Trip 287 - July 31, 2023 (Monday)
Sowerby Creek FSR Hike
Near Hope, BC
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Liked: Several fine mountain views, colourful wild plants, a good creek view, no excessively steep sections.
Of Note: A rough FSR suitable for highly capable vehicles only (or hiking), numerous aggressive flies (mostly second half of the hike), limited shade, some parts of the FSR are getting overgrown, uneven ground, loose rocks, hiking poles and boots are highly recommended, as well as long pants, long-sleeve shirt and safety glasses.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2019 edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 5 (Chilliwack Lake) F1.
Other Trips in Hope BC Area: Thacker Mountain Trail, Flat Iron Peak Trail, Needle Peak Trail, Dog Mountain Trail, Jones Lake FSR Trip to Jones Lake, Yak Peak Trail, HBC Heritage Trail, Sowaqua Creek FSR, Zoa Peak Trail, Skagit River Trail, Skyline II Trail Hike, Silver Skagit Road, Mount Outram Trail, Othello Tunnels, Eaton Lake Trail, Mount Hope Lookout Trail, Town of Hope BC.
Other Forest Service Roads Trips: Chehalis (by Harrison Mills), Chilliwack Bench, Chilliwack Foley, Chilliwack Lake, Chuchinka-Colbourne (North of Prince George), Clear Creek (off Harrison East), Florence Lake (access to Stave Lake by Mission), Harrison East, Harrison East Second Trip, Harrison West, Lost Creek (by Mission), Lost Creek (by Mission), Mamquam River (by Squamish), Nahatlatch (near Boston Bar), Parsnip West (near Mackenzie), Scuzzy (by Boston Bar), Shovel Creek (off Harrison East), Sowaqua Creek (by Hope), Squamish River Main, Squamish River Ashlu, Squamish River E-Main, Squamish River FSR Washout, Windfall Creek (by Tumbler Ridge).Follow @ihikebc Tweet
Sowerby Creek Forest Service Road is located near Hope BC, by Highway 1 Exit 168 (Flood-Hope Road) and starts right at the gate of Silver Lake Provincial Park, which can be found in the vicinity of the 6.4 km mark of Silver Skagit Road. We were initially heading to Eaton Lake Trail further down Silver Skagit Road, but the road was closed until the Spring of 2024 (due to flooding damage) right at the spot where the right fork takes you across a bridge to Silver Lake Provincial Park, so we decided to hike Isolilllock Peak Trail instead, which is located off Sowerby Creek Forest Service Road.
As Sowerby Creek FSR is not suitable for anything but hiking or highly capable (at least one locker) short wheelbase narrow body 4x4s, we hiked to Isolilllock Peak trailhead from about the 800 meter mark of the FSR for 5.8 km, and realized that this unmarked route with 1,550 meters elevation gain would be way too much on a 30°C day. So, we hiked down Sowerby FSR a bit more, and made a 10.5 km (one way) hiking trip out of it all, counting from our parking spot at the 800 meter mark of the FSR. There were about 2-3 more kilometers left when we stopped, so there could be even more to see further down the road.
Sowerby Creek Forest Service Road has a decent hiking value, as the are no excessively steep stretches, no washouts or windfall, and the only three substantial challenges were a rather rough surface for much of the road, several sections of encroaching vegetation (skin and eyes scratching hazard), as well as dozens of aggressive flies in the second half of the FSR.
This hike has several very fine mountain views, numerous colourful wild plants, and one decent creek view as well.
* All hiking distances are based on a GPS odometer and are approximate.
1. Here is a Google Maps location of Silver Lake Provincial Park. Sowerby Creek FSR starts just at the entrance to Silver Creek Provincial Park, and can be seen in the map as an unnamed road heading down towards the bottom left of the map.
2. We are Eastbound on Trans-Canada Highway 1, about 152 km East of Vancouver, with Hope being another 5 km or so ahead, getting ready to take Exit 168 Flood-Hope Road.
3. Taking Exit 168.
4-5. Upon taking Exit 168, keep going straight. Making a right turn at the split right after the exit (there is no entry to the road on the very left - it's for traffic from the opposite direction of Flood-Hope Road), would lead to the Travel Centre, which has many useful things, including rather expensive showers.
6. The road would lead to a T-junction, Make a right turn onto Flood-Hope Road. Going straight would result re-entering Highway 1 East, and turning left would (eventually) lead to Highway 1 West.
7. After driving for 300 meters on Flood-Hope Road, make a right turn onto Silver Skagit Road where a traffic light is flashing in the middle of the intersection.
8. Here is the beginning of Silver Skagit Road, 800 meters after exiting from Highway 1.
9. Proceed on Silver Skagit Road, which is in good shape and becomes packed gravel at some point, for 6.4 km. Upon reaching the turnoff to Silver Lake Provincial Park, make a right turn. Skagit River Road is closed past this point until next spring for road repairs.
10. Make a left turn at the split 1.1 km later.
11. Within 200 meters, arrive to a bridge.
12. Right after the bridge, there is a gate leading to Silver Lake Provincial Park. Sowerby Creek Forest Service Road starts on the right side. This location is 8.5 km from TransCanada Highway 1 East Exit 168.
13. Now on Sowerby Creek FSR. There are no signs of any kind, and no mileage markers. It is possible to drive in a regular vehicle for a few hundred meters.
14. Go straight (right) at the split at 0.2 km of the FSR. This and all the subsequent distances are from the beginning of the road near Silver Lake Provincial Park gate.
15. We parked at this sport, located at the 800 meter mark. Coordinates: N 49⁰15.645' W 121⁰36.267'. Elevation: 640 meters. There is a pretty deep cross-ditch right before it, however.
16. The reason we did not go further was this large stone 90 meters later. A narrow body vehicle might make it past the stone, but we did not want to risk a rollover due to a road drop-off on the left side. Sowerby Creek FSR becomes much rougher in places after that.
17. So, we started hiking form the 800 meter mark of Sowerby Creek FSR. The first good view appeared at the 1.20 km mark.
18. Forty meters later.
19. A small bridge at he 1.48 km mark.
20. And, at 1.73 km, there was this unusual stone. Around this area we also encountered several large toads, which blend in very well with the gray colour of the road, so watch out if you are driving, lest you run them over.
21. A good example how rough Sowerby Creek FSR can be in places. At 2.00 km here. It gets worse.
22-23. Another good mountain view at 2.12 km. Plain and zoomed.
24. Sowerby Creek Forest Service Road at the 2.45 km mark.
25. At 2.80 km, there is a split. On the left is a good large flat camping spot with a fire ring. FSR continues on the right.
26-27. And a very fine mountain view arrives at the 2.85 km mark.
Our Sowerby Creek FSR Trip Report Continues on Page 2.
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ihikebc.com Trip 287 - Sowerby Creek FSR Hike (near Hope, BC) Page 1 of 2