Trip 158 - June 17, 2019 (Monday)
Grizzly Den Trail Hike
Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park
Near Prince George BC
Liked: Mountain views at the end of the trail, two cool cabins, shade in the forest, the ability to hike in a loop via Raven Lake trail.
Of Note: Many mosquitoes, snow at higher elevations. Hiking poles and boots are recommended (to the second cabin) and are essential (beyond the second cabin).
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 13 (Purden Lake) F5.
Related Website: Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park (official BC Parks website).
Another Trip in Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park: Viking Ridge Trail Hike.
Other Trips in Prince George Area: The Exploration Place, Tacheeda Mountain Trail Hike, Chuchinka-Colbourne FSR Trip, Teapot Mountain Trail Hike, Tabor Mountain Sawdust Trail Hike, Downtown Prince George Visit.
Grizzly Den trail is located in Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park, east of Prince George. Unlike Viking Ridge trail, located within 20 minutes away driving distance, Grizzly Den trail is not nearly as steep, and its meadows are not as large or wet. Most importantly, the mosquitoes are not as numerous or aggressive. Viking Ridge does have an edge in the views category, but Grizzly Den features two very neat cabins, and the views at the end of the trail are quite good too. Also, it's possible to hike a loop and connect to Raven Lake trail. You would have to then hike for about 2.5 kilometers on Hungary Creek FSR to get back to your vehicle at the Grizzly Den trailhead. Do note that the connecting trail between Grizzly Den and Raven Lake trails is not marked, and a GPS would be very helpful to find your way.
1. We are Eastbound on BC Highway 16, approximately 90 kilometers East of Prince George, and 4.2 km East of Viking Ridge trail parking area, getting ready to turn right onto Hungary Creek Forest Service Road.
2. Immediately after turning onto Hungary Creek FSR. Coordinates: N 53'51'771 W 121'31'274. Elevation: 726 meters.
3. Hungary Creek Forest Service Road is suitable for all regular vehicles all the way to Grizzly Den trailhead parking 12.5 km later. Here we are at the split where Grizzly Den trail parking is to the left (in a hundred meters or so), while Hungary Creek FSR continues to the right for 2.6 km and ends at the Raven Lake trailhead. Hungary Creek FSR past this split becomes fairly rough, so a high clearance vehicle might be required beyond this point.
4. Now at Grizzly Den trail parking area. The trail begins at the yellow sign seen ahead. Coordinates: N 53'46'787 W 121'29'793. Elevation: 1,157 meters.
5. Here is a map of the trails in the Sugarbowl - Grizzly Den Provincial Park, posted by the trailhead. We have indicated on the map as follows: orange arrow: Viking Ridge trailhead, burgundy arrow: Highway 16 at Hungary Creek FSR, yellow arrow: Raven Lake trail parking area, red arrow: Grizzly Den trail parking area, blue arrow: 8 Mile cabin, green arrow: Grizzly Den cabin.
6. Grizzly Den trailhead.
7. There is some steepness to this trail, but gaining 560 meters in over 5 kilometers of hiking is not that difficult. Do note that, for good views, one has to climb a ridge, and the total elevation for this hike would be 700 meters.
8. A fine bridge arrives 500 meters from the start of Grizzly Den trail.
9. Grizzly Den trail features two neat shacks, both with outhouses in the vicinity. Here is the first shack, called 8 Mile Cabin, located 900 meters from the start of the trail. Both cabins are stocked with firewood.
10. Inside 8 Mile Cabin.
9. Looking the other way. It is also possible to climb into the attic.
10. There is not much to see on this trail until the second cabin.
11. There are some small creeks here and there, and a few foot bridges allow to cross larger streams.
12. Here is one of those foot bridges.
13. Just like Viking Ridge trail, Grizzly Den trail has some meadows, but they are not as large or wet. Also, snow is likely going to be on this trail (almost?) all Summer long, especially closer to Grizzly Den cabin.
14. Speaking of meadows.
15. And then it was hiking on snow.
16. The arrival of Grizzly Den cabin.
17. The cabin comes with a (prairie) dog.
18. Inside Grizzly Den cabin.
19. The opposite side. Attic is also available, should the ground floor get too crowded.
20. The views arrive shortly after the cabin. There is this ridge beyond the cabin, which needs to be ascended. Hiking poles and boots would be essential here, not only because of snow, but also because the ground consists of small loose unstable rocks.
21. The higher you climb, the better the view behind you.
22. Looking to the left.
23. Looking to the right.
24. Now on top of the ridge. Coordinates: N 53'44'310 W 121'32'508. Elevation: 1,857 meters (700 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail).
Here is our video of the views from the top of the ridge above Grizzly Den cabin
More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.
25. We got hit by rain and hail shortly after climbing up.
26. A few minutes later.
Grizzly Den trail has half the steepness, half the mosquitoes, and less than half of the wet and muddy meadows than Viking Ridge trail. But also has half the views. But features two cabins. Recommended.
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