Today we drove about 60 km towards Bella Coola, to just inside Tweedsmuir Provincial Park to hike part of the Rainbow Range Trail.
I said part of the trail because the full trail is 8 km one way and 300 m elevation gain to an unnamed lake with a great view of the Rainbow Range, that we flew over yesterday.
We knew that we couldn’t do 16 km of back country, narrow, rocky trail but I had read that part way in you come to an alpine meadow at the top of a ridge with a pretty good view of the range. I should have checked my topographic map because the ridge was about 6 km in. We made it almost 5 km and 200 m up before we turned around. We could see the ridge top but it just looked too far away. Even turning around when we did I think we went too far because we were pretty spent by the time we got back at the car.
I had read that it would be unusual to see anybody else on the trail but it turned out that two park rangers started in minutes before us. They were clearing out the deadwood and documenting places that needed repairs.
We played hopscotch for a while as they were faster hikers but had to stop to cut the trees. Eventually we pulled ahead for some reason. We did see them still heading in just after we turned around.
For the first hour and about 2 km you hike through an old forest fire. The deep blue sky made the trees really stand out.
There were lots of wildflowers to look at.
And lots of gnarled trees.
This bird blended right in.
A photosphere while in the burnt trees.
We eventually left the fire area and started through the taller evergreen forest.
We took a short break at this lake.
We saw these strange pockets of what I assume are volcanic rock. Maybe there were small lava flows around here.
As we climbed the trees started getting shorter.
We did get a peek at the tops of some of the Rainbow Range. Our first view.
We stopped at this lake for lunch. By now we were about 4 km in. This was our lunch view.
I am including a bunch of shots because this is the best view we got.
We decided to go on a bit farther, continuing around the lake.
I never expected to see a mushroom up here. It was a big ball.
So many wildflowers.
We passed some small ponds.
This is our turnaround spot. We think that was the ridge top up ahead.
Heading back we realized that on the way up that we had never turned around to look behind us and see the mountains on the horizon.
Looking back over our lunch lake.
Back into the forest fire, which seemed to go on forever, now that we were very tired.
We could FINALLY see the car.
I think we are going to start having to limit ourselves to around 6 km on these lesser used trails, where you basically have to watch your every step. It’s a pain to get old!
Even though we didn’t reach our target we did see some great scenery and it is hard to be disappointed after the amazing views we got yesterday from the air.
Tonight the crescent Moon and Venus were hanging over the lake.