By: Laura Keil
Alongside a babbling brook just below the alpine meadows sits a red and grey cabin. From the ridge just above the meadows is a stunning 360 degree view down Kinbasket Reservoir, up the Valley towards McBride and east to Mt. Robson, which pokes its head above the surrounding mountains.
This is a perfect hike for young, fit people who are not necessarily experienced hikers, but want something spectacular that will make them break a sweat. This hike is not recommended for children or those with knee problems, due to its steepness.
The relatively short 4km ascent is steep in sections, but gives way to several views along the route. The trailhead luckily begins quite high, from the top of 5-Mile hill, which can now be accessed with most vehicle types on the logging road just off Whiskey Fill Rd. The Valemount Community Forest recently did upgrades to the road, installing culverts for instance, to help preserve and improve the road’s condition.
From the trailhead, it’s a steep ascent some 1800ft (550m) to the cabin & meadows. Above that is the ridge, a must-see if you do the trek.
Mid-summer, the meadow is covered in alpine flowers, but even when not in bloom, hikers are treated to a top-level view of surrounding peaks, especially the Premier Range.
Hiking poles are recommended, especially for the descent. For a shorter hike and longer stay, you can book the cabin overnight. Foamies and cookware are already supplied, you just have to bring sleeping bags and food. An outhouse is not far from the cabin. The creek supplies drinking water, but should be filtered or treated before consumption to avoid ingesting parasites. The cabin can be booked through the Yellowhead Outdoor Recreation Association by calling 566-8244.