Trip 172 - August 10, 2019 (Saturday)
Cameron Ridge Trail Hike
Near Likely BC
Location: South-Central British Columbia, about 71 km from Likely via Keithley Creek Road (for 23 km), Cariboo River FSR (for 700 meters), and Cariboo Lake Road (for 47 km).
Liked: Great panoramic mountain views, Quesnel Lake view, fairly easy trail.
Of Note: Some mosquitoes. Some steep sections. Hiking poles and boots are recommended.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC Backroad Mapbook (4th edition) Trailhead Location Coordinates: Page 44 (Likely) G3.
Cameron Ridge trail is located near the settlement of Likely, about 44 kilometers further down Cariboo Lake Road from Browntop Mountain trailhead road turnoff, leading to a trail we covered in our previous trip report. There is no "tough access road" to Cameron Ridge trailhead, as the trail starts right by Cariboo Lake Road. Also, if you have an ATV or a highly capable 4x4, it is possible to get nearly to the end of Cameron Ridge Trail. The views from this trail are much better than from Browntop Mountain. So, if you have to choose between the two, definitely go for Cameron Ridge.
1. We are on Cariboo River Forest Service Road, getting ready to turn left onto Cariboo Lake Road. This is the same photograph as photo #8 of our previous trip report (Browntop Mountain Trail Hike). Please, see that trip report, as well as Quesnel Forks Historic Site trip report, for directions on getting up to this point from BC Highway 97 near 150 Mile House.
2. Having turned left onto Cariboo Lake Road, proceed for about 47 kilometers until Cameron Ridge trailhead.
3. Unmaintained road begins 33.7 km past the turn from Cariboo River FSR onto Cariboo Lake Road (which, by this point, may be called something else). There is a split a few hundred meters before this point - stay left. Potholes would become much more numerous and substantially deeper from this point on.
4. Approximately 13 kilometers later, and 47 kilometers after turning onto Cariboo Lake Road from Cariboo River FSR, Cameron Ridge trailhead would be on the right side. Coordinates: N 52’49’424 W 120’54’985. Elevation: 1,371 meters.
5. The trail begins.
6. ATV and capable high-clearance 4x4 vehicles may try to proceed further. The first 600 meters are very difficult - steep, rutted, with lots of loose stones. If you can make it past this stretch, the rest of it is not nearly as complicated.
7. Hiking the first 600 meters is also somewhat challenging, but then it gets easier.
8. At the 1.35 km mark from the start of the trail, there is a brief glimpse of the mountains you are going to see closer to the end of the trail.
9. Cameron Ridge is a pleasant hike, with numerous fine natural views. At the 2.5 km mark here.
10. Another good view.
11. At the 5.7 km mark, there is a 3-way split. Coordinates: N 52’47’835 W 120’51’881. Elevation: 1,698 meters. To the left is, apparently, a viewpoint, at least according to our GPS with Backroad Mapbook software. We did not have time to hike this spur, which is apparently about 2 kilometers one way. Straight ahead is what appears to be a continuation of the road for motorized vehicles. We did not hike this way, so can't tell if the road is washed out or has some other impassable obstacles. And, on the right side, is the continuation of Cameron Ridge hiking trail, and copious amounts of flagging tape lead you in the right direction.
12. View of the trail after turning to the right. Whereas previously you were hiking on an old mining road, now the road is gone, and it's a pure trail through mountain flowers (depending on the season).
13. The trail goes gently uphill after the split.
14. The higher you get, the better are the views all around.
15. Zooming in.
16. A bit further.
17. More neat views.
18. Now with a zoom.
19. And here is a key location close to the end of the trail. Coordinates: N 52’47’365 W 120’52’484. Elevation: 1,840 meters. There are two prominent stones you can't miss, pictured below. Turning right would lead to the end of Cameron Ridge trail, and pretty good mountain views, in about 500 meters. And turning left would lead to great mountain views and Quesnel Lake view, also in about 500 meters.
20. Here is the view looking left - go this way to get to great mountain views and Quesnel Lake view. A faint ATV track would lead to a more prominent ATV track (remember the three way split from photo #11? Likely, that prominent ATV track comes from the road which goes straight at that split), and then you would turn right and follow that track for a few hundred meters until it ends - the great views would be right there.
21. And here we are looking right from the split pictured in photo #19 - also a faint ATV track, and it goes almost to the top of Cameron Ridge.
22. We turned to the right first, to finish the Cameron Ridge trail. The ATV track became more obvious.
23. And, very shortly, after hiking for a total of 7.4 kilometers, we are at the end of the trail, in a bowl-type area of sorts. Coordinates: N 52’47’375 W 120’52’770. Elevation: 1,891 meters (520 meters elevation gain from the start of the trail). It's possible to continue hiking further for much longer.
24. The view from the end of Cameron Ridge trail.
25. Zooming in. A neat mountain for sure. We are going to be hiking towards that mountain to check out the view of Quesnel Lake.
Here is a video of the views from the end of the trail.
26. Now we are heading towards Quesnel Lake, past the split pictured in photo #19.
27. Approaching the main ATV track.
28. Now hiking along the main ATV track. It ends very shortly at a small cairn.
29. Looking left from near the end of the ATV track.
30. Having reached the end of the ATV track, hike downhill for a few minutes to get to those great views.
32. Looking to the right, we see the North arm of the enormous Quesnel Lake. Coordinates: N 52’47’198 W 120’52’168 Elevation: 1,810 meters.
33. Now with a zoom.
34. Another fine view is right behind us.
35. Zooming in.
Here is a video of the views from this location.
More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.
Cameron Ridge trail is out of the way, and may take a while to get to. But the trail itself is fairly easy, and the views are great. Highly recommended.
ihikebc.com -> 172 Cameron Ridge Trail Hike (near Likely BC)