This past weekend, the team ventured out to Tulameen to complete our first hike for the Quest for 10. We decided to make a weekend out of it and explored a couple other areas too!
After driving to the Coquihalla Summit, we drove down the Tulameen FSR for about 45 kilometers until we reached the Jacobson Lake Recreation Site. The Tulameen FSR is an active logging road, so it is wide and in great condition! No cross ditches or washouts to be concerned of. Any 2WD car would have no troubles.
We spent the night at Jacobson Lake, which is complete with tenting sites, an outhouse, bear cache, picnic tables, and a water source (untreated, of course, so make sure you bring something to treat it!). We enjoyed ‘car camping’ for a change, and treated ourselves to many luxuries such as hot food and cold beer. Thanks Field House Brewing!
After an evening of star gazing, acoustic jams, and good conversation we hit the hay just in time to be lulled to sleep by a chorus of frogs.
The next morning we cooked up breakfast, broke down camp, and loaded up our day packs to knock off our first hike on the Quest for 10.
We hopped onto the HBC Heritage Trail and began our hike to Conglomerate Flats. The 2.5 km hike winds through a beautiful forest. We navigated a few patches of snow and hopped across a couple trickling creeks (being sure to stop to splash a bit of cold water on our heads). The trail is very well marked and in great condition.
Our jaws dropped a bit once we hit Conglomerate Flats. The trees opened up and Mt. Davis stood proudly in front of us. Conglomerate Flats is a popular campsite along the HBC trail. It also features tent platforms, a composting toilet, a bear cache, and a creek that meanders through the campsite to provide fresh water. Boulders are scattered throughout the base of Mt. Davis, hence the name Conglomerate Flats.
Vera and Malcom couldn’t help but take on the biggest boulder in the campsite. Here they are after successfully completing their boulder problem.
After a quick lunch at Conglomerate Flats, we continued onwards to Grant’s Pond. We hiked another 2 km on winding singletrack to reach the pond. We were rewarded with more great views, the beginning of alpine flowers blooming, and beautiful green meadows.
We saw a lot of animal tracks, bear scat, and great moose habitat. This area is still very ‘wild’ and we felt very lucky to be there!
Once at Grant’s Pond we enjoyed a second lunch (hiking works up an appetite) and soaked up the sun and the views.
Here’s our group shot at Grant’s Pond.
On our way back from Grant’s Pond we were craving a cold swim, so we took a detour to Palmer’s Pond! This alpine lake is the perfect swimming hole to relax and recharge. If you are in the area for the Quest for 10, we highly suggest checking out Palmer’s Pond. It is about 1 km from the Conglomerate Flats campsite.
Nate was so excited, he practically ran ahead of us to get to the pond. Once the rest of us trudged up the hill, we saw the pond through the trees and Nate swimming around (can you spot him?) Nate is a bit of a cold water enthusiast, so this was a real treat for him.
After a swim and some more snacks (third lunch?) we packed up and began the hike back to Jacobson Lake.
Once we got back to our vehicles, we had one final destination in mind: Tulameen Falls. We drove to the 30 km mark on the Tulameen FSR and began our short hike into the falls. The trail follows along the Tulameen River and it takes about 20 minutes to reach the falls. There is a short creek crossing at the beginning (shown below) which would be easiest to navigate at the end of summer when the water is low.
This photo was taken by Emma, who made it across the creek in record time! How did she do this, you ask? With her Chaco sandals, of course! Ah, the joys of not having to take off your shoes before crossing a creek.
Tulameen Falls is a real stunner. The water is so powerful coming off the falls it creates a cool mist along the base. Nate, of course, hopped in for a swim and a few others joined. Can you spot Nate at the base of the waterfall?
After lounging by the falls we were ready to pack up and head back home. Of course, it wouldn’t be a memorable weekend away if everything went smoothly, right?
Luckily we had a spare and were able to put it on, and thus began the slow drive home on a spare tire! Once we entered Hope we stopped at Home Restaurant for some delicious post-hike home-style cooking (and pie!)
The MWO team had a wonderful weekend exploring the backcountry together. We’re excited for you to check out this area too, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are reading this and don’t know what the Quest for 10 is, it is a hiking challenge we host each year with an after party and great prizes, and a portion of your entry fee goes to the Chilliwack Park Society to build and maintain local trails. It’s a win-win! More details can be found on the front page of our website.
Thanks for reading!
-The MWO Team
(Emma, Nate, Vera, Malcom, Jesse, Adelaide, honorary staff Jared, and store dog Sophie)
We’ll leave you with this last photo of Sophie, who can hardly contain her excitement when it’s time to go hiking!