M Gurr Lake trail is located near Bella Coola, leads to some very fine
mountain and water views, and is actually a nice and easy trail,
provided a) you have a high-clearance 4x4 vehicle to get to the
trailhead, and b) the snow is gone. In our case, neither of the above
conditions were present, so we pushed our bicycle all the way up Clayton
Forest Service Road until the snow covered the ground at about the 15 km
mark, then hiked in the snow for 3+ km until the trailhead, and then
hiked the snow-covered trail itself.
1. To get to the trailhead, you need to take Clayton FSR, the beginning
of which is located 1.5 kilometers past the western end of
BC Highway 20
Bella Coola. Here is the beginning of Clayton FSR.
Coordinates: N 52'22'218 W 126'48'660.
Elevation: 38 meters.
The Start of Clayton Forest Service Road near Bella Coola BC Canada
2. This road is quite smooth and relatively easy for the most part,
except here and there it's fairly steep, with lots of loose stones, and
there are a few water bars too, so a high-clearance 4x4 is needed to get
to the trailhead. Or, you can do what we did today - push a bicycle
all the way up, and then ride it down and save a few hours.
Clayton Forest Service Road near Bella Coola British Columbia
3. The first good view arrived at the 2.6 km mark (all mileage is based
on our GPS trip odometer).
Mountain View from Clayton FSR near Bella Coola British Columbia
4. The second view came at the 9.0 km mark.
View from Clayton Forest Service Road by Bella Coola BC Canada
5. Then, there was this
in the ground at the 11.0 km mark. It's flagged now, but
the flagging tape may not stay there forever, so watch out.
Hole in the ground on Clayton FSR near Bella Coola BC
6. Mount Fougner Recreation Site arrived at the 12.0 km mark, at the
elevation of 720 meters. There are a few tables and a pit toilet there,
as well as a decent mountain view behind you.
Mount Fougner Recreation Site on Clayton FSR near Bella Coola BC Canada
7. Fine mountain views started appearing in abundance shortly after the
Clayton FSR near Bella Coola British Columbia Canada
8. As well as this neat waterfall.
Waterfall by Clayton Forest Service Road near Bella Coola BC
9. So, it was all going well, until we started seeing snow in patches on
the side of the road. Then, at the 14.8 km mark and at the elevation of
928 meters, the snow all but covered the entire road.
Snow on Clayton FSR near Bella Coola BC Canada
10. We went through this large patch while dragging our bicycle, and
were able to take it with us a bit further, as there was a snow-free
area on the edge of the road.
Clayton Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada
11. All good things come to an end, so we left the bicycle behind, and
started hiking snowshoes-free on top of the snow-covered Clayton Forest
Service Road. The snow wasn't too soft, so it was possible to hike
fairly quickly. Behind us, the mountains began to appear in all of their
View from Clayton FSR near Bella Coola British Columbia Canada
12. We reached M Gurr Lake trailhead when the odometer showed 18.21 km,
moving time was 04:01 hrs, stopped time 01:51 hrs, average speed 4.5 km,
maximum speed 28.6 km (bicycle!), and elevation 1,241 meters. The trail
info stand indicated 1 km of "easy to moderate" hiking to the lake, and
then 1.7 more km of "moderate" hiking to the viewpoint.
Trailhead coordinates: N 52'17'075 W
M Gurr Lake Trailhead near Bella Coola BC Canada
13. Looking back at the forest service road and the surrounding
mountains, before hiking the actual trail.
Clayton FSR near Bella Coola British Columbia Canada
14. And off we go. There were a few metal orange markers nailed to the
trees at the beginning of the trail, but that was all we could find. The
only reason we could finish this hike was because of
software on our GPS, which showed the trail location.
M Gur Lake Trail near Bella Coola BC Canada
15. Check out the snow depth
on M Gurr Lake trail in late May...
Deep snow on M Gurr Lake trail by Bella Coola in the Province of British
16. After walking through some trees, there was this opening.
M Gurr Lake Trail
17. Snow melt was in full force, so beware of that and stay off the
edges, if you ever hike in the shoulder season. Looking back here.
View from M Gurr Lake Trail near Bella Coola BC Canada
18. The opening seen in photo #16 narrowed down quickly.
M Gurr Lake Trail by Bella Coola BC Canada
19. Just a few more meters, and here's (mostly) snow-covered M Gurr
M Gurr Lake near Bella Coola in the Province of British Columbia Canada
20. GPS trail map showed that the trail went around the lake on the
right side. However, it was quicker to go on the left side, which may or
may not be possible to do, once the snow is gone.
M Gurr Lake British Columbia Canada
21. View of M Gurr Lake from above.
M Gurr Lake near Bella Coola BC Canada
22. There were numerous fine winter scenes during this hike, this being
one of them.
View from M Gurr Lake near Bella Coola British Columbia
23. Now we are approaching the viewpoint.
M Gurr Lake Trail Covered in Snow
24. And here it is. The sun was not cooperating, but the view was still
very good. If we read Backroad Mapbook correctly, this is looking down
at Bentinck Arm right before it splits into North and South Arms on the
foreground, with Menzies Point being a piece of the ground sticking out
in the center-left of the photograph. This is not the end of the trail
as per the GPS, and there was still about 150 meters of elevation
remaining. So, it's likely the view would be even more impressive,
should you reach the actual end of the trail. But, for us, this was it.
Coordinates for this viewpoint: N 52'17'563
W 126'54'315. Elevation: 1,329 meters.
Bentinck Arm Seen from M Gurr Lake Trail near Bella Coola BC Canada
25. Slightly to the left of the viewpoint, we could see what we believe
to be South Bentinck Arm and Bensins Island.
View from M Gurr Lake Trail
M Gurr Lake trail has some great views, and is certainly recommended.
ihikebc.com -> 132 M Gurr Lake Trail Hike (near Bella Coola)