Mother Nature changes our trails and access roads every year. All info in the book was accurate at the time of writing, but of course is subject to change. On this page, you’ll find the latest updated information on the trails in my book, Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia.
Last updated Sept 26, 2023
Do you have updated info to contribute? Email me! backpacking [at] happiestoutdoors [dot] ca
Backpacking Basics Updates
Fees and Reservations for Camping and Huts: Reservations for BC Parks backcountry campgrounds are now available 4 months before the first day of your trip.
Pemberton and Whistler Updates
Trip 3 Tenquille Lake: The area no longer has first-come, first served camping. You must reserve camping and spots in the hut online up to 60 days before your trip. Campsites are $25/night for up to 2 tents and 4 people. Spots in the cabin are $25/person/night. Dogs are no longer allowed due to grizzly bear conflicts. As well, fires are no longer allowed. The lake is now being referred to by its Lil’wat and N’Quatqua name, Háwint, which means packrat. The camping area near the hut is permanently closed but the 9 campsites to the east of the hut remain open – see this map.
Trip 4 Wedgemount Lake: As of 2021, hammocks are not allowed in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to high-use levels and damage to small trees.
Trip 5 Russet Lake: Russet Lake now has 20 designated campsites. A new urine-diversion outhouse was installed in September 2021. As of 2021, hammocks are not allowed in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to high-use levels and damage to small trees.
Trip 7 Helm Creek: As of 2021, hammocks are not allowed in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to high-use levels and damage to small trees.
Trip 9 Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows: As of 2021, hammocks are not allowed in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to high-use levels and damage to small trees.
Trip 10 Brew Hut: The access road to the trailhead has been deactivated. The bridge over Roe Creek at 5.9km has been removed so this is as far as you can currently drive. However, the Varsity Outdoor Club installed a footbridge in December, 2021. From the footbridge, you will need to hike up the deactivated road to the trailhead. This will add 4km with 420m of elevation gain to the hike. There is another trail to Brew Lake from the Brew Main FSR but the road to get there is very rough.
Trip 11 Lake Lovely Water: Squamish River Jet went out of business so getting a ride across the Squamish River is a bit more difficult. Patrick Lewis of the Squamish Nation may still offer rides, but he is often unavailable. Squamish Watersports has started offering jet ski rides to the trailhead from downtown.
Trip 12 Elfin Lakes: As of 2021, hammocks are not allowed in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to high-use levels and damage to small trees.
Trip 13 Watersprite Lake: There are now 20 campsites at the lake – 10 wooden platforms and 10 gravel pads. The campground is now operated by the BC Mountaineering Club and requires reservations between July 1 and October 10 each year. Camping is $20/night and can be booked on the BCMC website.
Sunshine Coast Updates
Trip 18 Tetrahedron Plateau: Volunteers from the Tetrahedron Outdoor Club installed a new bridge over Steele Creek near the Edwards Lake Cabin in November 2022. This bridge eliminates a challenging creek ford.
Metro Vancouver Updates
Trip 22 Widgeon Lake: The Widgeon Slough campsite suffered extensive damage in the November 2021 floods and is currently officially closed pending repairs but hikers report that the trail is passable.
Trip 23 Gold Creek Canyon: There is a bear cache at Viewpoint Beach. It’s not new, but there is no info about it on the BC Parks website and it is very hard to find so I missed it on my research trip. It is located at N49 21.917 W122 27.273. To find it, walk south along the beach from the trail intersection and look for a faint path heading into the trees. (Thanks to Lisa Poon in the Backpacking Trips in BC Facebook group for this update.) As of spring 2022, there is now a bear cache at Halfmoon Beach.
Trip 24 Golden Ears: As of spring 2022, there is now a bear cache at the Alder Flats campground.
Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon Updates
Trip 29 Lower Stein Valley: The July 2023 Ponderosa Creek fire burned a huge section of the trail from Devil’s Staircase to past the suspension bridge. The trail is currently closed.
Trip 30 Manson Ridge: The November 2021 floods washed out sections of the Sowaqua Creek FSR so the Sowaqua trailhead is currently inaccessible. The footbridge over Sowaqua Creek is washed out but you can detour by walking Richmond FSR. The old logging road to Manson Ridge from Peers Creek Trailhead was reactivated in summer/fall 2020 and logging is now taking place along the road. The Hope Mountain Centre began construction of a new trail on the south side of Peers Creek in summer 2021 but it is not complete yet. The November 2021 floods washed out a section of the road and it is impassable. However, there is a pink flagged route that goes around the washout. As well, break-ins and vandalism are a problem at the Peers Creek trailhead. Instead, park at the Hope Visitor Centre and take a taxi to the trailhead.
Trip 31 Palmer’s Pond: There is currently a wash-out at the 24 km mark on the Tulameen FSR. Until it is fixed, the trailhead is not accessible.
Skagit and Similkameen Updates
Trip 34 Skagit River Trail: The November 2021 floods caused the Skagit River to change course. The bridge at the Sumallo Grove Trailhead is still is place but does not cross the river. The river is too wide and deep to wade, making this trip inaccessible until a new bridge is in place. As well, the same storms damaged the Silver Skagit Road, so the trail is also not accessible from the western trailhead.
Trip 35 Heather Trail: As of summer 2023, Buckhorn campground requires reservations between June 30 and September 1 each year. Reservations cost $6/night/tent pad. Camping fees remain at $5/person/night. This is the only campground in E.C. Manning Provincial Park that requires reservations – all other backcountry campgrounds are first-come, first-served. Buckhorn also has a new cooking shelter.