your use of any campsites by Chehalis
Lake, including Skwellepil Campground described in this trip report.
21. We ended
of this trip report when we reached Skwellepil Creek
Campground. It is located between km 30 and 31 of Chehalis Forest
Service Road. Here is the close-up of the sign located on Chehalis FSR at the entrance to the campground.
Skwellepil Creek BC Forest Service Recreation Site Sign - Chehalis FSR
22. Another sign at the entrance.
23. Once you turn to your right towards the
campground, there is an open gate, followed by a gravel road heading
down. Do not proceed, unless you have a 4x4, as the hill has loose
surface further down, and a 4x2 may not be able to drive out.
Road to Skwellepil Creek BC Forest Service Recreation Site
24. Here is this hill looking up. It sure does not
look steep, but the ground is quite loose for about 20-30 meters at some
point, and it was quite obvious how hard some vehicles were working to
make it up the hill.
25. On this Monday, the campground was absolutely
empty. It is probably not too popular, considering how far it is, and
that it takes a fairly dangerous logging road to get here. Plus, there
is little to do in this area but to relax and watch the beautiful lake.
Not sure about the
fishing opportunities. And there did not appear to be
much of a beach. There are about 20 level sites, though some of them are
full of garbage.
Camping is free. There did not appear to be any
maintenance going on. It is a BC Forest Service site, not a provincial
campground. There are no signs at all either at the beginning or along
Chehalis FSR pointing to this place. Here is one of the
Skwellepil Creek Campground Chehalis FSR
26. There are three pit toilets at the campground.
This one is the closest to the entrance (note the paintball marks), and
it featured obscene drawings and language. Be careful, if you come here
26. A site you may want to avoid.
Photo of Garbage at Skwellepil Creek Campground
27. Are you looking for your frying pan? It is waiting
at the Skwellepil Creek Campground.
28. The sites are located in the forested area, but
the beach is just a short road away, and from there the views of
Chehalis Lake and the surrounding mountains are quite good.
Chehalis Lake Seen From Skwellepil Creek Campground Chehalis FSR
Here is our video of Chehalis Lake from this spot:
29. A tree on the beach.
30. The rockslide
you see behind the greenery on the left side is where we would spend
several hours tomorrow looking (in vain) to find the disappeared
continuation of Chehalis FSR.
31. Having visited Skwellepil Creek Campground, we
spent a peaceful night parked on the side of Chehalis FSR, and, in the
morning, started walking further, in hopes of finding Statlu Lake hiking
trail. Remember "deactivated due to washout" sign seen in photo #4? Here
is this washout soon after km 31, which would definitely prevent just
about any vehicle
from moving forward.
Chehalis FSR Washout on Km 31
32. Walked for another 15 minutes, and
ran into an enormous rockslide, which wiped out the forest service road.
This rockslide happened in December of 2007, as reported by various
Internet sites. We decided to cross the rockslide and find
the FSR on the other side. We couldn't find it...and here is the deal.
If you decide to visit the rockslide,
that this is a very dangerous area. We had proper footwear and
hiking poles, yet went flying several times.
danger is that the rocks appear to be sturdy, and almost all of them
are. But some are not, so when we stepped on a loose stone on our way
down, the left foot went forward, we turned around 180 degrees, and
started falling downhill onto the rocks back first. We had a backpack
on, and were in midair long enough to say a short prayer, before landing
back. Thank God, this incident did not cause any injuries. But, it could have been bad.
Chehalis FSR just before the rockslide - British Columbia Canada
33. This photo does not do justice to how large the
rockslide is. It took about 30 minutes to cross it.
34. While crossing the rockslide, we observed Chehalis
Lake, including the Skwellepil Creek Campground "beach" (a piece of land
sticking out into the lake in the upper-middle right of the photo) from
where photos 28 through 30 were taken the day before.
Chehalis Lake seen from Rockslide
35. We crossed the rockslide and found a deep
forest on the other end. It figures there should have been an obvious
continuation of Chehalis FSR, as there is no way for the forest to
deeply cover a substantial road in just a few years. Yet, we could not
find it. We then went down the rocks, hoping to find a path closer to the
lake, but to no avail. You see how steep it is there.
Chehalis Lake Province of BC Canada
36. At least, observed the other end of Chehalis Lake.
But, it's very steep in the other direction too.
Chehalis Lake Picture
It's been a very interesting two days, and, thank God,
we came away from that rockslide alive and well. However, if all you want
is to drive a picturesque forest service road, and you do not mind
numerous potholes, try
Squamish River FSR
before Chehalis. Of course, it is on the other end of Metro Vancouver,
and that could be a factor. If you do decide to visit Chehalis FSR,
watch out for logging trucks, and definitely don't go to the rockslide
unless properly equipped, alert, and with a company.