Trip 184 - May 19, 2020 (Tuesday)
Jones Lake Forest Service Road
To Jones (Wahleach) Lake
Near Hope BC Canada
Liked: Jones Lake views, mountain views, several goods views from the FSR, small roadside waterfall, camping spots by the lake, no bugs.
Of Note: A very rough and badly potholed road - 40 km/h speed limit is hardly attainable. High clearance 4x4 vehicle recommended. 2WD vehicles with regular clearance may be fine until the washout at the 11.6 km mark ATVs and short wheelbase high-clearance 4x4s and would likely make it through. The road is popular. Logging truck traffic is possible. Some garbage left behind by the lake.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains BC Backroad Mapbook (2nd edition)
FSR Coordinates: Page 5 (Chilliwack Lake) B1-C2-C3.
Other Trips in Hope Area: Yak Peak Trail, HBC Heritage Trail Hike, 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.
Other Forest Service Roads Trips: Chehalis (by Harrison Mills), Chilliwack Bench, Chilliwack Foley, Chilliwack Lake, Chuchinka-Colbourne (North of Prince George), Clear Creek (off Harrison East), Harrison East, Harrison East Second Trip, Harrison West, Lost Creek (by Mission), Parsnip West (near Mackenzie), Shovel Creek (off Harrison East), Sowaqua Creek (by Hope), Squamish River Main, Squamish River Ashlu, Squamish River E-Main, Squamish River FSR Washout, Windfall Creek (by Tumbler Ridge).
Jones Lake Forest Service Road is located close to the town of Hope, and leads to a picturesque Jones (Wahleach) Lake. There are two BC Hydro campgrounds by the lake (closed due to coronavirus COVID-19 during our visit), as well as several non-regulated camping spots right by the lake. The road is very rough, with numerous deep potholes. It is also fairly steep for the first 6.5 kilometers. Its a good thing, in a way - otherwise, this place, so close to the Lower Mainland, would be simply overrun with people, while now only those brave enough to tackle this road can make it to the lake.
It takes 7.5 km to get to the first campground, and just over one kilometer more to get to the second one. After that, starting at about the 10 km mark, there are several good unregulated lake access points, with fine, if rocky, camping areas. Mountain views are all around. Some garbage may be present to taint an otherwise idyllic camping environment.
A washout at the 11.6 km mark of Jones Lake FSR is only passable in ATVs and short wheelbase high-clearance 4x4 vehicles, but more erosion is inevitable due to an active water flow. There are also some residences near the lake. A note at the start of Jones Lake FSR, as well as by the first campground, states that the FSR will be closed between September 14th and October 9th, 2020, due to road repairs at the 6.0 and 7.4 km, with no vehicle access at each location.
Zero your odometer at the Jones Lake FSR sign seen in photo #5, if you want to follow the table of the points of interest. There are good mileage markers too, but they are off by 200-400 meters (too late).
1. We are Eastbound on TransCanada Highway 1, approximately 130 kilometers East of Vancouver, and are approaching Exit 153 (Laidlaw Rd / Jones Lake). Hope is about 16 kilometers further East.
2. Now taking Exit 153. Make a right turn after the exit.
3. About 800 meters after making the right turn, make another right turn onto the gravel road after crossing the bridge seen below.
4. Here is that gravel road.
5. Having made the right turn onto the gravel road, you reach the start of Jones Lake FSR 1.1 km after exiting Highway 1. Coordinates: N 49⁰18.772 W 121⁰37.476. Elevation: 21 meters. The road climbs to about 650 meters above sea level, prior to levelling, more or less. Zero your odometer at the FSR sign, if you want to follow the table of points of interest above.
6. The first two kilometers of Jones Creek Forest Service Road are especially steep and rough, with several switchbacks.
7. And the first good view arrives at the 1.2 km mark.
8. Here is Jones Lake FSR at the 1.9 km mark, closer to the end of the initial quite steep and rough stretch. The rest of the road is by no means an autobahn, but a bit better, nonetheless.
9. There are several logged areas along Jones Creek FSR, and logging truck traffic should be expected. Logging trucks have a priority on all FSRs.
10. A small but fairly picturesque waterfall is on the left side at the 2.4 km mark, about 100 meters past the logged area seen above.
Here is our video of the waterfall.
11. Jones Lake Forest Service Road after the waterfall.
12. There is a T-junction at the 2.6 km mark. Lorenzeta FSR is to the left, and Jones Lake FSR continues to the right.
13. Jones Lake FSR after the T-junction.
14. A good view at the 3.9 km mark.
15. View of a creek from the bridge at the 4.0 km mark.
16. Now at 4.1 km of Jones Creek Forest Service Road near Hope BC.
17. Approaching BC Hydro Recreation Area at the 7.5 km mark of Jones Lake FSR.
18. Here it is, on the right side. Closed today due to coronavirus COVID-19. Jones Lake West FSR starts here too.
19. We carried on, and here is a view from a small bridge at the 9.0 km mark.
20. There is a note (seen at the bottom left corner) at the 9.7 km mark, advising of active logging Monday-Friday, and requesting not to park vehicles from 9 to 12 km. We have not observed any logging trucks (there was an excavator heading to Jones Lake East FSR, though), and some folks did park their vehicles between 9 and 12 km. Perhaps, an old note? But, still, heads up.
21. Despite closed BC Hydro recreation areas, there are several unregulated camping spots by Jones Lake, with access starting at about 10 km mark of the FSR. Here is one.
22-24. Jones Lake is quite pretty. Looking left to right from the spot accessed as seen above.
Here is our video of Jones Lake.
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25. Apparently, this is Foley Glacier. Zoomed view.
26. Camping by Jones Lake.
27. A very large camping area, suitable for dozens of vehicles, is at the 10.3 km of Jones Lake FSR.
28. Looking right.
29. There is this tricky spot at the 10.5 km mark - be careful due to roadway dropping off substantially on both sides before and after the pipe.
30. And here are the vehicles which parked between the 9 and 12 km of the FSR, at the 11.5 km mark.
31. Chances are, there are no logging trucks running here - just look at this washout 100 meters later.
32. The camera can't reflect the actual depth, but there is a quite a drop there - definitely only for ATVs and high-clearance short wheelbase 4x4s. This is obviously going to only get worse, with this creek flowing here.
35. And this is how we saw Jones Lake during our Mt. Cheam hike.
Jones Lake Forest Service Road near Hope is very rough, but leads to a neat lake. Recommended.
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