Distance From Vancouver: About 188 km to the beginning of the FSR via
Highway 1 East (to Exit 135), then Highway 9 North (to
Harrison Hot Springs),
then Lillooet Avenue / Rockwell Drive to
Harrison East Main FSR, and then Harrison
East Main FSR for 58.4 km.
Several fine views, especially from the spur road.
Of note: Remote wilderness area with no
people around for possibly many days, no cell phone coverage, aggressive
mosquitoes, the road is badly overgrown in several places, several long
rather steep grades with loose surface, two deteriorating bridges
(scheduled to be replaced by November of 2011).
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition)
Coordinates: Page 25 (Nahatlatch
Chilliwack District FSR Conditions.
Other Forest Service Roads Trips:
Chilliwack Foley, Chilliwack
Chuchinka-Colbourne (North of Prince George),
(access to Stave Lake by Mission),
(by Mission), Parsnip
West (by Mackenzie),
Creek (by Hope),
Squamish River Main,
Squamish River Ashlu,
Squamish River E-Main,
Squamish River FSR
Windfall Creek (by Tumbler Ridge).
We drove on
Harrison East Forest Service
Road for 58.4 km, and arrived to the beginning of Shovel Creek FSR.
We then traveled on Shovel Creek FSR to the 11.2 km mark, where the road became
too narrow, and there was threat of scratching our ride with large stones.
We then turned around and went back to a large camping spot. The next
morning, we hiked a short unnamed spur road, which lead to several fine
views of the valley below.
Please, note, that en route to the 11.2 km mark
you would encounter two deteriorating bridges, which have a 4,500 kg GVW
load limit each, and are scheduled to be replaced by November of 2011.
Also, there is a large hole in
the middle of the road at the 5.7 km mark - major vehicle damage hazard.
Here is a table of the points of
interest along Shovel Creek FSR (up to the 11.2 km mark). Zero your odometer at the sign seen
photo #2 below.
||Small waterfall off the bridge
||Deteriorating bridge (4,500 kg
||Unknown FSR (blocked off) -
- Big Hole in the Ground
||Deteriorating bridge (4,500 kg
||Debris on the road - scratching
1. We are at the 58.4 km mark of Harrison East Main Forest
Service Road, where it splits with Harrison East-Shovel Creek FSR (seen on the right
Harrison East FSR British Columbia Canada
2. The beginning of Shovel Creek FSR.
Shovel Creek Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada
3. Looking left from the bridge seen in the photo
Creek view from the bridge at the beginning of Shovel Creek Forest
4. Shovel Creek FSR has several long climbs. They are
not very steep, but the surface is loose enough to keep our 2WD vehicle moving
Shovel Creek FSR Province of BC Canada
5. Deteriorating bridge at the 2.9 km mark. 4,500 kg
Bridge on Shovel Creek FSR
6. View from the bridge.
View from the bridge on Shovel Creek Forest Service Road British
7. There is a large
camping area at the 4.9 km mark,
where we spent two peaceful nights. The only noise came from a large
waterfall on the other side of the valley.
Camping Area by Shovel Creek FSR British Columbia Canada
Be very careful at the 5.7 km mark, as
there is a large hole in the ground.
Right now, the hole is indicated by stones and flagging tape, but that
may not be there forever, as the hole can get bigger.
9. A jaw-dropping sight arrives at 7.2 km, as there is
a badly busted camper resting on the side of the road.
Busted Camper on Shovel Creek Forest Service Road Province of BC Canada
10. It is hard to tell what happened here. It looks
like a huge stone fell from the sky and struck the side of the camper.
But, most likely, it was somehow rolled.
Busted Camper on Shovel Creek FSR British Columbia Canada
11. The end of our forward progress came at the 11.2 km
Looks like there was a slide here, and then the debris was somewhat
cleared, but the road appeared to be just a touch too narrow for our wide ride, and
we did not
feel like scratching the sides against the large boulders lying there.
So, turned around and drove back to the
camping area seen in photo #7.
According to the
Backroad Mapbook, Shovel Creek FSR soon becomes Kookipi
Creek FSR, and goes for many kilometers until it joins
Shovel Creek Forest Service Road BC Canada
12. The next day, we walked up the road for 600 meters
to an unknown FSR. The photo below shows the turnoff at the 5.5 km mark
of Shovel Creek FSR.
13. This FSR is solidly blocked, so hiking or biking
are the only options.
14. Five minutes later, you are crossing a creek and
admiring this mini-waterfall.
15. Then, you would go through some badly overgrown
stretches, steadily gaining altitude. Twenty five minutes after crossing
the creek, another mini-falls on the side of the road.
16. And, pretty much right away after that, far in the distance
(the other side of the valley) you see what could be Granite Falls, as
indicated by the
Backroad Mapbook. This waterfall is the one making distant
noise as you are
camping on Shovel Creek FSR at the 4.9 km mark. There
is an obvious FSR leading to Granite Falls, but the next day we just
could not find its entrance off Harrison East shortly after the split
with Shovel Creek FSR.
17. The valley had been logged a few years ago. Thank
you for the roads, forestry workers!
18. Looking left we see an impressive valley.
19. The end of this unnamed FSR comes about an hour
after the start.
Overall, Shovel Creek FSR is interesting to explore,
and hiking up the unnamed FSR is a good side trip.
Other Trips in Harrison Hot Springs Area:
Trip 050 -
Shovel Creek FSR
(off Harrison East FSR)