Trip 148 - August 23, 2018 (Thursday)

Whiskey Creek Trail Hike

Seven Sisters Provincial Park Near Terrace, British Columbia, Canada.


Trailhead Location:
In Seven Sisters Provincial Park, by BC Highway 16, approximately 70 kilometers East of Terrace.

Liked: Several fine forest scenes, no bugs, gentle elevation gain.

Of Note: Remote wilderness area, trail can be hard to follow (especially closer to the end), hiking poles and boots are highly recommended, long pants are recommended.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Coordinates: Page 34 (Kitwanga) D2-E2. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at BackroadMapbooks.com.

Related Websites: Seven Sisters Provincial Park - BC Parks Official Website.

Whiskey Creek Trail is located in Seven Sisters Provincial Park, relatively close to the town of Terrace (East of it on Highway 16). BC Parks' website promised "spectacular views," so it was a disappointment not to find anything even close to spectacular. Moreover, the trail has no apparent end. Once we were at the 7.2 km mark from the start of the trail (based on the GPS distance tracker), there was nothing but a forest around us. Yet, the sign at the trailhead stated that the trail length was 7.2 km. On top of that, the trail ribbon on our Garmin GPS with Backroad Mapbook software also ended in the middle of the woods. We saw what looked like a lake on the GPS map several hundred meters from our location, and headed towards it. Turned out it was a mostly dry bed of Whiskey Creek, with some mountains about half a kilometer away. So, we did some stone hopping, and got a few half-decent mountain views. Perhaps, with the sun shining in the right direction the views would have been better, but even then it would be a stretch to call them spectacular. That said, there was some sporadic flagging tape around the apparent end of the trail, leading further into Seven Sisters Provincial Park. So, if you are willing to keep going and see where it leads you, the views just might get as spectacular as promised.

1. We are Westbound on BC Highway 16, between Smithers and Highway 37 turnoff.

2. Zero your odometer at the Petro-Canada gas station by Highway 37 turnoff. Whiskey Creek trailhead would be on the left side 16.2 km later.

3. Our first adventure involved finding the trailhead. BC Parks website says the trailhead is 16 km past the Petro-Canada station. So, when we saw a large pullout (pictured below) 15.8 km after the gas station, we figured this is it, park here and find the trailhead. Not only that, our GPS with Backroad Mapbook software also showed Whiskey Creek trailhead to be in this very place. Alas, the wall of rock on the left side left no illusion that there was no trailhead at that place.

4. So, we actually started driving further West towards another trail, and, four hundred meters past the pullout, there was the Whiskey Creek trailhead. There is enough space for a few vehicles here, but that large pullout could accommodate dozens more.

5. Here is the trailhead. Coordinates: N 55'02'019 W 128'16'969. Elevation: 213 meters. A note warned of no bridge across Whiskey Creek, so we ended up carrying a pair of slippers.

6. The first 3+ kilometers is a walk in a neat, wide-open forest. A highlight of the trip, more or less.

7. It's nothing major, but just a pleasant or an interesting scene here and there.

8. Lots of shade too, quiet, peaceful, no bugs.

9. A tree mayhem.

10. So, remember the "no bridge across Whiskey Creek" note? Well, guess what...

11. Here is a fine and sturdy log bridge. There was an exact same note 100 meters prior to the bridge, and you could tell that the creek crossing used to be right there. So, the bridge has been placed (kudos to whoever did it), but the notes remained. It's 3.4 km from the trailhead to the bridge, as per the GPS distance tracker. After crossing the bridge, turn right. There is also an unknown trail on the left side there.

12. As far as the views, there was this half-decent mountain scene on the right side 2.5 hours after the start of the trail.

'

13. Until this mountain view, it was fairly easy to follow the trail thanks to the GPS, flagging tape, and an obvious trail on the ground. Shortly thereafter, the flagging tape became more and more sporadic, the trail under our feet all but disappeared, and the trail ribbon on the GPS ended in the middle of the forest, with no obvious viewpoint or anything else to indicate why this particular spot would be the end of the trail. Also, we were way past the 7.2 km mark on the GPS distance tracker, and 7.2 km was the indicated trail length on the note by the trailhead. Finally, we lost sight of any flagging tape to lead us forward. So, we checked the GPS map, saw what initially looked like a lake nearby, and headed towards it. We had to go through lots of bushes and got our legs scratched. After a few minutes, we ended up on a mostly dry bed of Whiskey Creek. Coordinates: N 55'00'878 W 128'12'300. Elevation: 773 meters (560 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail). Distance travelled as per GPS: 8.6 km. Time: 3 hours 10 minutes.

14. Looking in the opposite direction, we saw what is likely Artemis Peak (if we read the map correctly), so we started stone-hopping towards it.

15. Soon, some peaks appeared on the right side.

16. Zooming in.

17. Looking left now. Perhaps, it would have looked better with the sun behind us.

18. Looking back, there was this decent view.

19. Same mountain with lots of zoom.

Here is Our Video of the views from near the end of the hike:

20. Eventually, we started heading back, and, suddenly, found more flagging tape going forward. So, we followed it for 10-15 minutes, realized there were no views in the foreseeable future, and stopped at this spot. Coordinates: N 55'00'684 W 128'12'038. Elevation: 809 meters.

As far as where that flagging tape would eventually lead whoever follows it, it's hard to tell, but, likely, this is the way to the heart of Seven Sisters Provincial Park. Unless this is where you are going, or you know of better views in this area, Whiskey Creek Trail is sure way too much hiking for the views you eventually get to see.


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