Trip 193 - July 1, 2020 (Wednesday)
Happy Birthday, Canada!
Crater Lake Trail Hike
Hudson Bay Mountain Resort Area
Near Smithers BC
Trailhead Location: At Hudson Bay Mountain Resort near Smithers BC - about 22 kilometers from BC Highway 16.
Liked: Crater Lake view, mountain views, a fairly easy trail.
Of Note: Lots of mosquitoes (unless windy), strong wind on the trail, the trail is popular, snow patches and wet spots, uneven ground - hiking poles and boots are recommended. Almost the entire trail has no shade - sun protection required.
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 35 (Moricetown) G6 (shown as Hudson Bay Mtn Trails).
Related Website: Hudson Bay Mountain Resort.
Hudson Bay Mountain Resort in Smithers is known for its winter activities, but, once the snow is (mostly) gone, recreation does not stop, as there is a possibility of hiking for just over 2 kilometers from the parking area to a neat mountain lake called Crater Lake. The trail is quite popular, and we have encountered dozens of people and a few off-leash dogs during the hike. More adventurous folks may proceed further up Hudson Mountain, and check out a good view of Crater Lake from above. However, other than us, only one hiker that we could see went past the lake, and she went way up, where we decided not to go due to too much snow and threatening clouds in the vicinity.
On the way to the lake, the wind was very strong, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. However, on the way back, the wind calmed down, and numerous mosquitoes eagerly attacked all the people who had the (mis)fortune of hiking to and from Crater Lake. Also, almost all of the trail is either in sub-alpine or alpine areas, so sun protection would be useful on a sunny day. If you choose to proceed up Hudson Bay Mountain past the lake, do note that the trail gets much steeper and turns into loose stones and dirt - hiking poles and boots would be especially useful here.
1. There are several ways to get to Hudson Bay Mountain Road, which leads to Hudson Bay Mountain Resort. We got there by driving West on Highway 16. Here we are entering Smithers. The large blue sign points to Hudson Bay Mountain Resort. See the yellow sign far ahead?
2-3. That's the first intersection after the "Smithers" sign, and we turned left here onto Tatlow Road. Coordinates: N 54⁰46.246’ W 127⁰08.437’. Elevation: 477 meters. Zero your odometer here.
4. Tatlow Road after the turn.
5. 400 meters after turning left from Highway 16 onto Tatlow Road, turn right onto Pacific Street.
6. At 1.2 km, turn left from Pacific Street onto Dahlie Road. Small blue signs with arrows point to the resort as each intersection.
7. This is Dahlie Road.
8. At 2.2 km, turn left from Dahlie Road onto Hudson Bay Mountain Road.
9. Now on Hudson Bay Mountain Road, which will end just under 20 kilometers later at the resort.
10. At 6.6 km, asphalt turns into a decent gravel road. There are a few switchbacks after that, followed by smooth turns here and there.
11. Arriving to Hudson Bay Mountain Resort.
12. Here is the parking area at the end of the road, 22.1 km from Highway 16. Coordinates: N 54⁰46.083’ W 127⁰16.772’. Elevation: 1,474 meters. At about 15.5 km, the road's name on our automotive GPS changed to Prairie Rd, but it's the same road to the resort. If there are no spaces to park here, a very large parking area is located a few hundred meters prior to that.
13. Walk to the shack seen above, and turn right.
14. Take a path on the left.
15. Just over 120 meters later, turn left.
16. This is now Crater Lake trail.
17. After hiking for a few hundred meters past some trees, the trail opens up.
18. Hudson Bay Mountain peak appears straight ahead very shortly.
19. With much zoom.
20. There isn't much to see on the right side. But, on the left side, there is an impressive mountain range far in the distance.
21-22. With much zoom when we got closer to the lake.
23. This trail is very popular with people, dogs, and mosquitoes.
24. Still lots of snow on some parts of the trail on July the 1st. Even more parts were wet, and a few narrow brooks crossed the trail too. Here we are about 1.6 km from the parking lot.
25. At 2.1 km, we are almost there.
26. And here is Crater Lake. Coordinates: N 54⁰47.096’ W 127⁰18.117’. Elevation: 1,791 meters (317 meters elevation gain from the parking lot).
27. With some zoom. It's possible to get to the edge of the lake.
Here is a video of the views near the lake.
28. We then decided to hike on the ridge to the right of the lake.
29. Save for us and another hiker, who was way further ahead, no one else went past the lake while we were there. The trail becomes much steeper and rougher, and hiking poles and boots are highly recommended.
30. Looking back.
31. Now looking left at Crater Lake, about 530 meters from the end of the lake trail.
Here is a video of the views from above the lake.
More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.
32. We hiked for another 400 meters or so, and our GPS with Backroad Mapbook software indicated over 2 more kilometers to go. However, as there was much snow further ahead, as well as threatening clouds nearby, we decided to head back at coordinates: N 54⁰47.479’ W 127⁰18.446’. Elevation: 1,994 meters.
33. But this intrepid hiker kept going.
34. Sure is lots of snow up there.
Crater Lake trail is fairly short and easy, and leads to very impressive views. Highly recommended.
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