Lockhart Creek is a fairly remote trail in the Purcell Mountains. It's a long one, you might say epic, that involves a certain amount of hike a bike to cross the pass. The reward is 16km of high speed, deep forest descent. The area recieves significant precipitation, and has never been logged, so the forest is impressive and nearly coastal in it's feel. Lots of Interior Douglas Fir and large cedars, with a wide and excpetionally buff trail. The highest couple of kilometers are a bit more technical, but this trail is difficult more in the scope of hte ride than in the technical aspects.
We came in over the Kootenay Lake ferry from Nelson, but you could also approach via Creston.
Access is via Gray Creek Pass to the north. This is also the road back road to Kimberley. If you ride up, it's going to be a very long day. About 15 km up to the pass. Most people ride from the top of this pass, however you can also drive another 35km in.
On the other side of the pass, drop down for anothee 10 km, then turn south along the major valley at the bottom of the hill. There's a red shed there.
About another 18km in, you will be getting close to the head of the valley. Take the road on the right which leads towards the smaller fork to the south-west. About 2 km in this road, there's a flat sort of camp area. don't drive further, as the bridge won't hold your vehicle.
From here, follow the road up until it turns to singletrack. The climb from this point is between one and two hours, depending on your degree of hardness. One hour is for the Ironmen out there. I like two better....
Only one turn to be aware of. When you see the sign for Baker Lake, watch for the trail up to the right. Or go the lake for a swim. Not sure how much that adds though.
You don't quite get into the alpine, but there's some nice photo ops near the top in some natural openings. Some nice sup-alpine meadows and peaks up to 8600' provide steller scenes.
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Posted By: sanook
- Tue Aug 16 20:50:09 UTC 2011
Upsidebeautiful interior rainforest with lots of big trees and moss. top that off with a 16km downhill and you have the best downhill trail in BC! Downsidea few small uphills near the bottom of the trail that interrupt the downhill flow. but really your just getting more downhill because of them in the end! Commentbest downhill oriented trail in BC. hands down. wow. kind of like martha creek near revelstoke, but more epic!