Stein Valley Traverse
The Stein Valley Traverse is a 70 km trail linking Lytton and Lillooet Lake. Consisting of two section west and east. The West trail begins at Lillooet Lake and finishes at Lizzie Creek Cabin. The West Trail doubles as the approach to Lizzie Lake and the Cabin. The East Trail starts in Lytton and travels 55km through the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park. The East Trail has 4 cable crossings and one suspension bridge. Typically parties completing the full traverse will set aside 5-6 days for the journey.
The name "Stein" comes from the Nlaka'pamux word "stagyn", which means "hidden place". This land is an important spiritual land for the First Nations in the area. There are a number of pictographs in the park. Some are easily visible, others must be sought out, and some are closely guarded secrets of the local people.
If you do go through the Park, BC Parks is requesting that all visitors to this park complete an online comment form so that management can obtain valuable information from those that have visited the park. See the full BC Parks page on the Park here.
There are a few copies of The Stein Valley Wilderness Guidebook by Gordon White in the VOC Clubroom, which provide a thorough description of the route for those who intend to hike it.
Stein Valley Traverse West (Lizzie Creek Cabin Trail)
The Lizzie Creek Cabin trailhead can be reached via the In-SHUCK-ch FSR (aka the Lilooet Lake Road. To reach the FSR from Vancouver drive Highway 99 north to Mt. Currie, passing through Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. At Mt. Currie make a right, following signs towards the Lilooet. About 10km from Mt. Currie, there will be a large Forest Service Road off to the right. This is the In-SHUCK-ch FSR. The road is gravel, but is well maintained and any car can handle it. In the winter this road is plowed. Approximately 15km from the highway just over Phacelia Creek (but before Lizzie Creek) turn left on to the Phacelia Creek Road. Driving time from Vancouver to the Phacelia Creek Road turnoff is typically 3 to 4 hours each way, depending on traffic and weather. Driving time from the East trailhead to the West trailhead is about 3 hours. Ensure to plan your trip in coordination with the Lytton Ferry.
|Trailhead location||2.5km up Phacelia Creek Road @ elev. 550m / 35.3km from Pemberton|
|Hiking distance||13.7 kilometres|
|Elevation gain||1,060 metres (3,478 ft)|
|Approximate time||6 hours in / 4.5 hours out|
In summer, drive 2.5km up Phacelia Creek Road to reach the Upper Bypass Trailhead. The road can be managed by 2WD vehicles. About 1.5km up you will see a "Road Deactivated sign"; ignore this as just past this sign is the trailhead to the Upper Bypass. There is a parking around the area for about 6 cars.
The access to the cabin is most comprised of the old Lizzie Lake Road. Once at the lake, the road ends and to get to the cabin you follow the Lizzie Creek Cabin Trail. The Upper Bypass trail is about 1km long. Once you hit the logging road, make a left then continue another 5.5km to reach the one log bridge. The lake is another 4.5km along the logging road from here. Continuing from the lake the trail ascends more rapidly until the Gates of Shangri-La, a gorge where weak granite cliff bands have created steep slopes with large talus rock fields at their base. The trail crosses the rock fields and then finishes through level meadows up to the cabin.
|Trailhead location||Start of Phacelia Creek Road @ elev. 240m / 32.9km from Pemberton|
|Skiing distance||17.5 kilometres|
|Elevation gain||1,370 metres (4,495 ft)|
|Approximate time||8 hours in / 3 hours out (highly dependent on snow level)|
Winter access is the same as in summer (see above), but depending on the snow level one may not be able to drive up Phacelia Creek Road as it is not plowed in the winter. Getting to the cabin in the winter requires skis or snowshoes and can take any where from 6 to 12 hours depending on whether you are breaking trail, the weight of your pack and what skis you use. The trail has a steady downhill slope from Lizzie Lake and if the road is well covered, the descent from the cabin can be very quick. This is a backcountry area with avalanche hazards. Ensure you are carrying the appropriate avalanche safety equipment and have considered the avalanche forecast from avalance.ca.
Stein Valley Traverse East (Stein Valley Trail)
To reach the Stein Valley trailhead is located on the west side of the Fraser River by Lytton and accessed by crossing the Lytton Ferry. After disembarking from the ferry, follow the road to the right for 4.8 kilometres to the junction with the Stein Valley Road (marked). Turn left and follow it to the parking lot. Driving time from Vancouver to the Phacelia Creek Road turnoff is typically 3 to 4 hours each way, depending on traffic and weather. Driving time from the East trailhead to the West trailhead is about 3 hours. Ensure to plan your trip in coordination with the Lytton Ferry.
BC Parks has a detailed map of the trail including bridge crossings as below. Click here to download the PDF.