Oyama to Streak Lake

Oyama Lake has a lot of islands to explore. Some of these are curiously named Lunch Island, #turdisland, and Castaway Island. There is also a little channel connecting north into Streak Lake which has a very remote and peaceful atmosphere. There is a small rec site at the north end of Streak Lake for camping. Many of the islands in Oyama lake also make good camping locations. Of course there is also the resort on Oyama lake which has car-camping and cabins available.

https://youtu.be/VfjOlBJBC7g

Oyama lake in the back with many islands

channel connecting Oyama and streak lakes

Peaceful Streak Lake

North end of Streak Lake

Mt. Gardiner

It is the highest peak and one of the popular activities to do while visiting Bowen Island, off the coast of Vancouver, BC.

Start of the trail

Lots of walking through the forest

The top has lots of communication equipment but there are fantastic views on a clear day

Kitchener Mountain

Kitchener Mountain is a peak located in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. It is located up the slope from the famous Kokanee Lake between Giant's Kneecap and Esmerelda Peak.

Surprisingly enough, it is much easier to reach the summit in the winter when the mountain/glaciers are filled in with snow. This is really only possible with a stay at Kokanee Glacier Cabin (winter helicopter fly in).

Kokanee Glacier with Kitchener Mountain in the background

Kitchener Mountain

Hope Mountain

Hope Mountain summit is clearly visible to the south on the way down the Coquihalla Highway into Hope, BC. The hike is not as daunting as it seems, as it is possible to drive quite far up the mountain (driving skills and high clearance recommended).

The mountain shares the same trailhead as Wells Peak (opposite direction).

For anyone collecting green summit towers, this one has four!!

https://youtu.be/9VWvGnZk5Ns

Green Summit Rockets

When I first started hiking the mountains of BC, I would come across these mysterious green rockets at the summits of peaks. Adding to the mystery, many of them were incredibly remote with no other surrounding infrastructure or access.

After finding several of these, I finally decided to figure out what they were. It turns out they are radio repeaters set up by groups like search-and-rescue and the provincial government.

I've always been annoyed to reach a summit that has a communication tower. Especially loud stations that have generators or power lines. For some reason I don't have the same experience with these green rockets. I have even come to appreciate their presence and even seek them out as a destination!

There are likely hundreds of these across the mountains. Here are a few I hope to visit someday:

Thompson Mountain (Kootenays)

Wild Horse Lookout on Lakit Mt

The action first started in 1955 when the Wild Horse fire lookout was erected and manned for service. In 1977, the building was replaced with a replica of original. Nowadays the fire lookout is abandoned and a visit is a signature Cranbrook-area adventure.

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In the summer it is a relatively short (1-2 hour hike) up to the lookout but in the winter, a longer approach walking or skiing along the fire service access road is required.

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https://youtu.be/o0lkrIYpoBU
Adventure to Lakit Mountain

The full experience must include an overnight in the shelter. There is a small woodstove available (bring your own wood!) as well as a single bed.

Lakit interior

There are several summits in the area to visit (Lakit Mt propper, Bill Nye) as well as an abandoned mine (Kootenay King).

Pennask Mountain Summit

Pennask Mountain is an insignificant peak but it does have a decent view from the summit. I opted to visit this peak via ski touring in the middle of the winter to make the journey more interesting.

https://youtu.be/TEvXC_UWPIo

Skiing down from the summit

Mara Fire Lookout Tower

Mara fire lookout is on the summit of the highest mountain of the Hunter Range (Morton Peak). This is the range in the North Okanagan sandwiched between Enderby, Mara Lake and Sicamous to the west, and Mabel Lake to the east. To add some confusion, there is also a Mara Mountain (without a fire lookout) just to the south.

Typical landscape of the Hunter Range

Access:

There is ATV road access from both the north and south. Hikers can park on Owl Head FSR to access from the north or drive up 3 Valley Mabel / Mara Lookout FSR as far as possible for access from the south.

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https://youtu.be/tsoemgGOgYk

Winter access:

The whole area is a very popular for snowmobiling but in the shoulder seasons, it is possible to access for ski touring. The bowls below the lookout to the south are excellent for ski touring in November/December before access becomes too difficult.

The fire lookout was first operational in 1923 and the structure was replaced in 1950. Active fire monitoring was in effect from the lookout until 1998. The BC government provided funds for restoration in 2012 but it has slowly deteriorated in the years since.

Snow-crusted fire lookout

Yak Peak Hike

Yak is one of the iconic peaks of the Coquihalla Summits group. It's impossible to drive over the pass and not marvel at the huge granite slab that makes up the south slope.

The granite slap that is Yak as viewed driving over the Coquihalla Pass

Scrambling up the slab

The hike is a bit of a grind but in good weather, it is not difficult or technical. A bit of rain or snow would change this as there could be some slippery spots. Regardless, this is a 4-6 hour hike that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

https://youtu.be/QyU9YH6dmxk

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There is no parking at the immediate trailhead and therefore 600-800m of highway shoulder walking is necessary. The closest parking is a highway pull-off below Yak Peak. To park near a washroom, choose the next exit (Zopkios Brake Check).

False Summit

Incredible views to the north including the Anderson River group and Alpaca, Vicuna + Guanaco peaks