Women's Backpack 2017Women's Backpack 2017Women's Backpack 2017Women's Backpack 2017Women's Backpack 2017Women's Backpack 2017Women's Backpack 2017

This program for women will provide instruction on the overall basics of backpacking such as food, cooking, clothing, backpack essentials, overnight gear choices, safety considerations and “Leave No Trace” principles.  All this in a friendly, low-stress outdoor setting.

This should not be your first hike this year!  You will need to be able to carry a backpack containing gear described in the trip checklist for up to 3 km on the first and last day of the 3-day trip.  The middle day will involve a moderate day hike.  Pack weight should ideally not exceed ~14 kg (30 lbs) including food and water.

The class will include a half-day to get together for gear check, meal planning and a hike before the backpacking weekend.

In addition to enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery and friendly company, you’ll experience the adventure of walking in the footsteps of history.  You’ll be hiking and camping on the 167-year-old Hudson’s Bay Company “Brigade” Trail which played a key role in British Columbia’s early development.  Fur trade historian Kelley Cook will share her knowledge of the people and events that reveal the vibrant life of this historic route.


  • Overnight in subalpine meadows at Conglomerate Flats Camp.
  • See wildflower meadows in peak summer bloom.
  • Hike to Mount Davis and visit an historic camp used by the Hudson’s Bay Company “Fur Brigades” during the 1850’s.
  • 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.

Trail Background:

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.

Since 2009, the Hope Mountain Centre has worked with many people and groups to restore the trail.  Backpackers and horseback riders can now cross the Cascade Mountains between Hope and Tulameen on a continuous, 74-km wilderness trail.  We’re excited to show you the improvements we’ve made and the new overnight camps we’ve constructed!

Comments from previous Women’s Backpack programs:

“Amazing, knowledgeable, patient, inclusive… Leaders and volunteers. Beautiful people. Love their programs.”

“Thanks so much for all your encouragement & inspiration! You have many wonderful gifts. Thanks for sharing yourself & accepting each of us.”

“At first it feels like you’re the only one who’s ever gone through something painful. Then you discover you’re not alone. Each of us has a story. We just have to step out, grab onto a friend’s hand & jump! I have an army of friends, so proud of me for doing this trip. Expect a few more nurses signing up next year!”

“Amazing people! You will love the programs offered by these passionate leaders.”


Online registration is closed. Please call 604-869-1274 or email at info@hopemountain.org for additional information.

$320 per adult
$250 per youth, aged 10 to 18, accompanied by a parent or guardian

Price includes:

  • Trail guide and historian
  • Plant and animal biologist
  • First aid backup and satellite phone
  • Training regarding gear and backcountry camping techniques


All participants must be in good health and have average physical fitness. Daily distances and elevation gain will be moderate, enabling beginners to enjoy their first backpacking experience.  See ITINERARY for a summary of distance and elevation gain/loss required each day.

This should not be your first hike this year!  You will need to be able to carry a backpack containing gear described in the trip checklist for up to 3 km on the first and last day of the 3-day trip.  The middle day will involve a moderate day hike.  Pack weight should ideally not exceed ~14 kg (30 lbs) including food and water.


A pre-trip meeting and half-day hike is required, so we can go over gear and enjoy a hike together before the overnight trip. The pre-trip meeting hike will take place in Hope on Sunday, July 16–please mark it on your calendar. Start time: 1:00 pm, meeting place: Hope Recreation Centre.  Finished by 5:00 pm.

Friday, July 21

9:30 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 – Meet Kelley Cook at Britton Creek Rest Area washrooms (Exit #228)  and continue on Tulameen FSR to Jacobson Lake.

Noon – Arrive at Jacobson Lake Recreation Site, park vehicles here, have lunch.

1:00 PM – Begin hiking the HBC Trail.
Hiking distance: 2.5 km
Elevation gain: 180 m
Camp overnight at Conglomerate Flats Camp

Saturday, July 22

After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll put on light day packs and hike to Mount Davis and enjoy spectacular views of the North Cascades.  Along the way, we’ll see historic “Palmer’s Pond”, visit historic “Deer Camp”, 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, July 23

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.

3:30 PM – Depart Jacobson Lake and drive back to Hope.

For a detailed map of the HBC Trail, click HERE.


Meet at Hope Recreation Centre
(1005 – 6th Avenue in 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 some 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
* Long pants and shorts or zip-off pants (no jeans)
* 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 (highly recommended)
* Day pack for light hiking

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


Liability Waiver Form

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.

Informed Consent Form

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.

Please be aware that our programs run regardless of weather conditions, unless we determine that it will affect the safety of participants and/or equipment.


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 pets at home.


Register now online or reserve your spot by calling 604-869-1274, or by email at lklassen@hopemountain.org for more information.