After the gong show that took place to start off our trip, the hitch-free ride on the Shulaps was a pleasant surprise. However, no-one sounded particularly excited about my original idea – to ride Gun Creek then Windy Pass in reverse then scoot over to Eldorado Crk then down Lick Crk. I compromised by suggesting a shorter day; ride up Taylor Crk then to Taylor Pass and over to Lick Crk. I hate shuttling – viewing it as a necessary evil and this kind of ride reminds me why I despise shuttling. We get to the traditional Taylor Crk parking lot where I drop off the group then promptly have to turn the car around and drive it 200 m and 2km downhill then turn around to chase the rest of the group. Well the gong show starts without me as Sharon, Bryce and Sean get lost right off the bat turning up the wrong fork of the road. Simon is cleaning his bike, utterly oblivious to their wrong turn, waits for me and we start climbing up the fireroad - chasing the rest of the group – meanwhile unaware that they are lost and behind us!
To make a long story short, we climb past Taylor/Trappers Cabin and up to Taylor Pass and wait for about an hour till Sharon, Bryce and Sean get themselves unlost and rejoin us. Meanwhile, who has shown up but more people we know Wade, Lisa and Sarah who point out a neat variation on the descent to Lick Creek.
Our route today – Taylor Creek – Taylor Pass – Camel Pass – Cinnabar Basin – Eldorado Basin – Lick Creek.
This ride was anything but deserted. I saw more people that day on this one circuit of trails then I have in the entire summer and fall of Chilcotin rides; it was a long weekend after all so not too surprising I suppose.
Hiking up to Taylor Pass
The route is pretty straightforward. Simply head down the singletrack which bears off on a easterly traverse from Taylor Pass and you gain another ridge which looks into Cinnabar Basin. From there you can head to Camel Pass along the obvious marked trail. It contours so you don’t lose too much ground.
Riding from Taylor Pass
It’s a lunar landscape between Taylor and Camel Pass on the Pearson Trail which connects the two passes. I would guess that Taylor Creek was once much more glaciated then the present.
At Camel Pass, we run into more people we know – a group from Whistler. This is the same group we ran into on the Shulaps just yesterday. At this point there’s an obvious trail heading east back down to Cinnabar Basin. You can take that trail which quickly becomes doubletrack, veers off SE and continues all the way back down to Tyaughton FSR and Tyaughton Lake. We took a rocky ridge which bears off due S, trying to link up to some trail we saw which went lookers right/W towards the E ridge of the hills around Eldorado Crk.
The route-finding gets a bit tricky once you get off the ridge. We headed for the obvious pack horse tracks but once you get on those tracks they quickly peter our. When that happens look down into Cinnabar Basin at the small lakes and you’ll see the obvious trail. Head for that.
Descend through the meadows to the Cinnabar Basin trail network. There’s the odd packhorse trail there also but also a lot of marmot holes so keep your heads up.
Meadow freeride – Cinnabar Basin
It’s then a short climb to the E ridge of Eldorado Basin then you can descend to Eldorado Creek.
Eldorado Creek is home to Spruce Lake Wilderness Adventure’s cabins. I’ve never actually stayed there but it comes highly recommended in winter as a ski-touring destination. The terrain around there is pretty large so I’ll have to take them up on that one day.
From the cabins another short climb and hike-a-bike brings you to the top of Lick Creek. We end with a descent from 2200 m to Mowson Pond at 800m – a ripping way to end the day.
Ride profile for the day. Odometer quit halfway through the ride so call it approx a 30km ride