To km 42 (creek eroding the road, still passable in a 4x4)
Distance from Vancouver to the Beginning of the
Approximately 230 kilometers via Highway 1 East (218 km), Boston Bar
Station Road (200 m), and Chaumox Road (11+ km).
Liked: Several fine
lake and mountain views, access to a waterfall trail, availability of
many camping sites by Nahatlatch River (a fee is charged).
Industrial traffic is present, clouds of dust are
raised by passing vehicles (camping sites would be affected), the road
is narrow by Nahatlatch Lake - backing up may be required, numerous deer
on the road.
Nahatlatch Forest Service Road (formerly Nahatlatch River FSR) starts at
the end of Chaumox Road, approximately 12 kilometers from Highway 1
turnoff in Boston Bar. It is a fine road, leading to numerous fee-based
recreation sites, several picturesque lakes, and a hike to a neat
waterfall. There are good mountain views along the way too. Also, this
FSR goes through Nahatlatch Provincial Park, from where whitewater
rafting trips start their wild ride down Nahatlatch River.
There are numerous private residences on both sides of the road, and the
first large free camping spot is by Mehatl Falls trailhead, at 40.3 km of Nahatlatch FSR, good for 20-25 vehicles.
The road surface is gravel all the way, and it is smooth enough up to
Nahatlatch Provincial Park, so it is possible to maintain the speed of
60-70 km/h. After the park, the road is somewhat rougher, and 30-40 km/h
speed is more realistic. Good tires are a must, but, as far as
clearance, all but low clearance vehicles should be able to make it to
at least the Mehatl Falls trailhead at km 41.3.
Also watch out for industrial traffic, especially on a narrow stretch
along Nahatlatch Lake. A truck with a trailer would have a hard time
backing up there, so it might be a good idea to have a second (scout)
car go through the narrow part of the Nahatlatch FSR first, and then
radio the truck with the trailer if there are any incoming vehicles.
Today, we have made it to the 42.6 km of the road, according to our
odometer (about 41.9 km, according to mileage markers). The was a small
creek, about 10 meters wide, crossing
the FSR and eroding the road surface. We probably would have made it easily through this obstacle in
our 2WD medium/high clearance vehicle, but the first five meters of the
creek's bottom were sand, and it sure did not look like an appealing
option to be stuck in that sand in the middle of a flowing creek, while
blocking Nahatlatch FSR to boot.
The mileage markers placed every kilometer of the FSR were in sync with the odometer for the first 12 km,
and then started to be too late, ending up being about 700 meters too
late by the time we stopped at the 42.6 km mark. According to the
Backroad Mapbook, there were still about 20 kilometers of Nahatlatch FSR
remaining after that spot.
Zero your odometer at the beginning of Nahatlatch FSR, if you want to
follow our odometer mileage markers in the table below. All recreation
sites are located by Nahatlatch River, and have pit toilets, but no
garbage bins. Dust from passing vehicles may reach those staying at the
1. We are Eastbound on Highway 1 in Boston Bar, approaching a left turn
to Boston Bar Station Road. A community of North Bend is also located in
that direction. Here is your last chance to fuel up - at either Esso or
Boston Bar BC
2. Making a left turn onto Boston Bar Station Road, just before Fas Gas.
Highway 1 at Boston Bar Station Road
3. Boston Bar Station Road.
Boston Bar Station Road
4. After several hundred meters, cross the rail tracks and make a right
Railway tracks across Boston Bar Station Road
5. This is now Chaumox Road.
Chaumox Road North Bend British Columbia Canada
6. One kilometer after Highway 1 turnoff, Chaumox Road crosses Cog
Harrington Bridge across Fraser River.
Chaumox Road by Cog Harrington Bridge Across Fraser
7. The bridge was built in 1986.
Cog Harrington Bridge
8. Fraser River seen from Cog Harrington Bridge.
Fraser River North Bend BC
9. Cross another set of rail tracks shortly after the bridge. Keep
Chaumox Road North Bend British Columbia Canada
10. Chaumox Road is a rather scenic drive. Here it is 3.2 km from
11. Now at 8.3 km.
12. At 8.8 km gravel replaces asphalt, but it's still a fairly smooth
Chaumox Road to Nahatlatch FSR
13. Just under 12 kilometers from Highway 1, Chaumox Road ends, and
Nahatlatch Forest Service Road begins. Coordinates:
Elevation: 184 meters. If you have a radio, monitor
channel RR-23 for industrial traffic. And, if you want to follow the
table of points of interest above, zero your odometer at the 0 km marker
about 30 meters before the sign seen below.
Nahatlatch FSR Start
14. Until about Nahatlatch Provincial Park nearly 16 kilometers later,
Nahatlatch FSR is quite wide and rather smooth by FSR standards. It is
possible to maintain the speed of 60-70 km/h.
Nahatlatch Forest Service Road
15. A fine mountain view on the left side at 6.2 km of the FSR.
Mountain View from Nahatlatch FSR
16. Nahatlatch River appears by the side of Nahatlatch FSR at about the
7.5 km mark, and keeps running alongside the road, interrupted only by
17. There are three recreation sites on Nahatlatch Forest Service Road,
all fee-based, and all subject to suffering from clouds of dust raised
by passing vehicles. Thus, try to get a spot as far away from the road
as possible. This is Fir Flat Recreation Site, at 9.3 km of the FSR.
Fir Flat Recreation Site by Nahatlatch FSR
18. There are pit toilets at these recreation sites, but no garbage
bins. All three sites are located by Nahatlatch River.
Fir Flat Recreation Site
19. The rules to live by at Fir Flat Recreation Site, which are likely
the same for all of them.
Fir Flat Recreation Site Rules
20. Nahatlatch Provincial Park arrives at 15.8 km of Nahatlatch FSR.
Nahatlatch Provincial Park Entrance
21. Just past the park sign, on the left side, is a boat launch for
Frances Lake. Also, whitewater rafting is a popular activity on
Nahatlatch River, and we spotted a group of adventurers just before the
beginning of their downriver ride.
Whitewater Rafters on Frances Lake
22. Hannah Lake is next, and here it is at 17.8 km of Nahatlatch Forest
Hannah Lake British Columbia Canada
23. Nahatlatch FSR becomes rougher after Nahatlatch Provincial Park
entrance, and the realistic speed drops to 30-40 km/h.
Nahatlatch Forest Service Road
24. Another shot of Hannah Lake, this time at 19.3 km of the road.
25. Nahatlatch Lake is
next. This is where Nahatlatch FSR becomes quite narrow, and it might be
necessary to back up, if one were to meet a particularly wide vehicle.
This is at 21.9 km of the road.
26. Speaking of particularly wide vehicles, we have met this
tractor/trailer combination exactly at the spot where we had to back up
for about 50 meters to let it through. We are at 29.7 km of Nahatlatch FSR
driver of a pickup with a trailer would have an interesting time meeting
one of these guys here.
Industrial Traffic on Nahatlatch FSR
27-28. Another hazard on Nahatlatch Forest Service Road is an
overabundance of deer, who are very fond of hanging out on the road,
oblivious to approaching traffic until the last 50-60 meters or so. Here
is one such fella.
Deer on Nahatlatch FSR
29. A small but picturesque waterfall arrives at 30.0 km of the FSR.
Waterfall by Nahatlatch Forest Service Road
Here is our video of the waterfall and Nahatlatch
30. Then, at 40.3 km, the first free large parking lot is located right
by the Mehatl Falls trailhead. We will cover this trail in the following
Mehatl Falls Trail Parking Lot
31. Right after the parking lot there is a gate, followed by a bridge.
If we understand what we have read on the Internet correctly, a rough
road to the left immediately after the bridge leads to Grizzly Falls,
but we have not gone there.
Nahatlatch Forest Service Road near Boston Bar
British Columbia Canada
32. A neat view from the bridge.
View from a bridge on Nahatlatch FSR
33. Then, the road is slightly overgrown for several hundred meters.
34. And, at 46.2 km, we have met our match, as a creek flowing across
Nahatlatch FSR is actively eroding the road surface.
Elevation: 361 meters.
Creek Flowing Across Nahatlatch FSR
35. The creek was about 10 meters wide, and not very deep. We probably
could have easily gotten through in our medium/high clearance 2WD
vehicle, but the first five meters or so looked like soft sand, and
thepossibility of getting stuck in the middle of the creek and blocking the road
was not appealing in the slightest. So, we called it a trip at this
point, and went hiking to
Mehatl Falls. The FSR apparently continues for
another 20 kilometers or thereabouts.
Creek Eroding Nahatlatch Forest Service Road
Nahatlatch Forest Service Road is an interesting drive, leading to good
views, several recreation sites, and a good hike to a fine waterfall.