MOUNT GLADSTONE 2250m 7350’
In the souther Monashees, this is drier and thus a good shoulder-season hike. Good views down to Christina Lake. Late in the season, has thousands of ladybugs on the summit. They hibernate under the rocks.
Location: Located 9kms NE of Christina Lake in the Christina Range of the southern Monashee Mountains.
Elevation gain: 1100m 3200”
Key elevations: TH 4100’, summit 7350
Time: 6 hours round-trip
Access: good 2WD high clearance. 8kms on good dirt road.
Season: June through October
Map: 82E1/ Grand Forks (north edge) and 82E8/ Deer Park
Drive: 0.0 From the Castlegar cloverleaf on Hwy 3, drive west towards Christina Lake, 44kms and turn right on the Blueberry Paulson Bridge Bypass Road (just before reaching the Paulson Bridge). Follow down to the Kettle Valley Railway and go north along the rail bed 2.5kms north on the rail bed and park. A large open field is on the left and Hopper Creek meets McRae Cr at this point.
Trail/Route: A well-placed log (since replaced by a bridge) crosses the creek that is parallel to the road. Allows access to the field, an old lumber camp with a building site and the trail on the west side of the field. The trail starts as a well-used lane going south, rapidly gains elevation and switch backs northward to parallel Hopper Creek. Cross the creek and wind northward up the avalanche path to the ridge high above. Climb the small peak on the east end of the ridge if desired. Head west on the ridge to the summit.
Alternative route: A much prettier route follows the ridge around the Hopper Creek bowl for expansive views. First go up to the first small peak south of the Hopper Creek basin. This is the SE end of a ridge that curves to the north and after a few hundred metres of ups and downs reach the summit from the south ridge. This route has a total elevation gain of 4200’.
From the summit, views to both Christina Lake and Arrow Lakes. Descend to the creek below, then the old cabin site, steep hillside to the trailhead and across the bridge.