Red Rock Canyon Trail (not to be confused with
Red Rock Trail in Lillooet) is located in Northeastern British
Columbia by BC Highway 97 (Alaska Hwy) just South of Muncho Lake, which,
in turn, is about 245 km North of Fort Nelson. You basically hike up a
creek to a small canyon with a rather impressive 15 meter-high
waterfall. As we hiked at the end of the season, the water level was
low, and we were able to stone-hop in a few locations while crossing the
creek and, also, when approaching the bottom of the waterfall at the end
of the 200 meter-long canyon. Earlier in the season, or after a heavy
rainfall, chances are pretty good that much wading would have to be done
while hiking this 2.6 km-long (one way) trail. There are actually three
viewpoints: 1) the waterfall view from the path about 100 meter away; 2)
the top waterfall view; and 3) the bottom waterfall view via the canyon.
Extreme caution must be used when checking out the top waterfall view,
as you need to get pretty close to the edge for a better look, and the
ground is slanted towards the canyon with nothing to hold on to. It's a
very high fall hazard - watch out. There is also
a fairly dangerous stretch as you approach the top view, due to a steep
unbarricaded drop-off by the path.
Also, there are some overgrown sections, so having a
long-sleeved shirt and long pants would save from minor skin damage. The
hike steadily gains elevation, but nothing too major as far as steep
stretches. It does get very steep as you descend for a few meters
towards the top view, but just go past that descent for a minute or so,
and you will get to a much easier descent path close to the end of the
trail (which is 100 meters past the waterfall top view).
*All trail distances are based on a GPS odometer and
1. Here is a Google Maps location of Muncho Lake. Red Rock
Canyon Trail is located just to the South of Muncho Lake.
2. We are Northbound on BC Highway 97 (Alaska Hwy),
approaching a sign indicating Muncho Lake services are 3 to 10 km ahead.
Alaska Highway (BC Highway 97) near Muncho Lake British Columbia Canada
3. Just a bit further there is a turnoff to Red Rock
Canyon trailhead, which is located right by the highway. This turnoff is
exactly 8 km North of Peterson Canyon North trailhead, with
Peterson Canyon being the subject of our previous trip report.
BC Highway 97 at Red Rock Canyon Trail Parking Area near Muncho Lake BC
4. We will return to Red Rock Canyon Trail shortly, but
now we are going to check out a bit of Muncho Lake. Here is the
community sign, 600 meters past the Red Rock Canyon trailhead turnoff.
Muncho Lake BC Canada
5. A gas station at the South end of Muncho Lake. The
pumps were broken, so we had to go to the North end, where there is the
only modern pump (i.e. accepting credit cards right at the pump) North
of Fort Nelson that we could find, located at the Northern Rockies
Lodge. Hopefully, once the pumps are fixed here, the price of gas would
be a bit less at this station than at the lodge, where it was 2.50 per
litre, about 50 cents per litre more than in Vancouver, and 20 cents per
litre more than in Toad River 50 km to the South.
Muncho Lake Gas Station
6. A sign at the gas station advertises a local towing
service. As there is no cell signal for a long, long distance around
here, a sat phone is your friend (or use InReach and ask someone you
know or the emergency
centre to call this number for you).
Muncho Lake Towing Service
7. Muncho Lake is a looker for sure.
8. And here is the Northern Rockies Lodge on the northern
end of Muncho Lake, with the most expensive gasoline in North America
that we know of. The pump is on the right side (not seen in the photo
below). They do offer 20 cents per litre off to anyone staying at the
lodge. There is also a very small store inside. They did have ice.
Northern Rockies Lodge Muncho Lake British Columbia Canada
9. Back at the Red Rock Canyon trailhead, with BC Highway
97 just behind us. Coordinates:
N 58°55.351’ W 125°46.248’.
Elevation: 880 meters. Plenty of parking.
Red Rock Canyon trailhead
10-11. The info board.
Red Rock Canyon Trail Information Board
Red Rock Canyon Trail Map
12. The hike begins. 25 meters from the trailhead.
Red Rock Canyon Trail near Muncho Lake BC
13. At 60 meters, we are already hiking by the creek.
Follow it upstream to reach the waterfall about 2.6 km later.
Northern British Columbia Hiking - Red Rock Canyon Trail
14. At 310 meters, the path ended and we started hiking
on the creek bed.
Red Rock Canyon Hike North of Fort Nelson BC
15. At 430 meters now.
Hiking Red Rock Canyon Trail by Muncho Lake BC Canada
16. At 635 meters from the trailhead, we are still hiking
up the creek bed. Earlier in the season, there could be a lot of water
Muncho Lake Hiking - Red Rock Trail British Columbia
17. Red Rock Canyon Trail path briefly reappeared. At 775
Hike in British Columbia - Red Rock Canyon Trail
18. There is an occasional cairn (seen in the bottom
right) and a flagging tape here and there, but, as long as you hike up
the creek, you will get to the canyon and the waterfall. At 870 meters
from the trailhead.
Red Rock Canyon Trail near Muncho Lake BC Canada
19. At 1.16 km, we are still hiking up the creek bed.
Red Rock Canyon Hike in Muncho Lake BC Area
20-21. At 1.71 km, a creek crossing is in order. Hiking
poles and boots are essential for this hike.
Hiking Red Rock Canyon Trail in Northern British Columbia Canada
22. At 1.80 km, we are approaching the most interesting
part of the hike.
Red Rock Canyon Trail
23. At 2.02 km, the path reappeared and we started to
Muncho Lake Hiking - Red Rock Canyon
24. At 2.06 km of the Red Rock Canyon Trail.
Red Rock Canyon Trail North of Fort Nelson BC
25. At 2.30 km, the path came down back to the creek.
Red Rock Canyon British Columbia
26. At 2.31 km, we are back in the creek bed.
Red Rock Canyon Trail BC Canada
27. At 2.34 km, we are approaching a key split.
Red Rock Canyon near Muncho Lake BC
28. Here is this key split at 2.36 km of Red Rock Canyon
Trail, at this small waterfall. Coordinates:
N 58°54.760’ W 125°44.935’. Elevation: 935 meters.
Red Rock Canyon Hike
29. At this split, going straight leads to the bottom of
the waterfall (via the canyon) within 200 meters, while going to the
right leads to the viewpoint in 100 meters, and the top of the waterfall
in 200 meters.
Red Rock Canyon Trail Hike Split
30. We went to the right at first.
Red Rock Canyon Hike off Alaska Highway in British Columbia
Our Red Rock Canyon Trail Hike
Continues on Page 2.
Other Trips in Fort Nelson
Trip 265 - Red Rock Canyon Trail
(By Muncho Lake North of Fort Nelson BC)
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