Earl Grey Pass Traverse

Invermere, British Columbia

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1 Review
5 out of 5
A multi-day in-and-out hike to Earl Grey Pass will capture most of what this trail has to offer—and that’s considerable. But hikers who can organize two groups coming from east and west to take the sting out of a long vehicle shuttle should consider the entire Earl Grey Pass Traverse, a centuries-old route over the glacier-laden Purcell Mountains. Either way, the trek covers some of the best Canada has to offer, from dark old-growth hemlock and cedar forest along Hamill Creek, past moose meadows and waterfalls, to ragged ice-capped peaks surrounding 7,500-foot Earl Grey Pass. Hand-operated cable cars help with five major stream crossings, but many smaller crossings must be forded or crossed on logs. The area has the region’s richest concentration of grizzly bears. On a 1908 sightseeing visit to British Columbia, this Shuswap Indian route was used by Earl Grey, Canada’s governor general from 1904 to 1911. Hikers approach Earl Grey Pass from both the Kaslo (west) and Invermere (east) sides, but few make the entire traverse because of the 287-mile shuttle between trailheads. In other words, roads over the Purcells are scarce. So are trails.

Earl Grey Pass Traverse Professional Review and Guide

"A multi-day in-and-out hike to Earl Grey Pass will capture most of what this trail has to offer—and that’s considerable. But hikers who can organize two groups coming from east and west to take the sting out of a long vehicle shuttle should consider the entire Earl Grey Pass Traverse, a centuries-old route over the glacier-laden Purcell Mountains. Either way, the trek covers some of the best Canada has to offer, from dark old-growth hemlock and cedar forest along Hamill Creek, past moose meadows and waterfalls, to ragged ice-capped peaks surrounding 7,500-foot Earl Grey Pass.

Hand-operated cable cars help with five major stream crossings, but many smaller crossings must be forded or crossed on logs. The area has the region’s richest concentration of grizzly bears. On a 1908 sightseeing visit to British Columbia, this Shuswap Indian route was used by Earl Grey, Canada’s governor general from 1904 to 1911. Hikers approach Earl Grey Pass from both the Kaslo (west) and Invermere (east) sides, but few make the entire traverse because of the 287-mile shuttle between trailheads. In other words, roads over the Purcells are scarce. So are trails."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Invermere
Distance: 36.5
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 4 to 5 days
Season: July through September
Trailhead Elevation: 3,000 feet
Top Elevation: 7,500 feet
Local Contacts: Purcell Wilderness Conservancy; British Columbia Parks, Nelson Office
Local Maps: Lardeau, 82 K/SE or 82 K, plus 82 K/2, 82 K/7, 82 K/8
Driving Directions: Directions to Earl Grey Pass Traverse

Recent Trail Reviews

8/22/2005
0

This trail is tough!! This should only be attempted by those with determination & stamina - unless you do it in more than 6 days in which case it would be a much more pleasant journey. The trail passes through mixed woods, berry patches, large rockfalls, meadows & is very undulating - there are several major log crossings, around 25 small log crossings, cable car crossings as well as a few places to ford the river on foot. The campsites are not marked well, and other hikers have camped randomly at places which can be misleading for navigation. The trail is also not marked in places - which can lead you into horse trails by mistake. We did not come face to face with any bears, but we did make a large amount of noise as we travelled. This trail is remote - if you get an injury here, you are on your own to get out. This trail could be used as training for the Eco-Challenge!!



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018