Trip 134 - May 21, 2018 (Monday)

Bullion Pit Mine Canyon Trail Hike

Near Likely British Columbia Canada


Distance From Vancouver to Bullion Pit Mine Rest Area:
(via Highways 1 East, 97 North, and Likely Road): approximately 615 kilometers.

Liked: Canyon views, old busted bus.

Of note: The trail is not marked and is "unofficial" at best. The ground is very uneven - hiking poles and boots highly recommended.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Backroad Mapbook (2015 edition) Coordinates for Bullion Pit Mine Approximate Trail Location: Page 43 (Quesnel Forks) G6. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at BackroadMapbooks.com.

According to Backroad Mapbook, Bullion Pit Mine was in operation between 1870s and until 1942. There is now a large canyon remaining, with very few old pieces of mining equipment still around, as well as an ancient busted bus, which may or may not have been a part of the mine operations. A Bullion Pit Mine rest area is located on Likely Road, and features several pieces of machinery, a small shack with some old tools, as well as an information stand describing the history of the mine. There is also a short (500 meters) walking trail along the old water delivery canal, and an observation platform for "penstock" - a huge long wooden tray of sorts, used to control water delivery to the mine. But we came here for a canyon trail. There are no posted signs to the trail, and the printed edition of Backroad Mapbook does not show a trail of any kind. However, Backroad Mapbook software in our GPS clearly showed a presence of a trail named..."trail", so we named the trail ourselves. So, here it is, Bullion Pit Mine Canyon Trail hike report.

1. Here is the turnoff from Likely Road to Bullion Pit Mine rest area. Please, see the previous trip report (Quesnel Forks Historic Site) for directions on how to get up to this point. This is the same photo as photo #6 of that trip report.

2. Entrance to the rest area. Two pieces of mining machinery on the right side. Just past these two pieces, and along the trees on the right side, is the path to the trail.

3. Looking more to the left. That's where we went at first. The information stand seen far ahead has interesting facts about the mine. By the way, we searched for a long time, but could not find "Bullion-View Point Trail" off Sharpe Rd (about 1.2 km earlier off Likely Rd) as marked on the information stand. Maybe it's there, but the trail we ended up hiking had really good canyon views, anyway.

4. What a neat view right by the information stand!

5. To the left of the stand, these stairs lead to a shack with some old equipment.

6. Now we are en route to the trail. This is the same sign seen in the far middle of photo #2.

7. A hundred meters later, turning right would lead to the observation platform and a 500-meter-long walking trail, while straight/left is the beginning of Bullion Pit Mine Canyon trail.

8. Within a minute, you are at an old gate, with two interesting messages. Coordinates: N 52'37'237 W 121'37'647. Elevation: 850 meters.

9. A message to the right warns against trespassing in an active mining area. Pretty amusing, considering the mine has been gone for over 75 years, and there is almost nothing left of it.

10. And, to the left, a five dollar fine awaits anyone parking by the gate.

11. So, walk down for a few minutes, and then there is this opening. To the right is the busted bus, to the left is the continuation of the trail, and straight ahead, through some bushes, is a pretty good canyon view from above.

12. We start with the bus on the right side. It's a GMC 9500.

13. Let's go for a ride.

14. Going forward though the opening, we are at a point where the trail is to the left, and a bit further straight ahead is a canyon view from above.

15. Also nearby, we found some remnants of the mining operation (perhaps?).

16. And here is the canyon view from above. Be careful, as there are some steep drop-offs there.

17. Now descending down the path which started on the left side of the large opening first shown on photo #11.

18. In a few minutes, you are near a pond of sorts, and need to hike around it on the right side, next to the canyon wall.

19. Neat canyon views start appearing around here too.

20. However, the ground becomes very uneven, and hiking poles and boots would be of much help going forward.

21. The views are impressive, though, especially in this spot, and especially when the sun is shining at the canyon wall.

22. Continuing down the unmarked trail.

23. It took just over an hour to reach the end of the trail from the gate. Coordinates: N 52'37'851 W 121'38'588. Elevation: 728 meters (a loss of 122 meters from the start of the trail near the gate).

24. And what a view on the way back!

The whole trail is about 3 kilometers long, and it took us about 2 hours round-trip, with all the numerous stops and exploration. If you are interested in checking out an old busted bus and/or observing good canyon views, Bullion Pit Canyon is the right place to visit.


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