Spring 2022 hiking / running HRT trail report

Spring 2022 hiking / running HRT trail report

Known as julianfvicente on GaiaGPS.com, this trail runner has provided a fantastic trail report for the Okanagan High Rim Trail! Complete with 100+ photos and some video!

‘The trail is in decent passable shape as far as blow downs are concerned. I took a photo of every downed tree & obstacle along the entire route. If you click on the photo it will show you the location on the map. Currently the trail is 70% post hole, 20% mud and 10% runnable. It’s going to be at least another month or so before it’s hike-able. Snow level is around 1200 meters. North facing aspects are the worst. Let me know if you have any questions. https://www.gaiagps.com/public/IfkHT9StG06ONHGahIqTkrpD

Snowshoeing on the OHRT

During the summer, the Okanagan High Rim Trail offers hikers the serenity of a wilderness trail. In the winter, it comes alive with stories told through animal tracks amidst beautiful snow draped trees. The trail is a well-guarded secret and a snowshoer’s paradise. There are popular areas along the trail where the snowshoe path is kept groomed by other keen snowshoers. Those areas can be accessed from the Goudie Forest Service Road trail head and the Wrinkly Face Provincial Park area off Beaver Lake Forest Service Road.

Due to the elevation loss and gain along the trail, the trail is best suited to experienced snowshoers. Depending upon which area you choose to explore, there are steep climbs and tricky descents that challenge fitness levels and require careful navigation. Snowshoes with crampons and steel teeth lining the frame provide more stability and traction. Poles add extra stabilization and propulsion.

For the adventurous, the trail also offers an opportunity to go winter snow camping. While it is similar to its summer cousin, winter snow camping requires different gear and more planning. A sled or pulk takes the weight off your back and the extra space and weight capacity allows you to bring those extra warm clothes and blankets.  A 3-season tent will suffice in our Okanagan weather but a winter tent provides extra options including controlled ventilation, insulation flaps, stronger tent poles and a more substantial floor. Your water source is all around you although it’s always a good idea to use a coffee filter to clean out any fir or pine needles or other detritus.

If you are interested in winter camping, make sure you spend some time learning about proper gear and tricks for staying warm. Or better yet, head out with a friend who has experience and can show you the ropes.

As in all cases, bring the “10 essentials” and leave a trip plan with friends or family so that others know where you are going. For more information about snowshoeing, outdoor safety and trip planning, please check out AdventureSmart at adventuresmart.ca.

Colleen Owens

Biggi – The Whole Trail

Biggi – The Whole Trail

Hi there!
I just completed a thru-hike of the High Rim Trail (HRT) northbound. I omitted Cardiac Hill since I hiked it before and wasn’t keen on hiking through the burned area. I started at Goudie Road, spent the night at the Monolith (hiking 31km) and finishing at Cosens Bay (hiking 21km). About 7-8 years ago I attempted the same with friends but it was so difficult to hike the trail due to all the blowdowns that we abandoned our attempt at Oyama Road.
This time I made it through and enjoyed my experience. Especially the second day is great with more views, less overgrown bushes and less mud. Many thanks for clearing the trail and posting signs. My recommendations for improvements would be:

  • There are still blowdowns on the trail. There are maybe 10 large logs that require a lot of scrambling, and many smaller ones.
  • It would be so useful if you could post on the website when you clear which section.
  • I found myself “lost” and having to use the GPS app almost every time I hit a dirt road. A simple arrow on the existing signs, indicating which way to turn, would eliminate some of the “extra” hiking.

I am dedicated to LNT (Leave no trace) hiking and found the trail mostly clean (besides all the cow poop!). Next I will try the Ok Highlands Trail section; let me know if there are any reports on the trail condition.

Read Biggi’s Pacifc Crest Trail Report.

Trailman Grumpy Dan (Daniel Henhoeffer) – deadfall across the trail, Land slide reroute in Kal Park

Trailman Grumpy Dan (Daniel Henhoeffer) – deadfall across the trail, Land slide reroute in Kal Park

Went in to hike up to the tower today but had a last minute change in plan. Went in at Cosens Bay and hiked south to 51KM. No major deadfall on the trail that is impassable. There is dead fall between where Upper Stone Free interacts with the HRT but is passable with a pack on. Heading south bound HRT will go up to slide location and will direct you to the right onto Interstellar. Be aware that the left onto The Steep RT is unmarked for HRT. Heading north bound HRT sign posted onto The Steep RT but nothing to send you onto Interstellar. You will eventually meet up with the trail. Trail was dry and clear with no wet spots in Bear Valley and only a trickle flowing at Cosens Creek. Great Saturday morning hike.