Cross-Country Ski Guide for Wells Gray and Clearwater
Rarely visited during the winter season, Wells Gray and Clearwater offer groomed trails for the cross-country skier in search of wilderness. Escape the crowds and fall into the rhythm of your skis.Here's a list of cross-country trails and areas for you to explore:
Candle Creek Trail System (Cross-Country)
In Clearwater, the Wells Gray Outdoors Club runs and diligently maintains a network of 30kms of groomed and tracked trails for cross-country skiing. The trails run from beginner to expert and explore diverse woodland terrain, offering vistas of the valley below. The trails are marked and categorized by difficulty for your ease of use.
Details: Trail fee is $10 per visit or you can purchase an annual membership. Trails are meant for cross-country skiing only and no dogs are permitted on the trails. There is a large parking area and a generously sized warming hut for public use. Download trail maps on the WGOC website. Check trail conditions on the Facebook page.
Majerus Homestead - Murtle/Stillwater/Blackwater Loop (Multi-Use)
Located in Wells Gray Provincial Park, the Majerus Farm Loop takes you up along the mighty Murtle River with dramatic views of Pyramid Mountain (volcano). 1.4 kms in will take you the the historic homestead of Michael Majerus (1912). Further up the river you'll find the King Warming hut (7.5kms from parking lot) a very small basic warming shelter open for public use.
Details: See winter trail map here. The trail is groomed and tracked from the parking lot to the King Warming Hut (7.5km each way). It is a multi-use trail and snowshoes and dogs are permitted. If not on skis, please do not disturb the tracks. At the parking lot and start to the trail you will find the Murtle Warming Hut which is available for public use. There is a trail use donation in place, which is strongly encouraged and appreciated as the trail maintenance is being done on a purely volunteer basis by Clearwater Lake Tours.
Clearwater Lake (Multi-Use)
The road to Clearwater Lake from the Helmcken Falls turn off is closed to vehicle traffic during the winter. This provides for a 22 km one-way stretch up to Clearwater Lake that is groomed for ski and snowshoeing. (Helmcken Falls is accessible all year long including during the winter). Clearwater Lake Tours maintains the route in the winter and also offers a Snow Taxi service and cabin rental at Clearwater Lake. There are guided twice daily trips to Red Springs. And also trips to Ray Farm, and fully outfitted and catered overnight trips to Clearwater Lake. Learn more here.
North Thompson Provincial Park (Multi-Use)
The a road around North Thompson Provincial Park, along the North Thompson River is tracked and groomed for cross-country skiing. This Park is easily accessible from Highway 5. The mostly flat and short loop also provides access to the traditional winter food storage pits (kekuli) of the Secwepemc peoples. A short waking trail provides vistas of the confluence of the Clearwater and North Thompson Rivers.