This is one of the more popular hiking trails in the region of Fort St. James, British Columbia, Canada because of the big views this hike offers. But the views come at a price because to enjoy the views one must complete a steep hiking trail up a mountain to an old forestry lookout. This hike requires some effort.
The well maintained hiking trail is located in the Mount Pope Provincial Park located north of the community of Fort St. James. The day-use park was established to protect the sensitive limestone bluffs, caves, wildlife and the local flora and fauna in the area. The highlight of the park is the Mt. Pope Hiking Trail.
The 6-7 Km (4.3 mi.) route follows an earthy, pine-needle cushioned trail up Mount Pope via a series of switch backs to a peak providing fantastic 360 degree views. The views capture the valley including the many lakes of the region like the Stuart, Tezzeron, Pinchi and Trembler and the looming Omenica Mounatin Range. To further enhance your visit to the peak there is a gazebo located at the top. An ideal location for a snack after a tough hike.
The one way trail up the mountain is considered difficult and should only be attempted if in good reasonable physical condition. The entire hiking adventure, up and down the mountain, should take 4-5 hours to complete depending on your group's fitness levels. Along the trail, especially after a steep climb, are a few resting benches. A welcome sight for some.
The bluffs on Mount Pope are also a popular destination for rock climbers
although the routes are not as well known as some of the more popular routes in BC, Canada. The local rock climbers in the area have mapped out 39 climbing routes on Mt. Pope. To find out further information please contact the local rock climbing club.
In 1865 one surveyor and a guide for the Western Union Telegraph climbed the local mountain to get a better view of the surrounding land. As each were exploring the slopes for possible routes to lay the telegraph line they got separated. One was lost on the mountain for two days. The locals named the mountain after him. His name was Franklin Pope.
From the large parking lot on Stones Bay Road the trailhead is easily spotted. There is an information billboard in the parking lot with some information about the park and trail. It is important to note there is no water on this trail so please pack some.
Travel north on the main route through the community of Fort St. James. Take a left onto Stones Bay Road. The trailhead parking lot is 4 kilometres down Stones Bay Road on the right hand side of the road.
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Posted By: Dvincent
- Thu Feb 28 03:43:19 UTC 2013
UpsideA great Hike..Mostly uphill, you get a bit of a reprieve from about 3 km to 4 km, which is downhill to flat, but you pay for it soon enough DownsideMilder temps cause nothing but icy paths on downhill areas from about 2km to 0 km to trailhead. CommentI enjoyed this hike.. Completed in late Feb, in varying conditions. Icy for first few km's and then it switched to knee to waist deep snow until the harder packed snow of the summit. Many deer were present, but did not have much interest in posing for pictures