HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre HBC Backpacking Trip - Hope Mountain Centre

As BC historian Harley Hatfield once said, “History should be learned through the soles of our feet.”

On this 3-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.

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!


  • Trail historians excited to share their knowledge
  • Experienced backcountry guides
  • First aid backup and satellite phone


Click here for the full HBC 1849 Heritage Trail. Our section of the trail for this hike stretches westward from Jacobson Lake.

Friday, August 8
8:00 AM – Meet at Hope Recreation Centre, organize into carpools. Participants may leave personal vehicles parked at Hope Recreation Centre. Vehicles drive 100 km to Jacobson Lake via Highway-5 and Tulameen Forest Service Road.
10:30 AM – Arrive at Jacobson Lake Recreation Site, park vehicles here.
11:00 AM – Begin hiking the HBC Trail.

Hiking distance: 2.5 km
Elevation gain: 180 m
Camp overnight at Conglomerate Flats Camp

Saturday, August 9
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll put on light day packs and hike to the summit of Mount Davis to enjoy spectacular views of the North Cascades. Along the way, we’ll see historic “Palmer’s Pond” and walk through carpets of blooming wildflowers.

Hiking distance (1-way): 2.7 km
Elevation gain: 320 m

Returning for dinner, we’ll spend a second night at Conglomerate Flats Camp.

Sunday, August 10
After breakfast, an easy day hike takes us to Grant’s Pond, another pretty subalpine lake near camp.
Hiking distance to Grant’s Pond: 1.7 km
Elevation gain: none

After returning from Grant’s Pond, we’ll pack up camp and hike the 2.5 km (downhill) back to vehicles at Jacobson Lake.

4:00 PM – Depart Jacobson Lake and drive back to Hope.


To find a map to the Hope Recreation Centre, click here.
For a detailed map of the HBC Trail, click here.


Participants will need their own vehicles to get to Hope, and most will need to drive the 100 km from Hope to Jacobson Lake. The last 50 km are graded gravel road, accessible with any 2-wheel-drive vehicle. Trucks or SUVs are recommended, as potholes, washboard, and road dust can be expected. Participants are encouraged to carpool and share fuel costs.


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
  • 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
  • Camera
  • Chapstick
  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer
  • Head lamp
  • Utility knife
  • Basic first aid and moleskin for blisters
  • Matches
  • 10 ft. of light cord or rope
  • Hiking poles


  • 2 litres of water
  • Hi-energy snack food (gorp or Power Bars)
  • 4 lunches on the trail
  • 3 dinners in camp
  • 3 breakfasts in camp


HBC Trail Map

Liability Release Form

Charles Hou

Charles taught Social Studies in Burnaby for 34 years and continues to run a national Canadian history contest for high school students. For many years he took his students on history-related backpacking trips, including the Tikwalus Trail, Dewdney-Whatcom Trail and Harrison-Lillooet Gold Rush Trail. Charles spent six years on the board of directors of Canada’s National History Society (publisher of The Beaver magazine, now Canada’s History) and is a long-time member of the Vancouver Historical Society.

Kelley Cook

Kelley is a Princeton resident and resource management specialist.  She has a passion for historic trails of the Cascades and has played a leading role in restoring the HBC (1849) Heritage Trail. Kelley recently was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her trail work, which also includes the Dewdney, Whatcom, Centennial, and China Ridge Trails.

Walden Darwin

Walden has been leading outdoor pursuits programs on both land and water for the past 20 years.  He has helped participants of all ages discover greater confidence and know-how in the backcountry.  From day long team building events to multi-week mountaineering expeditions, Walden has had a chance to help students see the benefits of stretching one’s comfort zone.  He loves watching them learn to appreciate what the wilderness affords in terms of growth, education, and challenge.  He lives with his wife and son in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where their idea of family togetherness involves climbing, kayaking, and lots of adventure.

Vic Sagorski

Vic is a civil engineer with a deep passion for biology, and he mixes the two in many of his projects in the lower mainland. His weekends are spent roaming or skiing in the mountains around Princeton. Wild mushroom identification and consumption are one of his keen interests out in the forest. Vic is very knowledgeable about the plants and geology of the Northern Cascades. He has hiked extensively in the area, most of the time following on the heals of his partner Kelley Cook.


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.


  • Overnight in subalpine meadows at Conglomerate Flats Camp.
  • See wildflower meadows in peak summer bloom.
  • Hike to the summit of Mount Davis.
  • See beautiful alpine lakes, including historic “Palmer’s Pond” and “Grant’s Pond”.
  • Cross over the “Cascade Divide” where the Fraser and Columbia watersheds meet.


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.

The Hope Mountain Centre has been working in partnership with Recreation Sites and Trails BC, the New Pathways to Gold Society, local First Nations, and numerous outdoor enthusiasts to clear and flag the trail so that people can travel it again.


All participants must be in good health and have average physical fitness. Previous backpacking experience is recommended but not mandatory. See ITINERARY for a summary of distance and elevation gain/loss required each day.


The pre-trip meeting has been cancelled due to the experience level of participants.


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 Fido at home.