words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.
Another September approaches and Lee once again has planned a horse assisted bike trip to the Chilcotins. This time we start our ride at Jewel Bridge and head to Spruce Wilderness Tyax camp where we stay for 2 nights. Our first day includes Deer Pass. On this south side we climb 700m in 5km. STEEP! Casey picks up our gear at 7:00am, we have a leisurely morning and start our ride from Jewel at 9:00am. We are in no rush since the horses have to go from Jewel to Tyax camp with our gear and they tend to be slower then us. Today’s ride was 40km, 10hours.
- Trail Ventures Map
- Spruce Lake Wilderness Adventures
- Tyax Air
- Our trip planning page
- Link to search for various trips I have done in this area (Taseko – Lorna – Spruce – Tyax – Shulaps areas)
- BC Parks Spruce Lake Protected Area page
- Chilcotin Wilderness Society
- Bridge River community page
- For some of you who don’t know what the South Chilcotins mountain biking experience is all about read about Lee’s Chilcotin Wanderings:
Once again – we stayed overnight at the Gun Creek Cabins ~ photo Sean Killen
Unloading the bikes at Jewel Bridge off Slim Creek road.
Water… food… food… oxygen. Good to go!
Lee getting ready with Kris Holmes Uni hanging out.
Crack o ‘ 9:00am start time.
The first part of the trail is a nice gradual climb where you gain ~450m in 12km from Jewel to Spruce Lake.
Monte rockin’ the 29’r!
Once in Gun Creek meadows the views open up. The trails this year are really dry due to the lack of rain ( yeah) making for tough climbing. But for me I push anyway cause I suffer at elevation.
Lee pushing up Gun Creek Meadows
First break for the views!
While the bikes don’t really need the rest I’m sure they don’t mind.
Gun Meadows in front of “Open Heart” – a big sun-exposed clearing on Sheba Ridge ~ photo Monte Westlund
The trail from Spruce Lake to the turn off to Deer Pass has us climbing maybe 200m in ~11km. While not a big climb, the trail is technical and rocky so its all you can do to keep up the pace!
Sean passing Trigger Lake.
Cruising on the trail to Hummingbird Lake ~ photo Monte Westlund.
Kris Holm joined us on this trip and the one wheel didn’t slow him down!
Kris by Trigger Lake.
The fun begins. We are at ~1600m and we climb to ~2300m to the top of Deer Pass.
Ghetto shirtless climbing STEEZE
Iori takes a well earned break only 1/3 of the way up the climb! Mind you it was the steepest and loosest part…
Breaking through the trees you have the illusion you are almost there.
the altimeter watch tells you differently though.
Getting closer to the top of Deer Pass, very broad open plateau.
Are we there yet? Why are they going down?
Lee likes heights ~ photo Monte Westlund
Lee and Monte with the Dickson Range ~ Photo Tyler Wilkes.
More climbing ~ photo Tyler Wilkes
and even more climbing ~ photo Tyler Wilkes
At the top ~2300m the views surround.
He’s coming to get my bike! Yeah!
Deer Pass looking down to Tyax Creek to the N ~ photo Tyler Wilkes.
Back down at 1700m of a ~6km 600m descent!
Now just 15 minutes to Tyax camp! says lee…
The bikes get a late day wash ~ photo Monte Westlund .
At Spruce Wilderness Tyax Camp we arrive at 7:00pm. Where are the horses? Guess we’ll start a fire… wait… call… 8:30pm and after dark they arrive. Time to eat! This is about the limit the horses can go in a day carrying all our gear and beer!
Google Earth Image of our Day 1 route.
we went far…