Bridge River to Taseko Lakes - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Default Bridge River to Taseko Lakes

A hike from the Bridge River to Taseko Lakes by way of Griswold Pass. Sept.2012

Four of us, my two sons, David and John, and Ian Thomas had planned hiking to the south end of Taseko Lakes. From there, David and John who had to get back to work, would be flown back to Sechelt by a friend. Ian and I had planned using pack rafts, which we had rented, to paddle up to the north end of the lakes and return by way of Beece Creek, Powell Pass, Iron Pass and Taylor Pass and then back south to our vehicle. Our vehicle was parked close to where the Bridge River Main ends by a creek about 13 kilometers west of Nichols creek. As it turned out Ian too had to get back to work and we had to shorten our route.

Graphic of route.(There is an error in the Graphic. The waterway running down from Taylor Pass is the Taseko River and not Taylor Creek)
Day 1 Sept 3rd.
Left Sechelt and drove the Hurley Road to where the Bridge River Main branches off to the west about three kilometers short of Gold Bridge. We had a late start and camped the first night where the road crosses to the north side of the Bridge River. The road was in fairly good shape throughout its length, but for safety we had two vehicles, and carried a chainsaw, axe and jackall.

Downtown Lake formed by the dammed up Bridge River.
We'd had a late start and camped along the Bridge River where the road crosses to the north side.

Day 2.
We got an early start. Nichols Creek runs into the Bridge River about three kilometers west of the crossing and the road ends about 13 kilometers further on. A rough mining road continues for a further two kilometers to end down by a creek and we parked our vehicles at the end of this road. From here it is a steep climb to the east up to the alpine.

Unnamed creek by which we parked vehicles.
A steep ascent of 1200 feet over one kilometer through old growth leads to a lovely plateau at 6200 feet in the alpine. We accessed the plateau in a little less than two hours just south of a large lake from which a creek flows down to the valley below.

Aerial view of plateau taken by John on his flight back. Valley from which we ascended is to the left. The two valleys to the right are: West branch of Nichols Creek (closest) Main valley of Nichols Creek (farthest) Top left is Griswold Pass.(Nichols/Lord) One of three passes to Griswold creek is slightly left of center. Top right is the Slim Creek valley and in the extreme top right is Gun Mountain.

From reaching the plateau it?s an 11 kilometer hike in the alpine north to Griswold pass. .

It took us longer than expected to reach Griswold as the route north, while looking flat, is a series of gullies. It was getting late by the time we reached Griswold and as the weather was good we decided to camp in the pass, a somewhat grim looking place


Day 3. The upper and mid reaches of Duane Creek are quite beautiful. The creek meanders through an upper meadow and a lower meadow. We found mostly meadows rather than marshes but I imagine earlier in the Summer the going might have been wet and mosquitoes a problem, but at the time of our hike in September the going was fine and the mosquitoes killed off.
Between the meadows there was a short steep descent through some massive boulders and below that a few kilometers of bushwhacking to reach the extensive lower meadows.

Ian and I carried rented inflatable pack rafts, The creek through these meadows would have been ideal for floating the rafts but we wanted to stay together as a group and were also anxious to reach Taseko for the rendezvous with the floatplane. Where the meadow ended we camped on the high river bank

Day 4. We now faced the prospect of a possible 10 k. bushwhack to the Taseko Lakes. We were in old growth but not the majestic giants shading mossy glades that one likes to associate with old growth but a nightmare tangle of fallen trees. We tried to stay up on rocky pine clad bluffs as much as possible where the going was easier. Earlier I had been in touch with Dale Douglas of Tyax who told me that they had a fly-in away camp on Crystal Lake which was on our route and that there was a trail from the canyon on Duane Creek to their camp on Crystal Lake and beyond all the way to Taseko Lakes. Our day three camp was only a few kilometers of bushwhacking from the canyon and we set out very anxious indeed to hook up with this trail. On a bluff above the canyon we fell in with a vague trail which to our delight graduated into a well defined trail and for the remainder of out hike to the Taseko Lakes we had the luxury of a trail. We all breathed a silent prayer of thanks to Dale. About 5 kilometers from our day three camp we came on Tyax? away camp on Crystal lake. This is a high end resort on a beautiful lake with fish jumping in the water and loons calling across the remote lake
We followed the trail to where it crossed the Taseko River a few kilometers from its mouth. The river was an easy crossing at this time of year, but I wonder what it might have been like earlier in the year. We climbed the steep bank on the opposite side and in a few hundred meters reached the old mining road which runs along the north side of the Taseko River.

I had been following the forecast for the Taseko Lakes throughout the Summer. Unlike Chilko Lake the wind was seldom high on Taseko and often from the south, which boded well for pack rafting. On arriving at the Lake there were white caps and a wind howling down from the north!

Day 5. Awoke to a glassy flat calm lake and throughout our time at the lake there was either no wind or a gentle southerly breeze. Every one experimented and explored with the rafts. We had decided to forego the extra weight of paddles and to fashion paddles by splitting and wedging the ends of some thin poles and duct taping them into blades. These were adequate but if doing it again I?d accept the extra weight of some light weight paddles. Also Ian was able to sail downwind using his backpack cover. These pack rafts are sturdy inflatables each weighing a few ounces over 5 pounds. Our packs weighed little over forty pounds as we had arranged for food provisions along the way. These rafts can be paddled at about 3k per hour. We had rented two from an outfit in Idaho.
Tonight we sent a ?Spot? message asking our friend to pick up my two sons the next day.


Day 6. The plane arrived at noon and two of our group reluctantly left.
With the plane also came the awareness to Ian that he too would have to return earlier than expected. We had earlier mailed some food to the Wilderness Lodge at the north end of the lake for the trip out. We would not now be accessing that food but Rod the pilot had brought us food for the three day paddle up the lake and this together with what we had left over was enough to get Ian and I back out by a shorter route.


Below are some aerial views of the south end of Taseko Lake and the Lord River that John took on his flight back.


Day 7. Ian and I spent one more day exploring the south end of the lake and the impressive delta of the Lord River.

Day 8. Headed back out by way of the old mining road along the north side of the Taseko River and made good time, camping on Battlement Creek. At the old airstrip we came on some hunters who were camping there. The forecast had been for sunny skies for the entire trip. High cirrus ?mare?s tail? clouds gave way to a low grey sky. Initial drizzle that night turned into a steady downpour of rain, progressing to hail and snow by morning. We awoke with ice in the tent and each night thereafter the temperature fell to below freezing, with water frozen in our water bottles.

Day 9. Beyond Battlement Creek we followed an often ill defined trail. The undergrowth was wet and the going not always pleasant. After the crossing of Denain Creek the trail became even less evident. We found intermittent trails, sometimes along the sides of the extensive marshes on the Taseko, sometimes off to the sides in the bush. We camped that night where Griswold creek joins the Taseko River as that river flows down from Taylor Pass. Here we dried out our gear as much as possible, singeing our socks and melting rubber on boots. We had hoped to hike out over Taylor Pass and then head back south to our vehicles but with wet gear and temperature each night below freezing we took the shorter route up to Griswold Pass. A few kilometers of bush and we were in the open again, ascending to the pass. Here we saw a moose, the only wildlife of the trip. Perhaps the animals knew it was hunting season! The weather was again sunny but with a cold south wind. We hiked over the pass and camped that night south of the pass sheltered from the wind in the lee of a bluff.

Day 10. Arrived at vehicles in the afternoon and drove to Goldbridge to find that the hotel was full up and worse still out of beef dip. Drove over to Bralorne to find that their motel was full up, -and no beef dip on the menu. We drove down to Pemberton and arrived at 9.00pm.

It was great at last to get to hike with two of my sons,something we had not been able to do since they were children, and no better hiking companion than Ian, but it was a disappointment not to be able to complete the trip as planned. The mid portions of Duane Creek would be ideal for using pack rafts. Also, now knowing that a trail exists to Crystal Lake, one could access the Lord River from this lake, -the distance is less than one kilometer.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 10:22 PM
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Incredible trip. I love this campsite.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 05:07 AM
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Neat trip. I hiked once from the north end of Taseko Lake over Warner Pass and out via Gunn Creek. I heard on that trip about the lodge you mention. Thanks for pointing out that trail.

September is fast becoming the best month for these types of trips. The long dry spells are knocking off the bugs as sure as a deep freeze.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 08:28 AM
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Did the hike up to the plateau above Nichols Creek last weekend to look at the volcanics that make up the plateau (Tuber Hill East) and the flow in Nichols Creek (Nichols Creek Flow) as volcanologists have not done much in the area.

The result: they are going to be up there next year doing more detailed reconnaissances as the volcanics are very interesting.

It is a lovely area with good access even allowing for the long drive (although the roads are reasonable).

We thought we saw footprints coming down the ash slope. Glad to know it was our eyes that were functioning well and not our imaginations.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2012, 09:10 PM
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Great trip.
Some varied and gorgeous locations!!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 09:31 AM
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Thanks Denis. That was pretty and super informative. I heard the S end of Taseko had impressive bushwhacking and its nice to see that confirmed

The ridgewalks along Feo and Denain are pretty awesome too if you ever have time to head up there fyi
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 02:19 PM
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That's a great area and good to see a report from there along with the good info and stunning scenery.

This report should be listed under, Trip Reports / British Columbia instead of under Hiking and Backpacking Specific.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Wildman

That's a great area and good to see a report from there along with the good info and stunning scenery.

This report should be listed under, Trip Reports / British Columbia instead of under Hiking and Backpacking Specific.
Thanks, Wildman. This is the first trip report I've entered with Club Tread. How do I change it from the Hiking and Backpacking category to Trip Reports/British Columbia?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 04:47 PM
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Send an email to an administrator (Longshadow) asking him to move it for you.

Beautiful trip by the way.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru

Send an email to an administrator (Longshadow) asking him to move it for you.

Beautiful trip by the way.
Thank you. I appreciate it and I'll do that.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 08:25 PM
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Another superb collection of photos and a report on grand south Chilcotin. Thanks.

I also love the photo on that glacier seceding with washed out round bolders scattered around with tent next to them.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 09:04 PM
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Thanks!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your help and comments. My son took some aerial photos flying back home, and I am posting them here as they may be useful to anyone hiking in that area.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 12:48 AM
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Denis, really great tr. I don't suppose you have any gps coordinates for it? I was specifically thinking of the point where you found the trail by the canyon.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by seboyle

Denis, really great tr. I don't suppose you have any gps coordinates for it? I was specifically thinking of the point where you found the trail by the canyon.
Thank you. Am attaching co-ordinates. It might be a bit problematic hitting the start of the trail end on, but if you look on the 1;50,000 map of the area you'll see a small pond at 638 597 (NAD) Just west of those co-ordinates you'd intersect the trail which passes within sight of the pond. If I can be of further help I'll be glad to.
-By the way with the name Sean Boyle I'd imagine your ancestors came from Co. Donegal. I was born in that part of Ireland. Cheers and if you are hiking in the Taseko area have a great trip.

NAD27/WGS84 WGS84 Lat-Long Km Description
108-299 108-301 50.82335, -122.84652 0.0 Start of Bridge River Main.
809-323 809-326 50.84491, -123.26995 29.8 Bridge over the river to the north side.
700-380 700-382 50.89510, -123.42549 42.0 End of Bridge River Main.
702-399 702-401 50.91211, -123.42378 43.9 End of mining road, which extends a further two kilometers beyond end of main road. Vehicle parked here.
711-399 711-401 50.91256, -123.41006 44.9 Top of climb to plateau.
725-494 725-496 50.99762, -123.39121 54.4 Griswold Pass. (Nichols/Lord)
680-528 680-530 51.02807, -123.45528 60.0 Hugh steep boulders.
641-577 641-579 51.07215, -123.51104 66.3 Third night’s camp in trees at end of lower meadow.
637-593 637-596 51.08687, -123.51826 68.0[/u] Beginning of trail on bluff over Duane Creek canyon.
636-622 636-624 51.11261, -123.51907 70.8 Tyax’ Sky Camp on Crystal Lake.
630-658 630-660 51.14490, -123.52771 74.5 Taseko River crossing.
770-600 770-602 51.09337, -123.32816 89.5 Denain creek crossing.
783-552 783-554 51.05048, -123.30857 94.5 Junction of Griswold Creek and Taseko River.
758-486 758-488 50.99116, -123.34370 101.5 Griswold/Nichols Pass.

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