Trip 267 - September 6, 2022 (Tuesday)
Boulder Canyon Trail Hike
Near Muncho Lake BC
Page 1 of 2
Boulder Canyon Trailhead Location:
Just North of Muncho Lake, off BC Highway 97
(Alaska Hwy), approximately 268 km
North of Fort Nelson.|
Of Note: No tree cover. The trail is semi-dangerous and is for (semi)-experienced and well-equipped hikers only, especially if hiking up the mountains past the creek bed. Some minor scrambling is required. Hiking on the creek bed is required for much of the trail, and may not be possible in high water. Very windy on the ridge in the alpine. Most of the trail is composed of loose stones of various sizes and dirt. Hiking poles and boots are essential.
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Approximate Trailhead Coordinates: Page 79 (Muncho Lake) E2.
Boulder Canyon Trail (not to be confused with Boulder Gardens Route near Tumbler Ridge) is located in Northeastern British Columbia off BC Highway 97 (Alaska Hwy) just North of Muncho Lake, and approximately 268 km North of Fort Nelson, the last town with major services of any kind. Muncho Lake has two gas stations and Northern Rockies Lodge, and that's about it.
Boulder Canyon Trail is located 16.5 km North of Old Alaska Highway Trail South, which we covered in the previous trip report. Boulder Canyon is not as spectacular, but has enough good views to make it a very worthwhile hike for a properly equipped and (semi-)experienced hiker. The trail is composed of stones, large and small, which are frequently loose, mixed with dirt past the creek bed. The creek was dry during our hike late in the season, but any presence of water would make it complicated, if not impossible, to pass a few obstacles where some scrambling is required.
Also, once the first split arrives at about the 2.4 km mark of the hike, the going gets very tough, and the steepness of the terrain combined with a mix of loose stones and dirt would provide a real challenge. That said, the higher you climb, the better the views, so there is a good incentive to keep moving.
Today, we hiked past four splits, and climbed up for a bit, for a total one-way distance of about 5 kilometers. It is certainly possible to hike much further for potentially even better views.
The distances are as follows:
Trailhead to Split 1 (end of relatively easy hiking) - 2.4 km.
Split 1 to Split 2 - 400 meters.
Split 2 to Split 3 - 300 meters.
Split 3 to Split 4 - 310 meters.
Split 4 to hike end (possible to hike much further) - 1.5 km.
*All trail distances are based on a GPS odometer and are approximate.
1. Here is a Google Maps location of Muncho Lake. Boulder Canyon Trail is located about 5 km north of Muncho Lake.
2. En route to the trailhead, we have encountered several wild goats licking ground on the side of the highway.
Here is our video of the goats.
3. A very large parking lot for Boulder Canyon Trail is located on the right side of Alaska Highway (BC Highway 97). Coordinates: N 59°05.109’ W 125°48.755’. Elevation: 910 meters.
Here is our video of the daybreak from this parking lot.
More ihikebc videos are on our YouTube Channel.
4-6. Boulder Canyon Trail Information. The map appears to show the trail up to the first split.
7. We are at the parking lot, looking East. Head towards the mountain straight ahead, then turn right.
8. Here is that mountain a bit closer, at 380 meters of the hike.
9. At 580 meters, we have already turned right and can see the canyon ahead.
10. At 1.15 km, the canyon walls are getting closer.
11-12. At 1.20 km, the only sign of the hike appears on the right side. There is a visible path here and there, but, for the most part, there is no particular path to follow, so just head upstream any way you can.
13. Boulder Canyon Hike at 1.5 km from the trailhead.
14. Scramble time. Would be quite a challenge if there is any water flow. Unclear if it is possible to bypass this section of the trail. At 1.59 km here.
15. Boulder Canyon after the scramble - at 1.63 km from the start.
16. At 1.66 km, we can now see the mountain we ended up climbing after getting through the canyon.
17-18. Another challenging section at 1.78 km.
19. After the scramble.
20. Now at the 1.86 km mark of Boulder Canyon Trail.
21-22. Just over 100 meters later, the third scramble of the hike.
23. The mountains are getting closer. At 2.07 km here.
24. And one more scramble for a good measure - at 2.11 km of the hike.
25-26. At 2.40 km of Boulder Canyon Trail we have reached the first split. Coordinates: N 59°05.372’ W 125°46.738’. Elevation: 1,095 meters (285 meters elevation gain from the trailhead for an average grade of about 12%). This is a good place to go back, if you are not ready for a much challenging terrain ahead. We made a right turn at all four splits.
27. Here is the view immediately after making the right turn.
28. Now at 110 meters from Split 1.
29. At 400 meters, Split 1 ends, and Split 2 begins. Made a right turn again.
30. Split 2 at 130 meters.
31. At 300 meters, Split 2 ends, and Split 3 begins. Yet another right turn.
32. At 20 meters of Split 3.
33-34. At 310 meters, Split 3 ends, and Split 4 begins. Coordinates: N 59°04.997’ W 125°46.084’. Elevation: 1,250 meters. One last right turn.
Our Boulder Canyon Trail Hike Trip Report Continues on Page 2.
ihikebc.com Trip 267 - Boulder Canyon Trail Hike (Near Muncho Lake BC) Page 1 of 2