Phelix Creek Trail

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Phelix Creek Trail
Phelix Creek Trail 2016.jpg
Phelix Creek Trail as it goes around the lake on they way back to civilization.
Length 4.0 km
Class Class 1 Trail
Status Clear
Access Phelix Creek FSR
Destination Brian Waddington Hut
Caretaker Varsity Outdoor Club
  • Type: unknown
  • Status: unknown
  • Number: REC16190

The Phelix Creek Trail constructed in 2007, is a 4.0km trail that links Phelix Creek FSR to Brian Waddington Hut. The trail travels through a few old cut blocks before continuing on a moderately steep ascent of second growth forest that follows Phelix Creek. The valley is consistently steep from trail to peak and as a result landslides and avalanches are fairly common. This is the reason why much of the trail travels through second growth rather than old growth forests. There is one major crossing at the outlet of Betsy Lake (3.2km from the trailhead).

The trail stays on the west side of the creek and more or less follows the historical traditional winter route. The new trail is suitable for travel in both summer and winter but is a moderately difficult ski due to the steep forested terrain. Skiing the trail is approximately the same difficulty as a gladed black diamond tree run. The trail has been marked with retro reflective marker diamonds, but some sections are still a little sparse. The constructed trail ends at the east end of Betsy Lake. From there, the best route is to follow trails around either side of the lake to the Hut.

From the end of the Phelix Creek FSR cross the two clear cuts without gaining or loosing any elevation until you find 2 huge white boulders at the far end of the second clearcut. Here you will find a huge tree with a sign for the trail with some kilometer distances for the trail. From here, head north and slightly uphill across the first avalanche path. Once you are across the slide area, you will enter a forested section for a bit before crossing the second avalanche path. These avalanche paths ins the summer can grow quite quickly and may require you to slash some vegetation to get through. The VOC runs yearly workhikes in an attempt to keep these sections passable. Once through both avalanche paths the trail is fairly well marked with orange reflectors all the way up to Besty Lake.


Main article: Phelix Creek FSR
Sketch of Phelix Creek Trail

The trailhead officially begins at the end of the clear cut about 700m past the end of the Phelix Creek FSR but since you are going to have to hike the clear cut, no matter how beast your vehicle is, the trailhead in this article is listed as being at the end of the FSR. If you have 2WD or if you are going up to the Hut in winter you likely will be starting your hike at the start of the FSR rather than the end. Even if you are going in the summer and you have a 4WDHC it's still advisable to park at the second bridge and start from there.

Summer Approach

Parking Location 0.2km up Phelix Creek FSR @ elev. 710m 4.4km up Phelix Creek FSR @ elev. 1150m
Nearest Town Pemberton (54.6km) Pemberton (58.8km)
Hiking distance 9.6km 5.2km
Elevation gain 1,000m (3,280 ft) 560m (1,840 ft)
Approximate time 5 hours in / 4 hours out 3.5 hours in / 2.5 hours out

Winter Approach

Avalanche serious.gif Avalanche Hazard
The route and terrain described here is capable of producing avalanches. Safe travel requires the skills and equipment to assess and mitigate avalanche hazards. A professionally taught training course is highly recommended.
Parking Location 0.2km up Phelix Creek FSR @ elev. 710m
Nearest Town Pemberton (54.6km)
Hiking distance 9.6km
Elevation gain 1,000m (3,280 ft)
Approximate time 6-8 hours in / 3-5 hours out (depending on snow conditions)


2017 August 7th - George Hill
The bridge survived the winter and appears to still be as sturdy as when we left it last year which means that we don't have to replace it and we don't have to raise the bridge up every winter anymore.
2016 July 1st - George Hill
A group of 10 VOCers headed up with the brush saw to clean up the trail particularly within the cut block and avalanche/slide sections of the trail. There were one or two two trees down over the trail, but none of great concern. The bridge at the outlet of Betsy Lake was not raised last winter and has since bent into a sad "V". The bachelor party up at the Hut that weekend took the liberty of unbending the scaffolding and then stinging logs together to increase it's strength. Seems to be working so far.


The datum for all the waypoints below is NAD 27, to correspond with the NTS map of the area, 92 J/10.

NOTE: The trail head is hard to reach by car, even in good conditions and if you have a four-wheel drive. You will most likely have to hike up the entire logging road as well.
Km UTM Elevation Description
0.0 524605, 5606348 1230m The Trailhead at the end of the Phelix Creek FSR. Continue straight across two clearcuts.
0.7 524481, 5606998 1280m A large tree 700m North of the end of the road marks the start of the flagged trail to the Hut
2.1 524108, 5608170 1420m Trail crosses a small stream; there is a log bridge for summer use
2.6 523860, 5608318 1590m Above a large boulder field
3.1 523595, 5608576 1680m Top of steep section of trail, terrain mellows towards lake
3.4 523368, 5608675 1705m Outlet of Besty Lake, bridge to trail on North side.
4.0 ** 522738, 5608593 1715m Brian Waddington Hut

** Winter distance when crossing straight over the frozen lake. In summer this is slightly longer, unless you swim.

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