Trip 151 - September 5, 2018 (Wednesday)

HBC Heritage Trail Hike

Partial trail: Sowaqua Creek FSR to Campement-du-Chevreuil (about 4.5 km)

Near Hope, British Columbia, Canada.

Distance From Vancouver:
Approximately 190 kilometers via Highway 1 East, Highway 5 North, and Sowaqua Creek FSR.

Liked: Mountain views, wildflowers, information boards, no bugs.

Of Note: Remote wilderness area, several brook crossings required, several holes in the ground, the trail is quite steep for the first 2.5 kilometers, hiking boots and poles are highly recommended.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains BC Backroad Mapbook (2nd edition) Coordinates for this Partial Trail: Page 16 (Coquihalla Summit) D7-E7. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at

Other Trips in Hope Area: Sowaqua Creek FSR Trip, Zoa Peak Trail Hike, Skagit River Trail, Skyline II Trail Hike, Silver Skagit Road (Skagit Valley Provincial Park), Mount Outram Trail Hike, Othello Tunnels, Eaton Lake Trail Hike, Mount Hope Lookout Trail Hike, Town of Hope Visit.

HBC (1849) Heritage Trail is about 60 kilometers long, and today we hiked a small part of it from Sowaqua Creek Forest Service Road via Mount Davis to Campement-du-Chevreuil (horse camp) camping area, a hike of about 4.5 kilometers. There is a substantial sweat-inducing climb for the first 2.5 km, and then it gets easier. We started in the afternoon and missed on some good mountain views, as the sun was shining right at us when we were looking at the most impressive mountains. Nonetheless, there were still several good mountains views to be had, as well as fine wildflower exhibits along the later part of the trail. HBC Heritage Trail starts and ends elsewhere, as seen on a map on photo #1. So, from Sowaqua Creek FSR it is possible to hike in either direction. There is a recreation area on Sowaqua Creek FSR less than 100 meters from HBC Heritage Trail (a pit toilet is available, but no garbage containers), and the map below is on the info board there. We have indicated with yellow squares both ends of HBC Heritage Trail (all 60+kilometers of it), and, with a red square, the portion of the trail that we hiked today. The blue square is where Sowaqua Creek FSR starts by Highway 5 (Coquihalla), and a green square indicates Mount Outram Trail, which we hiked a while ago. Please, see our previous trip report for directions to the section of HBC Heritage Trail which we hiked today.

1. The map at Sowaqua Creek / HBC Trail Recreation Site by Sowaqua Creek Forest Service Road.

2. And here is the trailhead. Coordinates: N 49'20'072 W 121'07'719. Elevation: 901 meters. As mentioned above, you can hike in the opposite direction too.

3. Shortly after the start.

4. There is a substantial climb up Mount Davis pretty much right from the get go (much of it is steeper than what you see on the photo below), and the workout is relentless for the next 2.5 hours. It does help to have a lot of shadow in the forest.

5. Here is the first mountain view, more than a 1.5 kilometers after the start of the trail. It took a lot of image darkening to see much on this photo. In the afternoon the sun makes it hard to appreciate the best mountain views on this hike - we got some of the same mountains featured in our previous trip report.

6. This part of HBC Heritage Trail has several holes in the ground, and only one was marked (at the 2.0 km mark) as of the time of the hike - watch your step.

8. One more hazy mountain view.

9. After the main climbing part is done, the trail becomes much easier, with straight stretches followed by less steeper climbing sections.

10. There are also a few brooks crossing the trail here and there, but they are unlikely to present much of an obstacle, unless during a spring runoff.

Here is Our Video of this Brook and the Trail by the Brook:

11. What the sun took away as far as great mountain views on your left, it returned with illuminating very pleasant wildflower views on the right. It was a welcome relief after sweating in the woods for over an hour.

12. The red plants are actually a small bush of some kind.

13. A bit further.

14. Then, there was this neat bench. Coordinates: N 49'20'785 W 121'06'655. Elevation: 1,634 meters.

15. The view from the bench is quite fine, but only when the sun is not shining right at you.

16. It was not all lost, however, as far as the mountain views on this hike. Here is one a few hundred meters past the bench.

17. Zooming in.

18. Now approaching Campement-du-Chevreuil camping area, which is located 1.3 km from the bench.

19. And here it is. Coordinates: N 49'21'080 W 121'06'525. Elevation: 1,616 meters. So, it's 715 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail, and actually an elevation loss of 18 meters from the bench, as the trail does go mostly down from there.

20. There is a fine info board at Campement-du-Chevreuil camping area, with interesting facts and stories.

21. Here is one.

22. We actually hiked slightly over 500 meters further on HBC Heritage Trail...

23...And got to see this good mountain view. It's just to the left of the trail, behind some trees, but it's a pretty obvious spot. Coordinates: N 49'21'310 W 121'06'503. Elevation: 1,693 meters (792 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail).

This stretch of HBC Heritage Trail is a lot of sweat at the beginning, but, if the sun is cooperating, very good mountain views will be your reward.

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