Trip 128 - July 29, 2017 (Saturday)
Summit Peak Trail Hike
Stone Mountain Provincial Park (North of Fort Nelson)
Liked: Easy access to trailhead off Highway 97. Panoramic mountain views. Ability to walk on a dry river bed. Virtually no bugs.
Of note: The trail is popular. The second half of the trail is substantially steep, and the path often consists of small loose sharp stones. A creek crossing is required shortly after the start of the trail. Hiking poles and boots are highly recommended.
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Approximate Trailhead Location (not marked on the map):Page 80 (Steamboat) C5. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.
Related Website:Stone Mountain Provincial Park - BC Parks official site.
Summit Peak trail, just like Summit Ridge trail that we hiked yesterday, is located in Northeastern British Columbia, in Stone Mountain Provincial Park, about 1.5 hr drive North from Fort Nelson. Unlike yesterday's trail, Summit Peak is not as easy, and the second half of the trail would make those who don't have hiking boots and poles rather unhappy, especially on the way down. Summit Peak trail has two viewpoints, and today we hiked only to the first viewpoint, due to the threatening clouds in the area. We have seen no people on the way up, but met about 10 hikers on the way down. This was by far the most people we have met on any of the Northern BC trails, except for Teapot Mountain trail near Prince George.
1. We are Northbound on Highway 97, about 136 kilometers North of Fort Nelson, and are entering Stone Mountain Provincial Park.
2. Just over three kilometers later (and 1.2 km from the Summit Ridge parking area), there is a parking area for Summit Peak trail, right across from the Summit Lake Campground. A pit toilet is located by the trailhead. Coordinates for the parking area: N 58'39'127 W 124'39'068. Elevation: 1,279 meters.
3. An information board describes the trail and shows tough stretches. As you can see, there is a lot of red there.
4. The hike begins. The mountain ahead is NOT our destination. Summit Peak is to the right, and we will see it shortly.
5. In about a minute, don't miss a right turn, which would lead you across a small creek (there was almost no water flowing at the time of the hike), and into a pleasant forest. You can see a not-very-obvious stone barrier ahead, which we missed, and only discovered on our way back.
6. Missing the turn, we still got to go through a pleasant forest on the left side of the nearly dry creek.
7. But, the forest on the left side, unlike on the right side, ends very shortly. We were then forced to hike up the dry creek bed, which was fine by us.
8. You probably won't see this neat view if you take the regular path on the right side of the creek. That's the same mountain as seen in photos #1 and #4.
9. Thanks to the GPS, which showed the actual trail location, we realized that Summit Peak was to the right, and turned that way.
10. Looking to the right, this is where we need to go.
11. The climb begins.
12. The good thing about this trail is that the higher you climb, the better and better is the view behind you.
13. Repeat the exercise: a) climb higher...
14...b) turn around and let your eyes enjoy the fruit of your legs' labour.
15. Looking a bit to the left, that's Summit Lake Campground.
16. Zooming in 12x.
17. In the meanwhile, we have reached a point where one could see both the first viewpoint (closer to the center of the photo), and the second viewpoint (trail end) on the far left.
18. Remember that red stuff on the information board's trail map? Here it is. Definitely not as steep as Murray Range trail, but a good workout is guaranteed.
19. The legs are working, the eyes are enjoying.
20. Final climb to the first viewpoint.
21. The view...
22. And now we are at the first viewpoint. Coordinates: N 58'40'276 W 124'38'972. Elevation: 1,976 meters (697 meters elevation gain from the trailhead). Looking towards the continuation of the trail and the second viewpoint.
24. Now looking back at what we have just climbed.
25. Looking to the right.
Here is our video of the view from the first viewpoint:
26. Our stats to the first viewpoint. 2 hours 20 minutes total time. Fairly slow average at 2.4 km/h.
Summit Peak trail leads to great views, and is definitely recommended.
ihikebc.com -> 128 Summit Peak Trail Hike