As BC historian Harley Hatfield once said, “History should be learned through the soles of our feet.” On this 8-day backpacking adventure, you’ll truly be walking in the footsteps of history, experiencing the Hudson’s Bay Company “Brigade” Trail just as the fur traders did.
Fur trade historians will accompany us, sharing their knowledge of the people and events that reveal the vibrant life of this historic route. Over eight days, we’ll hike 74 kilometres from Peers Creek (near Hope) to the Tulameen River near the town of Tulameen.
Since 2009, Hope Mountain Centre has worked with many people and groups to restore the trail. We’re excited to show you the improvements we’ve made to the trail and the new overnight camps we’ve constructed!
* Hike through old-growth forest in the Upper Sowaqua valley.
* See 160-year-old blazes on old-growth trees, left by fur traders.
* Visit “Fool’s Pass” and see habitat of the rare Mountain Beaver.
* Stand on Manson’s Ridge, a formidable obstacle to the brigades.
* Walk in wildflower meadows on Mount Davis.
* See beautiful alpine lakes, including historic “Palmer’s Pond”.
* Cross over the “Cascade Divide” where the Fraser and Columbia watersheds meet.
* Camp in the same historic camps where the brigades overnighted.
* Witness the ecological transition between Coastal and Interior climates.
* Hike through subalpine parkland on the Tulameen Plateau.
* See the charming town of Tulameen.
Completed in 1849, the HBC Trail was built to link the Fraser River at Fort Hope with Fort Kamloops and other important forts farther north to Stuart Lake. For more than a decade, the HBC’s fur empire in Western North America depended on this trail. Brigades of up to 400 horses and men annually pounded over the Cascades in summer and fall, bringing furs west to the coast and carrying food and equipment inland to re-supply the forts. The HBC Trail played a key role in the early history of British Columbia, and before that, was a hunting trail and east-west trade route for First Nations such as the Stó:lo, Nlaka’pamux and Upper Similkameen.
Hope Mountain Centre has been working in partnership with Recreation Sites and Trails BC, National Trails Coalition, New Pathways to Gold Society, Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society, Similkameen Planning Society, local First Nations, and numerous outdoor enthusiasts to clear and flag the trail so that people can travel it again.
$420 per person
* Trail historians
* Backcountry guides
* First aid backup and satellite phone
* Vehicle shuttle to and from trailheads
* Food re-supply at trip half-way point
All participants must have previous backpacking experience, good health, and good physical endurance. See the ITINERARY below for a summary of distance and elevation gain/loss required each day. We’ve tried to pace each day with moderate distances, especially when elevation gain/loss is significant. This gives us more time to smell the wildflowers and explore some cool sights!
A pre-trip meeting is MANDATORY, so we can go over gear together and plan important details prior to the trip. The pre-trip meeting will take place on the evening of Thursday, July 21 — please mark it on your calendar. Time and location to be announced.
Following is a breakdown of daily goals over the 74-km route.
Saturday, July 30
9:00 AM – Meet at Hope Recreation Centre, load into vehicle shuttle. Participants are dropped off or leave personal vehicles parked at Hope Recreation Centre.
10:00 AM – Arrive at Peers Creek Trailhead and hike to Manson’s Camp.
Hiking distance: 6 km
Elevation gain: 620 m
Camp at Manson’s Camp
Sunday, July 31
Hike from Manson’s Camp to Colvile Camp
Hiking distance: 5 km
Elevation gain: 500 m to Manson’s Ridge (explore Manson’s Ridge)
Elevation loss: 520 m down to Colvile Camp
Camp at Colvile Camp
Monday, August 1
Hike from Colvile Camp to Campement Du Chevreuil (Deer Camp)
Hiking distance: 11.5 km
Elevation gain: 720 m
Camp at Deer Camp
Tuesday, August 2
Hike from Deer Camp to Horseguard Camp
Hiking distance: 17 km
Elevation loss: 375 m
Camp at Horseguard Camp
Note: on Tuesday, a vehicle will meet us
at Jacobson Lake, delivering food and
fuel for the remaining 4 days of the trip.
This saves you from having to carry
8 days of food on your back!
Wednesday, August 3
Hike from Horseguard to Blackeye’s Plateau Camp
Hiking distance: 6.25 km
Elevation gain: 605 m
Camp at Blackeye’s Plateau Camp
Thursday, August 4
Hike from Blackeye’s Camp to Lodestone Lake
Hiking distance: 9.75 km
Elevation loss: 40 m
Camp at Lodestone Lake
Friday, August 5
Hike from Lodestone Lake to Olivine Camp
Hiking distance: 9.5 km
Elevation loss: 300 m
Elevation gain: 200 m
Camp on Mt. Olivine Camp
Saturday, August 6
Hike from Olivine Camp to Tulameen River
Hiking distance: 9 km
Elevation loss: 900 m
2:00 PM — hikers will be picked up by shuttle bus at Tulameen River and taken back to Hope to retrieve their vehicles from the Hope Recreation Centre Parking Lot.
Participants will need their own vehicles to get to Hope. You can park in Hope, or get dropped off by a friend. Shuttle vehicles will get you to the trail and back.
Participants will need the following items and some gear is available for rent.
* Sturdy hiking boots. Should provide ankle support and be sealed against moisture. Must also be broken in so they don’t blister you.
Socks — A thin synthetic (not cotton) inner sock and a thick outer sock (preferably wool). Bring 1 extra pair of back-up socks
* Water crossing shoes/sandals (can also be used as camp shoes)
* Short pants
* Long pants
* Nylon rain pants
* 2 undershirts (cotton or polypropyl)
* 1 sweater
* Rain-proof jacket
* 1 pair gloves
* 1 toque
* Sleeping bag — rated to -5 celsius
* Foamy — Thermarest or any closed-cell foamy
* 3-season tent or bivvy sac
* Stove, fuel, pots
* Cup, plate, cutlery
* Sun glasses
* Toilet paper and hand sanitizer
* Head lamp
* Utility knife
* Basic first aid and moleskin for blisters
* 10 ft. of light cord or rope
* Hiking poles.
* 2 litres of water
* Hi-energy snack food (gorp or Power Bars)
* 8 lunches on the trail
* 7 dinners in camp
* 7 breakfasts in camp
Note: a vehicle will meet us at Jacobson Lake (half-way point of the trip), delivering food and fuel for the remaining 4 days of the hike. This saves you from having to carry 8 days of food on your back!
Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions.
Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
If a registration is cancelled 14 days or more before a program starts, HMCOL will refund the program fee and equipment rental fees (as applicable) minus an administrative cost of $20 per person. Program and equipment rental fees will not be refunded if a cancellation is received less than 14 days before the start of a program. A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund of program and equipment fees.
A note about liability
Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program. Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants. While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave your pet at home.