Hankin-Evelyn Recreation Area

Author: [ xtremepeaks ]  Istvan Hernadi   Contact Author: xtremepeaksFri Feb 04 19:12:40 UTC 2011

There is a new area northwest of Smithers for backcountry skiers in search of great powder and no crowds.

The Bulkley Valley Backpackers Society operates a new non-motorized recreation area 34 km from Smithers on the north flank of Hankin Mountain in the Kitseguecla Lake Valley. Funding for the project was provided by the Job Opportunities Program from the BC government. Work started in August of 2009 and continued until the Fall of 2010.

The Hankin-Evelyn Recreation Area project provides a very valuable addition to the recreational resources available in the Smithers area. It is a network of multi-season, multi-purpose trails in an officially-designated non-motorized and spectacularly beautiful setting opening up new opportunities for backcountry skiing, ski touring, snowshoeing and hiking. This project is a great example of how the recession spurred new programs to create jobs which in turn benefit the users of the wilderness by opening up new areas for skiing and hiking. Brian Hall, a long time backcountry skier in Smithers and owner of the Stork Nest Inn was the main driving force behind this project when he found out about the JOP grants. He and the BVBS applied for the funds for about $600,000 in order to provide jobs and cut some great runs in the trees on the flanks of Hankin mountain, below the fire lookout/cabin.

Also many trails throughout BC were upgraded and much-needed maintenance was done on trails neglected for the last 20 years (since the previous recession). Hopefully the success of this project will serve as an example for others in all areas of Canada where similar trails and ski runs could be developed to help all the outdoor sport enthusiasts.

As of the winter of 2010, there are eight ski runs, several skin-up tracks and several lower trails suitable for cross-country skiing. There is connection also to Hankin mountain trails. The trails map shows all the trails.

Also read more at the Northword article on the unique ski area developments in the north.

The area is not patrolled. Use the trails and ski runs at your own risk. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Ski with a buddy. Carry a SPOT satellite position device. Photos courtesy of John Franken at Chickadee Acres Bed and Breakfast in nearby Smithers.

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