Tag Archives: Illal Meadows

Illal Meadows traverse, 26 Sep 2015

Colleen C. at Illal Meadows:
“In spite of the evidence hitting the windshield on the drive out to the Coquihalla, I remained stubbornly optimistic the clouds would clear and we’d have glorious sunshine all weekend. As it turned out, I was half right and we got to enjoy a snowstorm too!

After a fairly smooth ride along the 20 km of the Tulameen Road and then a deftly driven 3-km up the bumpy Illal Creek road (still waterbarred but less bushy than I remembered) we made it all the way to the trailhead. The 5-km Illal Meadows trail gives straightforward access to the meadows, a lovely area with white rock, heather and tarns, from which one can choose their own adventure (Jim Kelly and Coquihalla Mts are popular objectives).

Just as we made it out of the forest, the wind picked up and cold, swirling white stuff filled the skies. We found a sheltered spot in a tree clump to eat lunch and imagined the views around us – the elusive Illal Unicorn featuring prominently. With next to no visibility, we went another 3 hrs around Illal Peak and NNE along the ridge towards Spiral before finding a suitable camp spot.

We awoke to sunny skies and after a leisurely breakfast continued along the ridge to Spiral (minor scrambling). After lunch on the summit, we wandered back to camp to pack up. Heading back we enjoyed the views we missed the day before. Identifying peaks, marvelling at the fall colours, searching for salamanders, and engaging in serious squirrel discussions, the day went by all too quickly.

Thanks for staying cheerful, sharing snacks and warmth, and maintaining a sense of humour – you all made it a great trip!”

Illal Creek, 30 Jun 2014

Chris M. at Illal Creek:

“Two of us went into the Illal Creek area for part of the long weekend. Colleen and I left late Sunday night and find a wonderful place to camp just off the Coquihalla Highway, shortly before the Sowaqua Creek exit. A short drive the next day took us to the access turnoff and I was able to drive all the way up the logging road to within 30 seconds of the trailhead. About 10 minutes in to the hike we used a log to cross the creek then we followed a nice trail up through the forest. Within an hour we crossed the scree field and were out in the open. Much of the north-facing slope was still covered in a little snow so we decided to head over to a dry ridge north of Illal Creek. After setting up camp and resting for a bit we followed an old wonderful little trail all the way around and then up Illal Peak. Great close views of Jim Kelly and Coquihalla Mountains. The sunset view of Needle and Yak Peaks from our camp spot was beautiful. On Monday we attacked the surrounding peaks in a mad blur of activity! Well actually it was nothing like that. We lazed around, packed up late-morning. Headed towards Spiral Peak. That started to look steep so we found small flower fields to distract us. Then picked a route across the bowl to join up with the trail down. Back at the car, we used the chilly creek to cool off in, sat in lawn chairs, drank cold beer and ate strawberry-rhubarb pie. I think the drive home was less than 3 hours, including a small stop in Hope.”