Tag Archives: Stein Valley

North Stein, 13-15 Jul 2013

Chris N. in the North Stein Valley:
“Colleen and Cara joined me on a 3-day trip into the Brimful Lake area of the North Stein. We used the Texas Creek Road for access which is in rough 2wd condition in spots though good AT tires would be needed for traction and there is a fair amount of loose rock on the road which may need moving if you have low or average clearance. The waterbars start around km 17 or 18 and there is good parking at a meadow around 19 km (it’s obvious). After this point, the deeper waterbars start in earnest and even in a short wheel-base 4wd the going would be slow and annoying. We walked the rest of the road following some new Road Centerline tapes (indicating plans for new logging) up the western fork to the trail. Don’t follow the tapes into the forest beyond the last landing; the trail starts on the west side of the landing – look for cut logs places to avoid the boggy bits. The trail starts wet but improves to a good footbed and quickly emerges into meadows. At the pass entering the Stein, head south up the ridge to gain about 50 m elevation before the trail turns right again and sidehills, maintaining elevation. There’s plenty of cairns through a rock field and the trail is visible all the way to the lake. It took about 3 lollygagging hours from car to camp. There’s a bear cache and a green throne-style outhouse (open to the elements but with a good view) and plenty of good camping in the massive meadow south of the lake. On our middle day, we headed south and caught an old trail south and east to explore some nice ridges and meadows that bordered Cattle Valley. We attempted a traverse of the mountain to the east of camp but the ridge got pretty nasty. We also did shorter hikes out on the ridge to the south-west of the lake and around the lake to the pass to the north. One of the highlights was spotting a wolf that was hanging out about 500 m south of the lake on the first evening who gave us a thorough barking-at. There were also plenty of marmots and smattering of pika, a couple ptarmigans and assorted other birds.”

Lower Stein Valley 15/05/10

Steve in the Lower Stein Valley:
“A well matched and fun team of 6 hikers went up to Skihist provincial park for a night and embarked up the Stein trail (to the suspension bridge) the next day. The roaring Stein River was at our side for most of the trip and the trail was not too challenging to be carrying an overnight pack (even the Devil’s Staircase was short enough to present no problems). It felt like an August hike! What a treat to get 25 C+, dry weather in mid-May.

We stayed at the Earl’s Cabin campsite but I have to say that the build-up over the years I’d heard about Stein was not fully warranted. It was nice, but nothing to put it on the world stage like it seems to be (similar to the WCT). However, there are three reasons that you might want to add this to your list:

  • Native pictographs – I’ve never seen these on any trail before (very cool!)
  • extend your season – when nothing else is doable, you can hike this trail in warmth much earlier (sometimes April)
  • warm up to backpack season


Northern Stein 27/06/09

Chris in the Northern part of the Stein Valley:
“Bob, Cara, Do, Ian and Michal joined me on a trip to the northern Stein. We managed to drive most of the way up the Texas Creek road (off the Westside road south of Lillooet). It appears that this road is usually blocked just past the 4 km mark from April 15 – June 30 each year to give grizzlies a break from humans but it was open this year. The road surface is rough but 2wd-able until a patch of loose rocks on a hill just past the 9-km marker where we needed 4wd. Up until around 18 km, there are no waterbars. A dandelion-filled landing to the right at around 19 km makes a good parking spot – the bars get deeper, trickier and more frequent over the last 2-3 km of the road. From the road end, we hiked over the Texas – Siwhe divide and camped in the meadows at 2100 m (you will encounter cows here and in Cattle Valley). We had below-freezing temperatures every night and it was frequently windy. From Gordon White’s Stein book (recently republished – the trail descriptions are pretty accurate though road info is dated), we completed hikes 23, 24, 26, 27 and part of 28. We also completed a couple of other routes, discovered some lost trails and generally explored the whole area during some long and ambitious dayhikes. We only encountered appreciable snow on the eastern flank of the peak to the east of Brimful Lake. There’s currently a sow grizzly with 2 cubs resident in Cattle Valley.”

Lower Stein Valley 10/04/09

Chris in the Lower Stein Valley:
“Cara, Michele, Norico, Ribeka and I spent 3 days of mixed weather in the Lower Stein valley. Since it’s one of the only early-season overnight destinations within a reasonable drive of Vancouver, it was pretty busy – almost as busy as the May long weekend is traditionally. Teepee camp was packed and both Earl’s and Cable Car had 8-10 tents. We spend two nights at Cable Car and dayhiked to Ponderosa. The trail was snow- and mud- free and there were no blowdowns to speak of. The river was about 4-8 feet below spring levels and river-side snow and ice made water access tricky in places. Nights were cold but above freezing and the days were warm when the sun came out. There’s a dead deer in the river across from Kline’s Cabin so treat your water. We were back at the cars half an hour before the hard rain started and ate Chinese food in Hope while discussing the merits of curry-flavoured bubble bath.”