Silver King Basin (Babine Mountains) - Dec 27-28, 2016
While I was up in Smithers for the Christmas holidays I did a quick snowshoe overnighter to Silver King Basin in the Babine Range. I had explored this area a bit before during the summertime, but this was my first opportunity to get out there during winter conditions.
Because the road from Smithers into Babine Mountains Provincial Park is only plowed up to the park boundary during the winter, I walked the last section of road up to the trailhead. This added an extra 5km to what is normally a 8.5km hike during the summer (one-way). After 80 minutes of walking along the road, I reached the Silver King trailhead where I put on my snowshoes.
The trail follows an old mining road, mostly through dense forests with few views along the way. With the trees all covered in snow the trail was transformed into a delightful Winter Wonderland; here is how the trail looks now compared to my last visit in early July:
In the final couple kilometers the forest opens up, giving fabulous views of the surrounding mountains.
A little over 5 hours after starting out, I arrived at the Joe L'Orsa Cabin in the meadows of Silver King Basin, where I spent the night. Definitely one of the nicest backcountry cabins I've seen. The two-story log cabin has capacity for up to 20 people (a total of nine people were there that night). The cabin is heated by a wood stove, though even with the stove burning it is a little chilly inside.
An aerial view of Silver King Basin and the surrounding area from my flight into Smithers a few days earlier: