Besides dust, dung, mud and the risk of rock chips backroads are most often not shortcuts to the hardtop. But backroads are our favored choice.
The Gold Creek Road from Elko to Cranbrook, British Columbia was an opportunity to get from A to B along a new route. The reward of travelling this very dusty industrial forest service road was St. Louis Camp, a historic logging camp location. We had the small open site along Gold Creek to ourselves for the night.
The shortest link between BC’s East and West Kootenays is Gray Creek Pass. From Kimberley/Marysville the road is paved to St. Mary Lake Regional Park but beyond, the east to west traverse to the summit is gravel and rough. Ascent to the summit, elevation: 2072 meters (6800 feet) was slow. Smoke veiled the view but didn’t obscure the shaggy manes alongside the road. Yum – a breakfast of scrambled eggs with mushrooms was tasty.
Just beyond the top Oliver Lake rec site is in a scenic alpine basin. Morning mist shrouded the peaks as we walked the trail around the lake.
Golden yellow was on exhibit courtesy of the larch trees.
Initially we descended into fog but slowly blue patches became visible. Overnight rain had cleared the smoke and we would arrive home under clear skies.