Trip 194 - July 24, 2020 (Friday)
Perkins Peak Trail Hike
Near Tatla Lake BC
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Trailhead Location: About 265 kilometers West of Williams Lake via BC Highway 20 and Miner Lake FSR. Close to the settlement of Tatla Lake.
Liked: Mountain views, lake views, several fine views from the access road (Miner Lake FSR), few bugs when windy, the ability to bike (or, even, drive) for most of the trail.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast BC Backroad Mapbook (4th edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 13 (Tatlayoko Lake) A2.
Perkins Peak is a fine-looking mountain located close to other fine-looking mountains in the remote Chilcotin region of British Columbia. BC Highway 20 starts in Williams Lake off BC Highway 97 (check out our BC Highway 20 trip report for more details). About 245 kilometers later, shortly past the unincorporated settlement of Tatla Lake, Miner Lake Forest Service Road begins on the left side. Just under 30 km after that, a series of back roads ends up at the foot of Perkins Peak. Another two hours or so, from what we have read, would be required to get to the top, located at the altitude of 2,819 meters, as per the Backroad Mapbook.
Your vehicle's ability would determine how far down Miner Lake FSR you would be able to get before having to hike or bike. We were able to make it to 11.7 kilometers, where a makeshift bridge over a washout made it too risky for our high-clearance 2WD vehicle to proceed. One small SUV made it much closer, while a pickup truck drove to the end of the access road, where a pipe prevents further vehicular access.
We thus ended up hiking and biking over 18 km to the foot of Perkins Peak, and had neither time nor desire to climb that mountain. That said, there were plenty of great views to be had, and, even if you don't end up at the peak, this trail is one neat hiking / biking / driving adventure.
1. We are Westbound on BC Highway 20, about 25 kilometers West of Tatla Lake, getting ready to turn left onto Miner Lake Forest Service Road.
2. Miner Lake FSR immediately after the turn. Coordinates: N 51⁰57.212’ W 124⁰54.456’. Elevation: 949 meters.
3. Miner Lake FSR is somewhat rough, but should be suitable for most vehicles until major obstacles start showing up.
4. Good views start arriving at around the 7 km mark. This one is at 7.5 km.
5. Now with a zoom. That's Perkins Peak on the right side.
6. At 8.0 km of Miner Lake Forest Service Road.
7. We parked on the right side at 11.7 km. Here is the parking area coming up.
8. It's a very large spot, enough for many vehicles.
9. And the reason why we stopped driving and started biking and hiking is this.
10. There is a washout 140 meters past the parking spot. Some logs created a bridge of sorts, but we did not want to risk getting stuck there. So, biking and hiking it was. Further mileage is still based from the beginning of Miner Lake FSR, but could be off by a few hundred meters, as it is based on GPS trip odometer.
11. In just under 2 km after the washout, a left turn would lead shortly to Miner Lake and its recreation site, if we read the map correctly. We turned to the right.
12. A fine view followed shortly.
13. There was a forest fire in this area several years ago, and crews are cutting down burned trees. Thus, Miner Lake FSR may be closed. Alas, there is no sign or note at the beginning of the FSR by Highway 20, so you may end up going all the way up to this point (16.8 km) to find out that the road is closed. On the positive note, it looks very neat when the burned trees are removed, as it opens previously hidden natural vistas.
14. When it is safe to proceed, about 400 meters past the spot seen above is a very strange split. Coordinates: N 51⁰51.711’ W 124⁰59.332’. Elevation: 1,447 meters. The road on the right has a "closed" sign. Apparently, there was a washout there, but all we could find were two cross-ditches, which should not be a problem for capable 4x4 vehicles. Anyway, if you are driving, a sign directs you to go straight at this split. Since we have seen two vehicles close to the end of the trail, there is certainly a way for motorized traffic to get through.
15. We turned to the right, and this is what it looked like.
16. A bit further.
17-18. A very fine view at 18.2 km.
19. At 18.7 km, a road from the left is probably the end of the bypass road for motorized vehicles (which begins on the left side in photo #14), as just behind us at this spot is another "road closed" sign. We turned to the right again.
20. Looking right at 19.7 km.
21. Miner Lake FSR continues. Now at 20.2 km.
22. At 20.3 km, there is a split. Go straight/left.
23. The first sign for Perkins Peak trail appears at 20.6 km. At this split, go right. Miner Lake FSR, probably, keeps going straight, though it's hard to tell. However, the last mileage marker we saw was at 19 km, so, chances are, right here is where Perkins Peak trail goes its separate way.
24. Here is that first sign and the road on the right side.
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