McNALLY CREEK TRAVERSE
McNally Creek lies between Hanna Ck. and Murphy Ck. on the west side of the Columbia Valley just behind Oasis. The traverse covers about 10.5km over 6 hours, with a variety of terrain.
Route: Start on a good trail (A1) up beside Hanna Creek to the base of the prominent high ground behind Oasis. Scramble up a rocky ridge (B3 – steep workout but no exposure) to the top. There were good views to the east from here, and after a short walk around to another viewpoint, we were treated to a terrific panorama of the Rossland range with its mantle of snow. This is a good lunch spot.
From the top, head north cross-country (B2) along the rim traversing around the McNally Creek drainage. This part has no trail but is relatively easy travel with minor route finding, made easier this time of year by the lack of leaves impeding the view. There can be some snowy ground under the trees this early, but it has all melted this year.
Exit the rim at the north end near Murphy Ck., where it took a bit of hunting to find the best route off. After a short scramble down a rocky ramp to get off the cliff top, descend on a gentle ridge through open country – this is the best time of year for this hike since the dense ferns are still flattened from the winter snows. The walking is pleasant here.
Emerge on the gas line right-of-way, turn north for a short distance, and then pick up another trail (A1) that took us back down to the highway.
Shuttle cars to the north end, 3kms north.