Trip 174 - August 12, 2019 (Monday)
Horsefly Mountain Trail Hike
Near Horsefly BC
Location: South-Central British Columbia, approximately 27 kilometers East of the settlement of Horsefly, which itself is located about 50 kilometers East of BC Highway 97 near 150 Mile House / Williams Lake.
Liked: Horsefly Lake views, a good camping area with a fine view near the trail.
Of Note: Horsefly Mountain Trail is shared with ATVs, and how much up the mountain you can drive depends on your vehicle's ability to handle rough road conditions. The views are starting to get overgrown, and may be completely gone in 15-20 years.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC Backroad Mapbook (4th edition) Trailhead Location Coordinates: Page 30 (Horsefly) D2.
Horsefly Mountain Trail is quite long (over 11 km one way), and leads to several fine views of Horsefly Lake. The views are slowly but steadily are getting overgrown by a sea of fir trees, so there may not be much to see by the year 2035. Until then, the views are good enough to (almost?) justify a 22 kilometer round trip hike. Better yet, if you have a high clearance vehicle and are not afraid of a few scratches, you can drive up the trail, which is, in essence, an old logging road, for 8 kilometers, until cross-ditches and extremely brushed-in conditions would likely stop everything but ATVs.
As a bonus, there is a neat camping spot with a panoramic lake view, just 800 meters from the trailhead (there is a spur road which leads there). The access is steep, and the last 300 meters are brushed-in, but, if you can make it, the camping spot is worth the drive.
1. We are driving on Horsefly Lake Road, with Lemon Lake Road on the right. Turn onto Lemon Lake Road - it's about 11 km to Horsefly Mountain Trail from here, and 19 km from to the point where you need to start hiking, unless you have an ATV. For directions on getting from Highway 97 (near 150 Mile House / Williams Lake) up to this point, please see our previous trip report (Horsefly Lake Road Visit). This is the same photo as photo #13 of that trip report.
2. Lemon Lake Road after the turnoff.
3. There are many potholes on Lemon Lake Road, but most vehicles should be able to make it from Highway 97 all the way until the beginning of Horsefly Mountain Trail, 11 km after Horsefly Lake Road.
4. After driving on Lemon Lake Road for 2.4 km, turn left onto 8500 Road.
5. The view of 8500 Road after turning from Lemon Lake Road.
6. It is about 8.3 km on 8500 Road to Horsefly Mountain Trail.
7. A local resident is saying hello.
8. There is this prominent landmark, a cattle guard, several hundred meters before the trailhead.
9. The Horsefly Mountain trailhead would be on the right side. Coordinates: N 52’22’226 W 121’12’523. Elevation: 1,013 meters. Park nearby, unless you have a high-clearance vehicle (2WD ok), and do not mind getting it scratched.
10. The beginning of Horsefly Mountain Trail.
11. Ignore the flagging tape on the right side, and go straight at the split at the 3.7 km mark.
12. The lake is to the left, but you would not be able to see it for a long time, as the trees are standing there like a huge green wall.
13. And here is that split at the 8.1 km mark from the start of the Horsefly Mountain trail. Coordinates: N 52’21’432 W 121’06’514. Elevation: 1,524 meters. Turning right would lead to a neat camping spot 800 meters later (the views from that spot are at the end of the trip report). And straight ahead is an ATV-only road / hiking trail to the lake views. We parked nearby, and started hiking.
14. The road up to the 8.1 km split was rough enough, but, after the split, it gets even worse, with deep cross-ditches, and very brushed-in / overgrown conditions.
15. It's not all bad, and some stretches are fairly decent. Besides, it's just under three kilometers of fairly easy hiking to all the views.
16. There are about seven clearances in the trees, allowing to observe Horsefly Lake. The first such clearance is at the 1.16 km of the hiking trail.
17. This one comes at the 1.5 km mark. It's basically the same view, with more or less obstruction by the trees.
18. The view at 2.91 km.
19. And a zoomed view from a location nearby. There are a lot of ATV trails on Horsefly Mountain, and it's possible to hike a loop of about 6 km. However, unless you have a GPS with all the roads mapped, it's better to head back the same way you came in. The views are about the same, anyway, and, as mentioned above, there are only about seven locations still clear enough from the trees to allow for a good lake observation.
20. And now the view from a camping spot, located 800 meters up the road on the right side, seen in photo #13. Coordinates: N 52’21’146 W 121’06’974. Elevation: 1,616 meters. Again, it's quite steep getting up there, and the last 300 meters are very brushed-in, but here is the view.
21. A bit more to the right.
22. Quite a sight later in the evening...
Here is a video of the views from this location.
More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.
Horsefly Mountain Trail is a long rough road, but leads to several fine views, and one neat camping area. Recommended.
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