Lunch stop at top of Rocky Loop
New for 2012/2013
Use the trails at your own risk. You are responsible for your safety. Ski with a partner.
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Welcome to Canyon Creek
We have 22 km of wilderness trails suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The 12.6 km of original trails are groomed to a skate-ski surface with no track-setting. The trails need about 30" of snow to cover low brush and are usually ready by Christmas.
The 9.4 km of ungroomed backcountry trails to the East offer tree-skiing in powder on a moderate slope to alpine through an old forest burn. The backcountry trails need 4 feet of snow and are usually ready by mid-January.
The slopes face north. The snow at Canyon Creek is dry cold powder with little or no sun or wind hardening. The ski season lasts from Christmas to mid April.
The Canyon Creek Cross-country Ski Area was created by the BC Forest Service in 1987 as a cross-country ski area but it was never used and the brush grew back in.
In 2007, 2008 and 2009, volunteers brushed and flagged the original trail system. Three wilderness backcountry trails were added and flagged from the original trail system to a hill in the McKendrick Meadows alpine.
In 2010, the ski area, with an extension to alpine, was gazetted as a registered non-motorized ski area with a total area of 2000 acres (814 hectares).
There are no fees to use the trails. The trails are on Crown land and are public. All work on the trail system is done by volunteers and all expenses are paid for by volunteers.
Signs are posted at key trail intersections with maps of the area so that you can tell where you are. Blue and white "Parking Lot" signs have been added in 2009 to show you the direction to the parking lot. All trails are flagged but flagging may be hidden by branches loaded with heavy snow.
The forest is mostly a pine parkland with balsam at the higher elevations. The tree cover is open and sun-lit due to a forest fire in 1932. You can ski off the trails through the timber in many spots. There are many open wetlands in the area that make natural ski trails.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be home. Ski with a partner. If you come across a hill that is beyond your skill level, we urge you to take your skis off and walk down the hill. Ski helmets are recommended.
We recommend the SPOT satellite position device available at local sports stores. A SPOT will enable you to notify friends and family if you need help and will provide your exact position to them.
Cell phone service is good in the alpine meadow at the top of the Hill Trail.
We have added new Skin-up trails on sections of the the Hill Trail. They are parallel to the Hill Trail and will help keep the hard-packed Skin-up trail away from the main ski-down trail. The new Skin-up trails are marked with blue and red flagging.
Snowshoers should follow the Skin-up trails both up and down the Hill Trail. Where there is no Skin-up trail flagging, follow the regular red flagging.
The "Y" trail
The Canyon Creek Cross Country Ski Area is sponsored and operated by the BV Outdoor Recreation Society (847-4802) in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.
Ski skills required
The original groomed trails are flat or on a slight slope with some short steep pitches. Most trails are suitable for snowshoes and intermediate cross-country skiers. Skiers must be able to turn. There are no tracks set. Metal edges help but are not required.
The backcountry trails require advanced skills at skiing ungroomed powder and tree-skiing. Alpine touring or Telemark gear are best suited to the backcountry trails along with skins.
Moose summer in the area until early December. When the snow reaches their bellies, they move out to lower elevations to the west.
You sometimes see the tracks of a family of wolves that move through the area in winter. The young wolves are very curious and have played with flagging that they can reach along the ski trails.
Grizzly tracks have been seen in the area in October but are absent in winter.
Whiskey Jack (grey jay) families will sometimes follow you out of curiosity. Some will feed from your hand.
Watch for tracks of marten, coyote and wolf.
Ptarmigan come down from nearby alpine areas to feed. They bed down by burrowing under the snow then explode from their bed in the morning scattering snow.