Trip 045 - June 22, 2011 (Wednesday)

Skyline II Trail Hike

Skagit Valley Provincial Park


Distance From Vancouver:
196 km. First, drive 140 km on Highway 1 East to Exit 168, then take Silver Skagit Road for 56.1 km.

Liked: Peacefulness, well-maintained trail, creek views, some mountain views.

Of note: Remote wilderness area with no cell phone signal and, likely, no other people (especially on a weekday). The trail is not marked, making it impossible to follow with the snow on the ground. Trekking poles, hiking boots and sun protection (if sunny) are highly recommended.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 6 (Skagit Valley) E6-F6-G6. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (2008 edition): hike #78. The latest edition is available at Chapters.ca.

Related Website: Skagit Valley Provincial Park - BC Parks Official Site.

Other Trips in Hope Area: Skagit River Trail, Silver Skagit Road (Skagit Valley Provincial Park), Mount Outram Trail Hike, Othello Tunnels, Eaton Lake Trail Hike, Mount Hope Lookout Trail Hike, Town of Hope BC.


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Skyline II Trail is located in Skagit Valley Provincial Park. The terrain of this hike is moderately difficult, with some easy stretches. We hiked the trail until stopped by deep snow. As the trail is not marked, it was impossible to follow it any further. We did get some mountain views, making it a worthwhile hike. This trail goes all the way to Highway 3 at Manning Provincial Park, so, if you have two vehicles, it is possible to make it a one-way trip.

To get to Skyline II trail, you need to take Silver Skagit Road, which we describe in our previous trip.

1. We are at the 56.1 km of Silver Skagit Road, and Skyline II Trail parking area is seen on the left side of the photo.


Silver Skagit Road Skagit Valley Provincial Park British Columbia Canada

2. The map of the Skyline II Trail as seen at the parking area info stand. We planned to go to Mowich Camp and back, but could not even reach the Hozameen Ridge Trail intersection.


Skyline II Trail Map Photo

3. The trail begins. The distances are indicated as follows: 13 km to Mowich Camp (elevation 1,310 meters), and 25 km to the Strawberry Flats (Highway 3 trail end).


Photo of Skyline II Trail Entrance BC Canada

4. Your best chance to get your feet wet comes immediately after the beginning of the hike. This creek does not look threatening, but the branches you step on give way very easily, and without the support of the trekking poles crossing without getting wet would be problematic.


Skyline II Trail Picture Province of British Columbia Canada

5. And then the hike continues through a mostly featureless forest. The path is quite wide and fairly smooth by hiking standards, with few roots and stones to trip you.


Skyline II Trail Skagit Valley Provincial Park BC Canada

6. There are numerous switchbacks on this trail. This is good for making the hike less strenuous. But, with the snow on the ground, getting lost would be very easy, as this is the first such a long hiking trail that I can remember that is not marked at all, aside from two or three flagging tapes.


Switchback on Skyline II Trail Province of BC Canada

7. The only real attraction before the arrival of the mountain views is this bridge across a picturesque creek. The bridge is quite old and worn out, but still looks and feels very sturdy.


Bridge Across a Creek at Skyline II Trail British Columbia Canada

8. The creek view is quite good too.


Skyline II Trail Creek Photograph

9. Here is a good obstacle for you to tackle, as these trees have fallen in such a way that it is quite challenging to go either over or under the trees. Solution: detour on the left side.


Skyline II Trail Obstacle Province of British Columbia Canada

10. At about the 9 km mark, we encountered very deep snow.


Snow on Skyline II Trail BC Canada

11. The trail is not marked, so where to go from here?

12. Time to go back. We tied two ribbons to a tree to indicate the point we have reached, and to mark the trail a little bit.


Skyline II Trail British Columbia Canada

13. It was not just a good exercise, though. Shortly before hitting the snow, we've got a full view of a mountain that kept appearing through the trees for several kilometers prior to that.


Mountains seen from Skyline II Trail BC Canada

14. Nice peak indeed.

15. And to the right there were other mountains too.


Skyline II Trail View BC Canada

16. Finally, unusual clouds made the day even more interesting.

Alright, so, we have not reached the best views, but have seen enough to make it a good trip. If you decide to take this trail, beware of the snow, which is so deep and so early in the trail that it would take probably until the beginning of September for it to melt. But, chances are, it would not melt completely this year at all. If you want a trail in this area which likely stays snow-free for most of the year, check out our next trip along Skagit River.


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