Early the next morning after a
hearty breakfast mount up and ride up Potato Mt. to the 2 story
cabin, at 6100 feet, approx. 9 miles. Unpack and settle in there,
after lunch, go for a ride to Lingfield lake and check out the
fishing, and back to the cabin for a waiting supper and camaraderie
around the blazing campfire. ( your choice of sleeping arrangements,
Cabin, Tent or under the stars).
The next morning after breakfast, head off to Chilco lake rim with views of impressive
Chilco Lake ( Tsylos Park ), Tsuniah Lake, Nemaia Valley and surrounding Coast Mt. Having lunch and
spotting for wildlife bedded down in the breaks. Maybe a closer inspection of a fossil
outcrop. Back to the cabin by the long way looking for and stalking wildlife for some
excellent photographs. Supper awaits.
This morning we are going to the north end of the Mt. 10 miles or so through Marmot Basin
with its whistling pigs and Monkey head flowers and on to the grave of Killer of white
men, the last Native from the Wadington massacre then ride back along the rim overlooking
Tatlayoko Lake, Niut Mt. and the coast range with views of Mt. Wadington, our highest
mountain in BC. Across the moonscape and if the snow banks are there, traverse across them
to the main fossil beds with 50 to 75 million year old fossilized clams. Home feels pretty
good this night and a sauna may be in order with a cool dip into Echo lake after.
a hearty breakfast we head off the mountain via the south end and stay the
night at the lodge , pleasent relaxing with private room.
With pack horses in tow ,it's off to Stikelan we go. Through Billy goat wash and on past
the towering peaks. Mountain Goats on the crags looking down at us and the river crashing
over the falls to our right. Finally at the lush meadows 2/3 of the way to the end we make
our first camp (16 miles). With a natural mineral lick just across the river to attract
them, the wildlife watch us from a safe distance. We will be using this camp for two
nights so make your bed comfy. By the time you have finished, a piping hot supper and its
smells attract you to the roaring fire. I think you gotta call this living.
After gathering the picketed horses and saddling up we go to the end of the valley. There
is a family of Wolverine living there in the open alpine, dining on the Marmot (or
Whistling Pig). Seeing Maggi's Ice field and the glaciers that create the Stikelan River
impresses the eye and stimulates the mind.
Packing camp we travel the west side of the river up through the pass behind Lone Mt. with
its clear brooks crashing down the steep slopes, occasionally dashing you with
spray. Camping at tree line in Rafertys Basin and taking a hike up to the original mining
claim, staked in 1937. If you can catch the sunset from here its a beauty. Back to camp
for dinner and relax.
Riding some trails that I can't explain and give justice to, we get to the Copper Zone
with its seven switch backs taking us down to the bottom and rocky Goat trail that takes
us out the other side to an old mine road and the Morris Mine with its two tunnels, one
750 feet and the other 270 feet, all done by hand. Getting to Copper
Creek Ranch at the base of the Mt. by evening.
Now this is a place where you can play, and we stay here this day and just have fun. You
can ride four miles on a old mine road that is great for running the horses, (and they
love it) and go fishing for two to five lb. Rainbow trout in Tatlayoko Lake. Or ride down
to the original mining camp with its remnants of a dream long ago. At the right time of
year the berries are lush and diverse, Saskatoon, Raspberry, Strawberries, Goose Berries,
Thimble Berries and some Choke Cherries.
We have a long way to go today, 15 miles of trail, some is an old mining trail for horses
which turns off into Enchantment Valley, we continue on a cattle trail to our destination.
Hesches Haven. Tonight everybody sleeps well.
Well lets go exploring today, up Enchantment valley, some bushwhacking to do and
possibly seeing a Grizzly bear, back for supper.
Pack up and we are outa here, up the Storm creek trail to Jamison Valley and its fields of
flowers. It's good to get back up to the alpine again. Some pretty little aquamarine lakes
set against sheer rock bluffs towering 1000 feet above.
There are some really nice places to explore, ride off to the head of Storm Creek and look
over the pass to West Branch and the Mosley Creek drainage, lots of wildlife and scenic
Today we leave the alpine and head down the Jamison trail, arriving at the
shores of Tatlayoko lake. There waits our transportation, a 80 by 22 foot
log raft. First check the wind
and if all is ok then load up 1/2 the horses and all our camping gear and push off. It
takes about 3 hours to get across to where the lodge team waits with the vehicle to haul all
of the gear to the lodge. Your choice, ride horses the 4 miles back or ride in the vehicle. Hot
bath and a big supper rounds off the day.
Relaxing and some light riding and a chance to bid good by to your transportation for the
last two weeks, what is much more than just a horse, now is one of the best friends you
will ever have.