Elk River Trail

Elk River Trail near Campbell River, BC


This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
-
5hours
difficult
Hiking
Spring, Fall, Summer
Campbell River, BC
User spry-guy
NTS Map:92F13 This trail is 11km in length, one-way, gaining 600m in elevation. You pass through thick forest (beautiful big trees to gaze at) and a couple creeks to cross. The trail is very-well maintained and quite popular as it leads to Landslide Lake which is quite breathtaking. It's turquoise and crystal-clear, formed by the meltwater from the snowpacks on Mt. Colonel Foster (who,by the way, was one of the first guys to climb Mt. Robson). You can see where a big avalanche in '46 caused part of Mt. CF to fall into the lake, wiping out all the trees and vegetation on its way down. Really, it's gorgeous. There are 2 backcountry campsites on the way there (no facilities exc. pit toilets) because no camping allowed at Landslide Lake. I did it as a day hike (light packs, so 4hrs oneway) and it was great, but doing an overnighter would be fantastic too.

Directions:

Follow Hwy. 28 west from Campbell River towards Gold River. You'll see the sign for the trailhead. Park your vehicle right there.

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Campbell River, BC

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Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By NifferPosted By: Niffer  - Tue Jul 26 20:19:03 UTC 2016 This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars Upside Beautiful location and a great view waiting at the end. Downside Bugs at the Lake were pretty aggressive. Comment The distance markings didn't match with what I tracked. Be prepared for a lengthy hike. I tracked about 8km to Camp 1(not 6 as posted), 11km (not 9 as posted) and 13km to the lake (not 11km as posted). Also, it's an hour-1.5 hours from camp 2 to the lake. I only had one night so say the lake early on the second day then hiked back to the trail head. All in all, a great spot!
By leftyPosted By: lefty  - Tue Apr 28 05:50:12 UTC 2015 Not Rated Question How long is the drive from Campbell river to the trail head for the landslide lake trail?

ANSWERS are in this forum:   landslide lake
By BRPosted By: BR  - Sat Jul 16 03:37:00 UTC 2011 Not Rated Comment Hiked into landslide lake on June 4th/5th. The first 3km were bare then turned to snow covered. First campsite had approx 3 feet, second campsite approx 5 feet and Landslide still had 9 feet of snow. Snow was hard packed. We took snowshoes but didn't use them. There were lots of slide areas but everything seemed stable. All in all it was an awesome hike.
By paulaPosted By: paula  - Fri Feb 20 08:58:06 UTC 2009 This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars Upside Easy hike, can be done comparatively early in the season while the alpine is still under snow. The Foster Lake section, described below, was more challenging but well worth the effort. Downside Upper Gravel Bar site can get busy at times. I went mid-week in September; on the first night there was not another soul in the whole valley; on night 2 I had 4 neighbours; and as I hiked back on the Friday I met a large school group that was heading up. Got out just in time! Comment If you go later in the summer or early fall, you can hike further up to Foster lake (which shows up as a snowfield on the map). There is a 30-45-minute slog through slide alder as you contour Landslide Lake on its east side, but the trail, albeit narrow, is easy to find. As you start climbing from up from the far end of Landslide Lake, the discharge of Foster Lake *is* the trail. You hop from stone to stone with the water rushing on all sides, following a well-marked flag route. I was very, very happy to have my hiking poles with me to help me balance on that section. Then a short scramble up the moraine and you're home free.
Foster Lake, on September 10-ish of 2007, was still 75% ice. The rest was amazing turquoise water; some heathers and saxifrages were still blooming between the rocks. Straight up from three sides of the lake rise the sheer walls of Mount Colonel Foster. The view down to Landslide lake is pretty awesome too.
I set up a base camp at the second managed campsite, known as the Upper Gravel Bar, then did the Landslide-Foster lakes hike on day 2 in the morning, and in the afternoon I went further up the Elk River (the location of the turn-off from the main trail is well described in the review of the Rambler Peak climb). I only had time to walk to the next camping spot, about 2 km upstream from the fork. Descending into the Elk River bed, after a rather wet section cutting through the woods, was spooky; everything utterly silent when you expect the river's roar. Turns out that the river has gone underground! The camping spot is on the east bank, just above the place where the river disappears. This is an unmanaged site with no facilities whatsoever, and it depends on strict no-trace camping practices. Hoping to camp there and push further up to Elk River Pass next time.
If you want to find out how much snow there is on this trail or any other trail in Strathcona Park, you can check the trail report on their website. It gets updated every week or two in summer, including the altitude of the snow line. Take some of the info with a grain of salt, however: according to a resident of the area, one bridge that is indicated as closed and impassable is actually only missing a couple of planks. I guess they have to look after liability issues.
See http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/strath/trail_report.pdf
By davidgledhillPosted By: davidgledhill  - Fri Jul 04 06:31:48 UTC 2008 Not Rated Comment Trail and snow conditions for Elk River and Landslide Lake - jun30 2008
Have just come back from 3 day 2 night hike up and back to Landslide camping at the first campsite the first night - leaving our gear on the second day at the second campsite for the second night while we carried on up to Landslide Lake.
There were two avalanche snow packs you had to cross between the first and second campsites. They were quite slippery and conditions were changing quickly between going up and coming back.
We did cross the snow without axes holding the hands of our 5 and 9 year old sons. A good weight loss program.
Up at Landslide snow ringed the shore. If you go left along the lakeshore you will come to a large rock you can lie on and pass the time of day or just marvel at the view. The water is still cold but my wife and I managed to submerge ourselves up and back along the Elk and in the lake itself. Our pores if they were ever open very quickly closed. But it was very hot and sunny so you got a kind of sauna buzz.
By hallisonPosted By: hallison  - Tue Jun 17 01:28:03 UTC 2008 Not Rated Question Has anyone done this hike lately? Is there still snow there? We were thinking of hiking Mt. Colonel Foster or Elkhorn mountain...does anyone know if there is snow up these mountains? Hoping to do the hike first weekend of July. Thanks.

ANSWERS are in this forum:  Snow at Elk River
By sketchy_d_Posted By: sketchy_d_  - Fri Jun 29 21:16:15 UTC 2007 Not Rated Upside early season hike Comment sorry, i meant to mention that our total hiking time was 7.5hrs ROUND-TRIP and that this is a great early season hike as you don't get much above 1000m
By sketchy_d_Posted By: sketchy_d_  - Fri Jun 29 21:14:40 UTC 2007 This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 4 out of 5 stars Upside great location, waterfalls on the way, good campsites, easy grade, seeing the impressive landscape alteration from the '46 quake, nice forests Downside No official campsite near the lake, fairly long distance Comment Crossed two avalanches and forded numerous washouts (nothing major). Trail sign says it's 6-7hrs one way but this is a mistake. Total hiking time (not including staying at the lake) was 7.5hrs.
By spry-guyPosted By: spry-guy  - Wed Aug 24 03:26:57 UTC 2005 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Upside Great payoff. Landslide lake is gorgeous. Also, being able to see where and how the huge landslide occured is super-cool. Downside Nothing really. No bugs, really well-groomed path. Comment Great hike.
By toolboxPosted By: toolbox  - Mon May 09 23:56:55 UTC 2005 This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars Upside Landslide like is fantastic!! You are right there beside the Col. Foster!! Lots of nice waterfalls along the way and some big trees. I did the hike in May and snow on the mountains made it truely beautiful. Downside The hike in for the first 2 hours is nothing great. Just keep your head down and motor. Comment After heavy rains be prepared to get wet feet. There are numerous streams to cross that you will not be able hop from rock to rock. I did as a day hike as well 8 hours round trip including lunch and numerous picture shots. When you cross elk river, keep to the right and follow the cairns beside the river. As you start seeing Col. Foster, you will get a surge in energy. Absolutely awesome!! Enjoy!


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