routes described here are not necessarily ready for usage.
TCT signage usually indicates the official declaration of useable trail:
the signed trail may not be the final route.
not rely on the signs to find the route.
disappointment, plan ahead Use this website for updates
required using these trails as they are being upgraded. Expect detours/closures
where there is trail or pipeline construction in progress..
Coquihalla Summit Advisory - The Coquihalla Summit from
Coquihalla Lakes to Portia will be closed from August 1 to September 30,
2011 due to heavy pipeline construction.
At other times:
There can be active construction in the summit by the Trans Mountain
Pipeline. Please obey signs and dismount when meeting construction
vehicles and give them lots of room. Do the the same when such vehicles
are passing you.
Read the following notes carefully before proceeding!!!
Prepare yourself for
entering the backcountry. Backcountry backpacking is essential. Expect
sudden weather changes including fog and snow, especially at the higher
elevations. Also, watch for bears and other wild life. Bug repellent is
a real asset. Waterproof foot ware is a must.
Pedestrian/Cycling/Equestrian Trail (West to East)
It is strongly
recommended to purchase Dan
the Kettle Valley Railway' and Bruce Obee's
'Trans Canada Trail British Columbia' guidebook to best enjoy this
section of the Trail.
Note 1: At this time, because
walkers and equestrians are not allowed on the Highway, these users are,
for now, not accommodated from the former Microwave cable car (tram) tower
(or the Bailey Bridge) to app.
4.6 km along the highway where there is a utility road that parallels
the highway on the other side of a road barrier. See explanation
under Jessica Trail.
Note 2: All references to
stations are only indications of where former stations of the KVR
existed. At some locations, vestiges of such stations exist but do
not expect to actually see buildings of any kind (exception is Brookmere).
(Othello Station to Sowaqua) - 14.2
Start on the Othello Road
after leaving the Othello Tunnels Provincial Park. Stay on this road to
Highway 5. After going under the Highway continue east on the utility
road that parallels Highway 5 on the east side. While
waiting for a bridge to be built over the Coquihalla River 4 km from
cyclists can hop onto the shoulder of the Highway going north from the
cable car tower (If heading south, cyclists will need to go onto the shoulder of
the Highway at the point the utility road fronting Jessica runs out).
The crossing under the Highway at Sowaqua
Creek along the Coquihalla River via Jessica Station to Portia Station) -
11.9 km. (complete dist.).
The trail section from where the trail goes under the Highway at Sowaqua Creek to Carolin Mines highway
is 5.3 km.
In the Interim (while waiting for
a bridge over the Coquihalla River 4km north of Bailey Bridge and former cable car
Going north: After using
the highway for about 4.6 km from the former tram or cable car tower there is a service road on the
right side of the road barriers. Hop on to this roadway and continue
north for 2.2 km. Watch for a trail starting on your right and continue on
this trail to where the Coquihalla River goes under the highway to the
west side. At times the trail is between a highway barrier and the
river and on two occasions it goes through a forested area.
Once on the
west side of the highway proceed up to the
railroad grade across the utility road on a narrow trail
through trees and climb 0.35 km to the rail grade. As long as one stays on the rail grade, the private
property signs at Jessica Station about the half way point can be ignored. At Carolin
Mines road go down towards the highway. Proceed back under the highway
at the Corolin Mines exit and follow the service road that parallels the east
side of the highway with the Coquihalla River on your right going
north. Follow this road over Ladner Creek all the way up to
the approach to Shylock Road Exit 200. Take a 2-km off-highway trail
just before the exit and follow it north to Portia above Boston Bar
Going south: cyclists
once passed the Jessica rail grade and on the utility road do not go
under the highway. Instead, continue south on the utility road on the west side of the Highway until it runs out
2.5 km later. Here, hop back onto the westbound shoulder of the
Highway on the way to Othello (or Hope) to reach the Kawkawa exit. (Once the a
bridge is built over the Coquihalla River, there will be no need to use
the highway for this section).
Coquihalla Summit Trail (Portia Station to Coquihalla Lakes
Station) - 24.4 km
We usually anticipate that
the Summit will be almost clear of snow by June 1 (2008 season - this
was in late June) (Changes from this will be posted on this site).
It may be necessary to walk bikes over patches of snow in shady places.
Watch for the numerous rocks and boulders that have fallen on the
utility road. Where creeks have washed the surface of the roadbed
in several places there is coarse surfacing put in by Trans Mountain
Pipe Line. Cyclists must keep their attention on the roadway to
avoid loose rock and soft gravel. Dismount to look at features and
scenery. When the snow clears, cyclists, walkers, and equestrians
can get through but must safety conscious.
You must dismount and get
well off the road when meeting Trans Mountain Pipe Line construction
Our license to
operate in the Trans Mountain/Kinder Morgan Pipe Line corridor in the summit
restricts us to walking and cycling only. Equestrians are also allowed
but will need to alter the routing somewhat to get around gates. We will leave information
regarding closures and hazards at the Information Tourist Bureau in
Hope, and at the Backroads bike shop in Princeton. If there is dangerous
work going on in the summit it will be temporarily closed and signs to
that effect will be put up requiring cyclists to use the shoulder of the
Highway as an alternative and walkers will need to organize a shuttle to
get passed the summit. Please note that there are gates to keep out all
public motorized traffic (including ATV's and dirt bikes) at each end of
the Summit Trail . Most times bicycles need to be lifted over 3
such gates. Beware of fallen rocks on the roadway.
The 3.3 km section of the
KVR 1.4 km above Portia leaving the Trans Mountain Pipe Line's road is now completely restored and for the exception of detouring around former bridges is the
historical KVR rail grade. The first 800 m is
used by Trans Mountain Pipe Line to reach a gravel pit. The next 2.5 km is the newly
completed trail offering spectacular views, tree cover, and even a
pleasant veil-like waterfall. Vestiges of the train years such as
telephone poles, railroad ties, bridge abutments, extraordinary rock
retaining walls, etc. can also be found here.
The next 5 km to the rail
tunnel is a continuation of the rail grade above a high cliff first
passing Iago (3 km). 1.2 km after the concrete snow shed and a
tunnel 0.4 km to a bridge site, is the mysterious "Hole in the Wall" and
after the rail grade ends but can be viewed on the cliff sides as you
travel on the Trans Mountain Pipe Line Utility road.
***A new opportunity*** (Marked in red on the Shylock to
Coquihalla Lakes Map above)
At the end of August 2006 our volunteers restored 2.7 km of the rail
grade for walkers starting about 20 metres past "Hole in the Wall".
Watch for a very narrow trail going uphill on your left (Adventurous
cyclists willing to push their bikes up this narrow trail, a few other
tough sections, and another narrow trail with switchbacks to get back
down at the other end can try this section of rail grade as well.)
This trail offers great vistas, collapsed snow-sheds, and an opportunity
to view the high concrete pillars from the top and bottom of the longest
train bridge of its kind on the KVR. Before descending there a a
short trail to the top of the west pillar of the former KVR bridge
(photo opportunity). Once you descend the trail at
the east end the pillars of the former KVR bridge are an extraordinary photo opportunity.
Cyclists may want to just go to this site by continuing on Trans
Mountain Pipe Line
Utility Road and take a very short side trip on an old rock haul road
just before crossing the bridge at Needle/Slide Creek. By leaving the
bikes below a hike up the new invigorating trail to the rail grade and
to the top of of the west abutment of the bridge would be a memorable
highlight in this corridor.
This summit route uses the KVR for half of the distance and the rest
of the time vestiges of it can be spotted mostly high on the mountainside
the pipeline service Road.
At the north end, vestiges of rock walls on the east side of the river
recall cattle drive years. At
Needle Creek (also known as Slide Creek), approximately halfway into the
summit, do take
the time to go up a short distance along the creek on a quarry road to
look at the huge KVR bridge abutments (Monumental Rail Pillars). The longest free bridge
span on the KVR was at this location (see description above to access
the rail grade here). This is also the beginning
of BC Park's Coquihalla Summit Park which extends to include the
Coquihalla Lakes. Hopefully, this will, one day, be the site
of a BC Parks campground for cyclists and hikers. North from this point
the Coquihalla River goes underground during the summer and therefore,
becomes scarce from here northward. Also, 6.7 km later the
spectacular Bridalveil Falls of Falls Creek, the site of a vestige rail
bridge in the foreground, is yet another great feature along this route.
Then it is onward to the Coquihalla Lakes, a real mountain oasis.
As an alternative this
Summit Trail, cyclists may
use the shoulder of the Highway from Portia to the Coquihalla Lakes. Just past the
Toll Booths turn right down to Coquihalla Lakes.
(Coquihalla Lakes Station to Juliet Station
at 'person gate')
- 17.7 km
combines the KVR (8 km) along the Coldwater River and the Trans Mountain
Pipe Line Right of Way (5.2 km where the KVR is under the Highway). Less adventuresome cyclists, can
overcome the difficulties by staying on the shoulder of the Highway.
From the Coquihalla Lakes
Station go for 2 km to the Briton Creek Rest Area to find wahsrooms and
great interpretive panels of the trail and area. Continue north 0.8 km
to go over the
Highway at the Coquihalla Lakes Exit 228. Then cross over the former KVR
bridge and go back under the highway by following the north
bank of the Coldwater River to rejoin the former KVR. Follow the rail bed to the Mine Creek Forest
Service Road Exit 231. The trail continues between the Highway and the
Coldwater River and rejoins the KVR as it approaches Juliet Station.
Juliet Station is
located on the other side of the Highway after crossing the rail bridge
over Juliet Creek and going under the Highway (This highway interchange
can be a bit confusing. Keep in mind that you need to get to the
other side of the Highway).
(Juliet Station to Brodie Station - 9.4 km)
From the Juliet 'person'
gate 2.4 km past the overpass by taking the road that parallels the
highway you come to a self-closing gate installed for trail users at the animal fence. From the gate follow the KVR all the way to Brodie Station on the east side of
The two major washouts,
about 750 m apart, along this route are particularly
difficult for cyclists and unsuitable for equestrians. Both these trails (150 m long) require the pushing and
lifting of bikes. A walking trail gets rebuilt yearly by the Nicola
Explorers across these slides. They are very sandy and is subject to continuous filling in
from above. Dismount and
great care crossing this slide watching for anything coming down from
have the option of staying on the shoulder of the highway, in which
case, will need to go up the hill to the Larson Exit 250 and turn back
south on the east side of the highway to the Brodie rail bridge.
(Brodie Station to Brookmeere Station -
over the rail bridge going east (the other branch goes all the way to
Merritt). Follow the rail grade all the way to Brookmere.
(Othello Station at Othello Road to
- Othello to Cable Car (Lear Station)- 7.5 km
- Cable Car to future Coquihalla crossing (orange balls over river) - +4.3
- Future Coquihalla crossing to other side of highway along river at
Sowaqua Creek - +2.4 km
Othello 177 m (+130
m/426 ft from Hope)
Lear 232 m (+55 m/180 ft)
(Sowaqua Creek to Portia Station at TMPL gate)
- Sowaqua Creek to Carolin Mines
Road near Aurum - 4.8 km (It is 2.1 km to the gate at the private properties
and Jessica proper). It is another 2.4 km to Carolin Mines Road.
- The railcar bridge at 15 mi creek is 1.8 km past the gate.)
- Aurum to Carolin Mines Exit - +0.5 km
- Carolin Mines exit to Ladner Creek - +2.5 km
- Ladner Creek to Shylock - +2.4 km
- Shylock to Portia - +2 km
Sowaqua 310 m (+133
Jessica 397 m (+87/285 ft)
Aurum 457 m (+60/195 ft)
Carolin Mines Exit 370 m (-77 m/252 ft)
Sowaqua to Portia 270
|Coquihalla Summit Trail
(Portia Station via Coquihalla Lakes
Station to Britton Creek Rest Area)
- First gate to point leaving
pipeline road to follow the KVR grade - 1.3 km
- Rejoin pipeline road - +3.5 km
- Then to Iago - +2.8 km
- Iago to tunnel - +2.7 km
- Tunnel to leaving of KVR grade soon after "Hole in the Wall"-
- On pipeline road to Needle Creek (Slide Creek) - +2.6 km
- Continue on pipeline road to Romeo Station - +2.7 km
- Continue on pipeline road to Falls Creek (Bridal Veil Falls) - +4.4 km
- Continue on pipeline and rejoin the KVR grade at tunnel 1 - +2.7 km
- From here to Coquihalla Lakes Station (Between the two lakes) - +1.5 km
580 m (+210 m/690 ft)
First Y off Pipeline Rd 620 m (+40 m/130 ft)
Rejoining Pipeline Rd. 700 m (+80 m/262 ft)
Iago 738 m (+138 m/453 ft)
Hole in the Wall 820 m (+82 m/270 ft)
Needle Creek 800 m (-20 m/65 ft)
Romeo on Pipeline Rd. 840 m/trailbed 939 m (+40 m/130 ft)
Bridal Veil Falls 930 m (+90 m/295 ft)
Elevation change Portia
to Coquihalla Station: 524
(Coquihalla Lakes Station to Juliet
Station at the 'person' gate)
Coquihalla Lakes Station to Britton
Creek Rest Area - 2 km
- Britton Creek Rest Area to Coquihalla Lakes Exit 228 Overpass - 1 km
- Exit 228 to Mine Creek Exit - 3.4 km
- Mine Creek Exit to end of rail grade - 1.1 km
- End of rail grade to start of KVR again - 4.2 km
- North ford of the Coldwater River to railway steel bridge over Juliet
Creek - 1.9 km
- Steel railway bridge to Juliet 'person' gate' - 2.9 km
Coquihalla Lakes 1105 m
(+175 m/575 ft)
Mine Creek Exit 1040 m (-65 m/213 ft)
Juliet 1010 m (-30 m/98 ft)
Coquihalla Station to Juliet -95
(Juliet Station gate to Brodie Station)
||Brodie Station 920 m
(-90 m/295 ft)
(Brodie Station to Brookmere Station)
||Brookmere Station 980 m
(+ 60 m/197 ft)
Highest point on trail 1105 m/3625 ft
Highest point on Hwy 1425 m/4675 ft.
Total elevation change Othello to Summit 928 m/3045 ft -
Total elevation change Hope to Summit 1058m/3470 ft
Washroom Facilities and Staging areas (Parking)
Coquihalla Lakes Rest Area
Camping and lodging
Coquihalla Lakes Lodge
- As of 2006 camping will no longer be available at the Lodge site.
One night cabin stays are available during the week. Click on link for
Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, other
Sometimes there may be a food stand in the Coquihalla Lakes Rest area.
For More Information
Coquihalla Summit Provincial Park
Canyon Provincial Park (Othello Tunnels)