Location: Northeastern British Columbia,
approximately 16 kilometers West of Hudson's Hope.
Liked: Williston Lake views, mountain views,
communication equipment views.
Steep trail, hiking poles and
boots are highly
recommended, steep drop-off at the viewpoint on top of the mountain,
hiking this trail is better in the morning or on a cloudy day for the
best views of Williston Lake, the trail appears to be the bed of a dry
creek - watch out after the rain, parking near the trailhead is limited
and could also be problematic for low clearance vehicles.
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition)
65 (Hudson's Hope) F6.
The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available
for purchase at
Bullhead Mountain trail is located near the W.A.C.
Bennett dam, and is very short, taking about one hour to get to the top.
The trail is quite steep, however, with the average grade being close to
25 degrees. The trail also appears to be the bed of a dry creek, so
hiking after the rain or when the ground is muddy might be complicated.
Also, while there is a good parking spot near the trailhead, the ground
at the entrance to that parking spot is uneven, and low clearance vehicles
might not make it without bottoming out and, at least, getting some scratches.
1. To get to the Bullhead Mountain Trailhead, drive to
the town of Hudson's Hope located on Highway 29 in Northeastern British Columbia,
between Chetwynd and Fort St. John, and then follow directions to
W.A.C. Bennett dam. You
would take Canyon Drive for about 15 kilometers, until Twelve Mile Road
would appear on the right side. Canyon Drive would then continue on the
left for 4.3 km to the dam, while you would turn to the right onto
Twelve Mile Road. Then, five hundred meters later, the trailhead would
be on the right side (a green-and-white stand on the photo below), while
parking is available at the yellow sign seen ahead.
Twelve Mile Road soon after Split With Canyon Drive - near Hudson's Hope
2. Here is this parking area. Looks fairly good at first.
Bullhead Mountain trail parking area
3. But take a look from the other side at the entrance to the parking
area - the ground is uneven, with an appreciable drop-off, and
low-clearance vehicles may have issues here. Alas, there is no other
suitable parking nearby, as Twelve Mile Road is rather narrow and
winding here, so the best course of action might be finding parking
along Canyon Drive near the Twelve Mile Road turnoff, if parking here
wouldn't be possible.
Parking area for Bullhead Mountain Trail in Northeastern British
Columbia near Hudson's Hope
4. Here's the trailhead.
Coordinates: N56'01'989 W 122'08'162.
Elevation: 695 meters. As for parking by the trailhead, it might be
possible only for high-clearance 4WD vehicles, since the ground by the
road there is even more uneven than on the photo above.
Bullhead Mountain Trailhead Northeastern BC Canada
5. Close-up of the information stand. The trail is a white zigzagging
line in the middle, and Twelve Mile Road is on the left. As you can see,
motorcycles are allowed.
Bullhead Mountain Trail Information Stand
6. The hike begins. At first, things are easy enough.
Bullhead Mountain Trail
7. But then it gets steep.
Bullhead Mountain Trail by W.A.C. Bennett Dam British Columbia Canada
8. Very steep.
Steep Bullhead Mountain Trail
9. Still very steep.
Very steep Bullhead Mountain Trail BC Canada
10. The higher you get, the more of Williston Lake you can see behind
you. If the sun is out and you are hiking in the afternoon, like us,
substantial glare would affect the views. Also, power lines running to
the top of the mountain get into the picture for much of the way.
Williston Lake View from Bullhead Mountain Trail
11. Soon, you can see the top of Bullhead Mountain.
Bullhead Mountain near Hudson's Hope British Columbia Canada
12. A neat feature of this trail is that there are several shady
stretches, which really helps on a hot day like today.
Bullhead Mountain Trail
13. A fine mountain view behind us.
View from Bullhead Mountain trail by Hudson's Hope British Columbia
14. Closer to the top, there is also this attractive rock outcropping,
hiding behind the trees. This is the view from the trail.
15. And now without the trees.
16. Getting to the top took just over an hour.
Coordinates: N 56'02'755
W 122'07'977. Elevation: 1,108 meters (413 meters altitude gain over
approximately 1.4 km of trail). And there was some serious
communication equipment in that place.
Communications equipment on top of Bullhead Mountain BC Canada
17. Just so you know.
18. There was also a smooth forest service road reaching the top from
the opposite direction. Unclear exactly where it leads, and whether or
not a gate prevents vehicular access.
19. To the left, there were these two abandoned shacks.
Abandoned shacks on top of Bullhead Mountain by Hudson's Hope BC Canada
20. Inside the bigger shack.
21. Also to the left, there was a view of Williston Lake, glare and all.
View of Williston Lake from the top of Bullhead Mountain British
22. And, to the right, there was more cool communication equipment...
23. ...and a view of the valley - watch out for the drop-off there.
24. A view on the way back.
Bullhead Mountain trail is short, steep, and with several fine views.