This Historic Trail has been used for thousands of years by Natives, then in 1849 became the annual (Fur) Birgade Route down to Fort Langley and back.
Many gold seekers also used this route.
I have helped (volunteered) with the Hope Mountain Centre for the last 9 years to reopen the entire 74km Heritage Trail from Tulameen to Hope over the Cascade mountains.
There has been thousands of hours and hundreds of volunteers over the last decade to get it to the grand reopening on May of 2016!!
With 11 campsites built along the way now, some bridges, kiosks, maps, all windfall cut, and km markers, I recommend doing at least a section of this trail on a sunny day for good views!
I hiked 55km of the trail from Tulameen to Sowaqua fsr solo .
NOTE: The km markers start at 0km in Hope up Peers creek and End at 74km a few km south of Tulameen along the river, so the first camp Olivine (km marker 65) was 9km up the trail
8am: The hike up to Olivine Camp(65km) was not too bad of a grade up, but about the (58km marker) for 2 km up to Loadstone Lake was fairly steep but the view made it all worth it! I arrived at the Lake about 1:30 and had lunch.
From Loadstone Lake the trail follows a 4x4 road (Whipsaw) with very little elevation gain or loss for about 7km , then back to single track trail along some beautiful plateaus with blueberries everywhere till Blackeye's Camp at 46km, this is where I should of stopped to camp after already 28km with a heavy pack but made the stubborn decision to push on another 6km down to Horseguard Camp! After a long 10 hour hike, I set up my tent and had dinner just before nightfall.
Woke up to frost in the tent and -4 !
After hot chocolate and oatmeal, I packed back up and was on the trail by 7am .
The next 12km to Jacobson Lake were fairly flat, except the first km out of Horseguard is steep!
From Jacobson Lake(28km) the trail is fairly steep all the way till about a half km past Palmers Pond at (24.5km) but the views once u get to Conglomerate Flats Camp (26km) are amazing for approx. 4.5km !
I got to Deer Camp (Campement du Chevreuil) 23km at about 1:30, had lunch, then did the descent down from the top of Mt.Davis to Sowaqua fsr/Camp!
The last 2km down from 21km to 19km is really steep with about 40 switchbacks just so u know!!
I waited (laying on the grass) about 20 min for my buddy to pick me up about 3:30 with a big ice tea and a few chocolate bars !!
P.S the week before there was the first ever Mountain Madness Birgade running race , 80km from Tulameen to Hope the ENTIRE HBC Trail!! 26 elite athletes entered with Mike Sidic winning at a staggering 9 hours and 12 min!!
Plus another 38 people did a 30km race from Jacobson Lake, up and down Mt.Davis, along the Sowaqua, then up and down Manson's Ridge, then still another 8 km along Peers creek till the finish line!
Eleanor Greenwood won that race at 3 hours and 21 min!!
There is cell service only in a few spots and are rough km estimates only:
22km Deer Camp
24km Palmers Pond
47km Blackeye's Plateau
56km Loadstone Lake
67km below Olivine Camp
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