Nor = Northern British Columbia Seven Sisters Area via Hell's Bells-Oliver Creek Trails (June 30 - July 1) - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 129
Default Seven Sisters Area via Hell's Bells-Oliver Creek Trails (June 30 - July 1)

This is a much delayed post. I meant to write a TR because there's limited amount of info on the trails in the North, but never got the time until now... Better late than never - hope it can still provide some recent condition beta for the non-local folks who happen to get a chance to explore around there.

My chance came as my girlfriend is working in the North these days. I was visiting (from Vancouver) for the Canada Day long weekend. While it was bone-dry on the South Coast and scorching in the Central Interior, the North Coast was having a really wet and cool early summer in July.

We went up to the alpine on the SW side underneath the Seven Sisters massif via the Hell's Bells trail and connecting onto the Oliver Creek Trail. In a Subaru Impreza, we could drive up to ~5.5km on the Flint Creek Road, and parked at a big right turn. The road beyond that point was rough - almost like ATV terrain. It's only another half an hour walk to where the motorized vehicles are prohibited anyway. (We chose this way as an exploration to see how far we could drive up in a car, since we knew what it's like to go on the bottom half of the Oliver Creek Trail. It probably didn't save us too much time, but definitely some elevation.)

The road continues after an open & unlocked gate for the motorized vehicles boundary for another 40 minutes or so until you hit the Hell's Bells trailhead. A bike would be nice for this first hour or so travelling. The Hell's Bells trail connects with Oliver Creek Trail not too far away from a trapper's cabin by a lake.

After that, it was a boring flat section, part of it being very muddy. You gain elevation again after to get close to the timberline. The description in the book "Trails to Timberland in West Central British Columbia" by Blix was very accurate. We had to cross a creek before the final stretch of elevation gain to get to the alpine. After about 5 hours fighting bugs (and hiking), we reached a beautiful camp spot with Mt. Quinlan in view.

One perk of hiking in the north that time of year is the long daylight. Even with a 2:30pm start, we still had plenty of light after dinner. The forecast was getting worse for the next day, so we headed up to see the true face of Seven Sisters. We walked up the ridge on the right side of the previous picture and stood right beneath the south face of Seven Sisters. It's almost 10pm by then...

The view to the south, Quinlan and Legate and beyond...

Looking East... Paleo Peak, and you can even see Hudson Bay Mountain on the left central background:

It indeed rained early in the morning the next day. So, we slept in and hiked out when it stopped late in the morning. Too bad - with better weather, we could probably try to scramble up something.

We met one group of 3 on the way down when they were coming up. The two gentlemen hiked that trail some 25 years ago and came to see what's changed (or not), bringing a daughter. They asked us how bad the bugs were. I replied: "What bug...?!"

P.S. We were never able to see the impressive Seven Sisters massif from below again that weekend (in the cloud). But we saw how magnificent they were on the August long weekend from the north on the highway - truly majestic!
KARVITK, Ryl, treord8 and 1 others like this.

Last edited by Loudwater; 08-25-2017 at 03:18 AM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2017, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
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Thank you Loudwater. Very much enjoyed your report and reading it; your pictures show how impressive those peaks are.

Definitely a good resource for anyone who ventures this way, not likely much info on these places on most sites, so this very much appreciated.


Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 06:30 PM
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Location: Vancouver
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Really nice to see some North Coast stuff, I agree. Crazy how much snow lingered up there this summer!

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