Trip 082 - June 4-6, 2015 (Thursday - Saturday)

Bullmoose Mine Road & Windfall Creek FSR

Near Tumbler Ridge BC


Location:
Northeastern British Columbia. Bullmoose Mine Road starts approximately 20 kilometers North of Tumbler Ridge off Highway 29, while Windfall Creek Forest Service Road branches off Bullmoose Mine Road at km 17.2, and goes for approximately 60 kilometers.

Liked: Several natural views, meeting a porcupine, access to four trails.

Of note: Remote area, no cell phone signal; potholes are rare, but they sneak up on you. There are several trouble spots on Windfall Creek FSR, where the road may soon be eroded. Also, several short stretches of potential rockfall on Windfall Creek FSR.

July 2016 Update: Windfall Creek FSR at least to the 24.3 km mark now has numerous deep potholes, including a suspension-busting cross-ditch at the 22.0 km mark.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Coordinates for the Beginning of the Road: Page 44 (Tumbler Ridge) A1. Coordinates for the Beginning of the FSR: Page 43 (Mount Crum) F2. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Trips Off Bullmoose Mine Road: Cowmoose Mountain Trail Hike, Windfall Lake Trail Hike, Holzworth Meadows Hiking Route, Pinnacle Peak Route Hike.

Other trips in Tumbler Ridge Area: Bootski Lake Trail Hike, Mount Clifford Trail Hike, Windfall Lake Trail Hike, Stone Corral Trail Hike, Monkman Falls, Bergeron Cliffs Trail Hike, Bergeron Falls, Nesbitt's Knee Falls, Barbour Falls, Babcock Falls, Shipyard & Titanic Trail Hike, Boulder Gardens Route Hike, Town of Tumbler Ridge, Tepee Falls, Kinuseo Falls.

Bullmoose Mine Road and Windfall Creek Forest Service Road (which branches off Bullmoose) lead to four trails. Along Bullmoose Mine Road, there are several camping areas, and we have seen a large group occupying one of the spots. Since this area of British Columbia is away from major roads or populated places, even on a weekend we have encountered very few people.

Points of Interest for Bullmoose Mine Road and its offshoot, D33H Road:

KM Feature Side
13.5 Good Mountain View Left
15.5 Cowmoose Trail Turnoff R
17.2 Windfall Creek FSR Start L
18.5 No Further Access on Bullmoose Mine Road (Gate) S
18.5 D33H Road R
18.8 Small Lake L
19.2 Small Lake L
22.4 D33H Rd Ends (chiselled rock view) S

Points of Interest for Windfall Creek Forest Service Road:
 
KM Feature Side
0.4 Talisman FSR L
14.1 Holzworth Meadows Trailhead L
16.6 First Good Mountain View R
17.5 Shelter Bus R
17.6 Big Pothole Before a Bridge S
24.3 Windfall Lake Trail & Pinnacle Peak Route Turnoff L
28.6 Impending Washout L
37.6 Deep Pothole After a Bridge S
54.0 End of our forward progress - good turnaround area S

1. We are Southbound on Highway 29, between Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge, approximately 20 kilometers North of Tumbler Ridge. The sign with an arrow on the right side of the photo states "Bullmoose Gas Plant 15 km".


BC Highway 29 near Bullmoose Mine Road

2. The turnoff just down the road.


BC Highway 29 South Turnoff to Bullmoose Mine Road

3. Bullmoose Mine Road immediately after the turnoff. Zero your odometer here, if you want to follow the first table above. There are mileage markers on the road too, and they mostly (but not quite) reflect the mileage for landmarks in the table.


Bullmoose Mine Road Near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia Canada

4. Bullmoose Mine Road is paved and is fairly smooth. We have spotted three mountain goats in the distance on the left side of the road, but they ran too fast for us to take a photo. Backroad Mapbook indicates that there is a goat viewing area not far from the Bullmoose Plant (but you would need to get through a gate, so the viewing area may or may not be accessible - no idea how it works down there).


Bullmoose Mine Road BC Canada

5. There are not too many great views on this road, but at km 13.5 there is a good mountain view on the left (slightly zoomed).


Mountain View off Bullmoose Mine Road

6. Cowmoose Mountain Trail access road turnoff (on the right side) arrives at km 15.5. A blue sign indicates 4 km to the trail (though it's actually 5.1 km).


Bullmoose Mine Road Turnoff to Cowmoose Mine Trail

7. At km 17.2 of Bullmoose Mine Road, Windfall Creek Forest Service Road begins on the left side. Coordinates: N 55'08'396 W 121'28'109. Elevation: 1,060 meters. A blue sign indicates 13 km to Holzworth Meadows Trail, and 25 km to Windfall Lake Trail and Pinnacle Peak Route.


Bullmoose Mine Road Turnoff to Windfall Creek Forest Service Road

8. We will cover Windfall Creek FSR shortly, but for the time being we are still on Bullmoose Mine Road, which soon ends for unauthorized people at this gate. Bullmoose Mine Falls can be seen behind the gate. A sign on the gate warns against trespassing.


Bullmoose Mine Falls

9. But it is possible to drive further for a few minutes along D33H road, which starts immediately to the right of the closed gate. You would drive by a few small lakes, and then see this.

10. There is at least another side road there too, but this one ends on top of the hill seen on the photo above. There is a gas industry installation with a backdrop of a neat chiselled rock. Coordinates: N 55'06'859 W 121'31'699. Elevation: 1,310 meters.

11. The rest of the trip report will cover Windfall Creek FSR. As mentioned on photo #7, this forest service road begins at km 17.2 of Bullmoose Mine Road. Windfall Creek FSR leads to three trails, and also has a former school bus converted into a shelter. The decent views are few while you are driving, though. Hiking the trails is a different matter. The good news is that low-clearance vehicles at present would certainly make it to Holzworth Meadows trailhead (km 13 of the FSR) at the very least. The bad news is that there are a few problematic spots, which might soon make Windfall Creek FSR impassable for all but very capable 4WD vehicles. But, the start of the road is promising.


Windfall Creek FSR British Columbia Canada

12. There are good mountain views here and there.


Windfall Creek Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada

13. Then, at km 17.5, there is this "day use and emergency" shelter, placed by snowmobilers.


Windfall Creek FSR Shelter

14. Inside the shelter. Note the stove.


Inside the Windfall Creek Forest Service Road Shelter BC Canada

15. As we were approaching the shelter bus, some animal started making moves under the shelter. Turned out to be a porcupine.


Porcupine on Windfall Creek FSR British Columbia Canada

16. Immediately after the shelter there is a small bridge, of which there are quite a few on Windfall Creek FSR. Deep potholes are developing before the bridge. For now, large pieces of wood are used to make a small "bridge" before the bridge, but the situation does not look promising for low-clearance vehicles.


Bridge on Windfall Creek FSR

17. A fine mountain view further down the road.


Mountain View Windfall Creek Forest Service Road BC Canada

18. And, at km 24.3, a turnoff to Windfall Lake Trail and Pinnacle Peak Route.


Windfall Creek FSR Turnoff to Windfall Lake Trail and Pinnacle Peak Route

19. Continuing further down Windfall Creek Forest Service Road. Not much to see, really, as you drive between logged out areas on a rather smooth road, and occasionally slam on the brakes to avoid hitting an unexpected pothole.


Picture of Windfall Creek FSR British Columbia Canada

20. A good example of two common things on this FSR: a small bridge and a logged out area.


Logged Out Area Windfall Creek Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada

21. We stopped our forward progress soon before the apparent end of the road (judging by the map in Backroad Mapbook). This is a good place for a turnaround. Coordinates: N 55'07'539 W 121'45'174.


Windfall Creek FSR BC Canada

22. On our way back, we took a photo of another problematic area: just beyond the bridge at km 28.6 of Windfall Creek FSR (or just before the bridge, when you are driving up the road into the wilderness) there is a washout in progress, and the water was still flowing despite a sunny day, and it being generally dry in the area. Coordinates: N 55'03'845 W 121'38'686.


Potential Washout Area Windfall Creek FSR

23. A good view.


Windfall Creek Forest Service Road Tumbler Ridge Area British Columbia Canada

24. And we are back at Bullmoose Mine Road.


Windfall Creek FSR at Bullmoose Mine Road


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