Chilcotins – Day 0 – Trip Prep Info – Spruce Lake Horse Assisted trip

Some aerial reconaissance photos of the area are here; all photos were pulled from Randall and Kat’s Flying pages.



  • Arrive on Sept 9 Saturday at Gun Creek Ranch. 2 hours north of Whistler.
  • Leave early morning on Sept 10; Sunday. Arrive back at Gun Creek Ranch on Thursday Sept 14.
  • 5 days of fully supportedriding. Each day has options of between 40 to 80km loops; pick your own distance.
  • All spike camping (indome tents and therma rest provided) from days 1 to days 3. Day 3 to 5 you are in the Spruce Lake tour camps.
  • This tour is with a wrangler, cook and bike guide.
  • Full home cooked meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) – catering to vegetarian or vegan diets.

DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS From Vancouver via Hurley Forestry Road (4.5hrs) (This route is closed in Winter)

The Hurley River Forestry Road is gravel and summer access only. From Vancouver take Highway 1 to Horseshoe Bay then Highway 99 to Whistler. 35kms after Whistler the road forms a “Y” you turn left into the village of Pemberton (gas up here it is the last stop) After crossing the railroad tracks the road forms a “T” again. You will come to a stop sign where you will turn right onto Birch Avenue. Follow this road which will turn into Pemberton Meadow Road. After 23kms (14.4 miles) you will see signs for “Coast Mountain Outdoor School” and Gold Bridge, Meager Creek, turn right here. After 9km, you will cross over a bridge and will see a sign “Hurley River & Gold Bridge”, take this road uphill. This logging road starts out to be steep but flattens out on top. It then goes downhill into the Bridge River Valley. You will see a sign to the right which says Bralorne, but follow the road towards Gold Bridge. After 60kms (35miles) on this gravel road you enter a road which is seal coated. Turn right. You are now on Highway 40.

After 200 yards (1/4km) you see Gold Bridge on the right but stay on Hwy.40 and after 8 kms (5miles) you see the Tyax sign. Turn left and after another 4kms you will see Gun Creek Road on your left. Turn here. Spruce Lake Wilderness Adventures is the first ranch on the left (you will see the sign) WARNING: The Hurley River Road is not a highway but a Forest Service Road.

It can be rough and have unexpected pot holes as well as some narrow spots. Take your time and drive with caution.

From Vancouver Via Duffey Lake Road and Road 40 5 hours (Winter driving time at least 6 hours)

Drive from Pemberton to Lillooet over the Duffey Lake Road (Highway 99). In Lillooet get on to the Carpenter Lake Road (Hwy.40) towards Gold Bridge. When you get gas in Lillooet ask them to direct you. Follow Carpenter Lake Road for 92km until you see the Tyax Resort sign. Take a right and follow that road for 4km until you see Gun Creek Road on your left. Spruce Lake Wilderness Adventures is the first ranch on your left and you will see our sign. WARNING: The Carpenter Lake Road is a maintained Highway and School bus route but you must be cautious of sharp corners, rocks and wildlife on the road. Drive with caution and care.


  • Day 1:Leave Relay Creek, Prentice Lake, down Gordon Creek to Dash Creek up Dashand stay on the right fork and drop down into Big Creek and ride up Big Creek to camp which is around Graveyard area.
  • Day 2:Ride up to Powell Pass and go across the top over to Grant Creek, ride downGrant Creek and back down to Big Creek Camp. (Note – very overgrown trail. Will consider)
  • Day 3:Ride up through Graveyard valley up into Tyoax Pass then go through ElbowPass and down to Lorna Lake. From Lorna Lake up over Lorna Pass and down to Tyax Camp. (NOTE – big day – will talk about this)
  • Day 4:Ride up over Deer Pass and down to Trigger from Trigger down to Spruce Lake Camp.
  • Day 5:Spruce Lake home either straight out Gun Creek, or over Windy Pass throughEldorado and down Lick Creek to home. PDF copies of maps are included at the bottom of this page. A 1:250,000 scale map is at the bottom of the page










Your duffel should not exceed twenty five pounds per person and be packed in a soft weatherproof duffel bag. Preferably all your gear along with your sleeping bag can fit into one bag. Following is a list of some items that you should include.

Lunch – packed sandwiches and drinks. Bring own pop, beverages, cliff bars, luna bars etc if required.

(this was for a self-supported trip) – can pare it down.

  • ? Bike – of course
    ? Spare derailleur – ESP Sram derailleur – 1:1 ratio 

    ? Spare shifter cable

    ? Spare bled Hayes hydro brake – long line for rear

    ? I set spare Hayes brake pads

    ? Odd spare allen head bolts

    ? 2 spare presta tubes

    ? Patch kit

    ? Leatherman

    ? Allen tool set

    ? Pump

    ? Shockpump

    ? Zapstraps

    ? Small Hoseclamps

    ? 10l pack with 3l bladder

    ? Water bottle

    ? Navigation gear (map, compass, GPS)

    ? Riding Jacket; down vest

    ? Bike tights, fleece pants

    ? Spare socks

    ? Vaseline in lieu of chamois butter

    ? Sunscreen

    ? Headlamp

    ? Bug goo

    ? Hat with mesh thing for bugs

    ? Sleeping bag w/ silk liner

    ? Thermarest

    ? spoon

    ? Waterproof matches; lighter

    ? Light tarp

    ? Space blanket

    ? Some cord for rigging tarp

    ? Small camp towel – toiletries – Toilet paper

    ? Bunch of ziplocs and trash bags

    ? Duct tape

    ? Bear bangers

    ? Bear spray

    ? Bear Bell

  • Camera

Spruce Lake recommended list

  • ? Warm Sleeping Bag (good to -15 and lightweight)
    ? Rain Gear (Tops and Bottoms)? Riding Gloves or Cotton Gloves 

    ? Warm Jacket

    ? Change of Clothes, extra socks

    ? Pocket Knife

    ? Hankercheif (to tie around your neck to help when the dust gets thick)

    ? Long Johns

    ? Foot Wear for Riding (not too wide or with grips but should have good ankle


    ? Footwear for around camp (hiking or walking shoes)

    ? Helmut for riding if preferred (we can also supply them at the ranch)

    ? Swimming Suit

    ? Flashlight with extra batteries

    ? Hat/Touque

    ? Sunscreen, Insect Repellent & Sunglasses

    ? Soft Bag for Gear (no suitcases, or hard framed back packs pls)

    ? Soap

    ? Towel and Facecloth

    ? Personal Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hygiene products)

    ? Medications if necessary (ie. benedryl or epipen for allergies)

    ? Camera and Film

    ? Great Stories and a Good Sense of Humor

    ? HIKERS AND BIKERS please bring a pair of rubber watershoes for creek crossings and a day pack for your lunch and personal gear




Day One:

We prefer our guests to arrive the night before. We can arrange accommodation

for you and your group for a small additional charge. If you arrive early enough

we will go over horsemanship skills the night before your trip is scheduled

to depart.

Key points to remember when hiking/biking:

Be alert to your surroundings. Make noise and watch your footings. Be cautious

where the horses are. If you meet on the trail with an oncoming pack string,

yield and remove yourself as far off the trail as possible (to the low side

and preferably at least 3 metres away). Bikers should not approach a pack string

within 50 metres. Talk while the horses are passing you, so you do not startle

them. Please make sure that you have an extra pair of light shoes for creek

crossings as well as a day pack to carry your lunch, rain gear and shoes in.


Package is provided by Spruce Lake Tours; contact is Casie Menhennick

Phone is (250) 238-2375 – email is

Some trips up there are profiled here; a July trip with alpine flowers in 2005; a fall colors trip in 2003; and another fall colors trip in 2001. Also see Taseko Lake to Tyaughton Lake from earlier this year.


Here is a 1:250,000 scale map of the area.

You can create 1:25,000 scale maps using this resource or you can get some maps from this link

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