“An epic backcountry Canadian wilderness ride to a remote lake.
— Claire Kendrick
Ride buff singletrack all day long through alpine wildflower meadows, following the rushing white waters of Gun creek to reach the remote and unpopulated Spruce Lake deep in the British Columbian backcountry. Follow the trails laid down by mining pioneers and their pack horses which makes for ideal singletrack.
It's a long climb in ascending 1000m over 25km, camp overnight at the lake or ride back out the same day. Alternatively catch a float plane into Spruce Lake from Tyax Wilderness Resort and tackle the 25km gradual descent (but beware it's not ALL downhill)
Generally open June to October depending on when the snow melts and trail gets cleared by local volunteers.
Need to Know
Creeks can be reasonably high early season; Wildflowers are best late June to early July; Stay at Tyax Wilderness Resort before or after your ride; Cell phones don't work out here so take safety precautions for safe backcountry travel, a sat phone or a GPS personal locator beacon like a SPOT device. This is grizzly bear country, bring bear spray, be noisy, control your speed and be bear aware.
Start at Tyax Wilderness Resort in the South Chilcotin mountains of British Columbia, camp or stay at the lodge to get an early start and either catch a float plane ride into Spruce Lake or ride in.
From Tyax Resort head south down Tyaughton Lake road, then take the first right along Gun Creek road (note these are dirt roads- no pavement here!).
At the end of Gun Creek Road go through the wooden log gate and keep to the singletrack trail that bears left at the next junction and follows the roaring waters of Gun Creek far below.
You follow this trail most of the way into Spruce Lake now. In 10km you'll pass by Jewel Bridge do not cross it but keep the creek on your left. Soon you'll start to cross the creek several times over small bridges, enjoy the breeze from the gushing waters.
Soon you emerge out of the wooded area into the wildflower meadows with its single strip of singletrack, keep right at any fork you see until you reach the potato patch where you'll pick up a sign to Spruce Lake.
Climb gradually around the eastern side of the lake towards the campsite sign at the northern end of the lake and turn right to the campsite and the shores of the lake. Camp here or take a breather on the dock, swim with the jumping fish and chat to the wranglers who may have recently trekked in with their packhorses. Watch out for the resident grizzly bears though. I last camped there with 3 grizzlies!
The campsite has an outhouse and a food cache to keep the bears away from your tent!
When its time to head out get ready for the grin factor-- now its mainly gradually descending along the same trail with a few short grunts uphill after crossing each creek.