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Sunken Creek Trail Hiking Trail, East Kootenay’s, Canada

The Sunken creek hiking trail located in the Easy Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada near the historic town of Fort Steele. The trail was originally built in the 1890 as a service trail for the Dibble mine. Using pack horses, miners would bring ore down the trail to nearby town of Fort Steele.

Sunken Creek Trail is a steep accent through a dense forested valley that cuts through the Steeple Mountains. As the name suggests, the trail roughly follows Sunken Creek, crossing the creek several times using log bridges. Hikers should be forwarded that the log bridges can be very slippery when wet or frosty.

Sunken Creek Bridge

Through-out the trail, hikers will find old remnants or pioneer life, including the foundations of old cabins and an old mine entrances.

Survival Guide for Hikers

CompassNot everyone’s Indiana Jones and carries maps, compasses or GPS navigational equipment all the time. So what do you do if you don’t pack the essentials? Read on.

Remember the basics

Remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west so the first thing you’ll need to  do is to track the sun. Be careful though: during winter it lies low on the southern horizon and is nearly directly overhead during midsummer.

If you feel the time to be close to noon, position your analog watch so that the hour hand points directly towards the sun. If you don’t have an analog watch, draw it on the ground based on the time of your digital watch. The line bisecting the angle between the hour hand and 12 is positioned north to south and to find north, all you need to do is remember the sun tracks through the southern horizon.

Find Polaris

You can only find Polaris or the North Star at night and it always points north so you can’t really go wrong. It can be found by first locating the easily recognized Big Dipper. Trace a line upward that measures five times the distance of the two stars that make up the lip of the Big Dipper’s cup until you find a faint star. That faint star is Polaris. Mark its direction in the dirt and follow the direction in the morning.

Got lost? Backtrack

The easiest thing you can do when lost is go back to your last known spot if possible although having the last spot being near a summit, river crossing, lake or trail sign can be highly useful. If backtracking is not possible and/or you can’t navigate to a marked trail, parking lot, structure or road without a compass, you might want to stay where you are and wait for rescue. Unless it’s necessary to move, staying in one spot will make it easier for anyone looking to find you. Make a fire (if possible) and do anything else possible to make yourself more visible to rescuers.

Mark Your Path

As soon as you realize you’re lost, start marking you path. This will keep you from walking in circles and help anyone looking for you. Use rocks or stick to mark clear marks in the path. Usually an arrow pointing in your directions of travel is the best symbol.  If you have a knife, cut marks in trees at intervals.

Wildlife Viewing tips for Hikers

Wildlife Viewing1. Hike slowly so hearing and watching for animals is easier. If you’re hiking briskly, you might miss the chance and then it’ll be too late.

2. Keep a safe distance from the animals. If you’re too close chances are it will pay more attention to you than its food or young.

3. Keep binoculars and/or a camera on your person at all times since trying to locate them in your backpack might end up scaring the animal.

4. Call wildlife organizations to determine where animals can most often be found. This information can also, quite often, be found online.

5. Choose to hike in the right weather: when it’s overcast, animals can quite often be found out of their dens since the scorching sun or rain drives them back into their holes or under shade. When it’s too windy, animals can pick up your scent more easily causing many to stay hidden.

6. Look for prey animals—if all the elk in a herd suddenly look up in one direction—chances are a wolf or bear is probably nearby.

7. Engage your “scatter vision” which basically means standing in one place and keeping your eyes moving not letting them settle on one focal point for too long.

8. Watch out for distinguishing parts and portions of animals: beaks, tails or antlers etc can be easier to spot then the whole body.

9. Focus less on the hiking and more on the spotting by taking long breaks at key vantage points like watering holes and meadows and then wait for wildlife to make its appearance.

10. Be sneaky by slowing down, getting quiet and peeking over edges.

Cranbrook Community Forest

Cranbrook Community ForestThe Cranbrook Community Forest borders the north eastern side of the city of Cranbrook British Columbia, Canada. This recreational area provides an extensive trail system that encompasses 2000 hectares of crown land.

In the summer months the Community Forest is a great place for walking, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, wild life viewing and horseback riding.

The winter provides opportunities for winter hiking, wildlife viewing and cross country skiing/snow shoeing (if area has received enough snow).

The eastern side of the park contains grasslands and three interesting alkali lakes which mostly evaporate in the summer months forming a crust of alkaline salts across the lake bed. Above these lake is a network of trails that moves through a forest of fir, pine and larch trees. Following these trails you’ll find several view points of the Purcell and Steeple mountains. Hikers and Bikers taking the Big Tree Trail will get see one of the area’s largest and oldest standing pine trees, next to a view point overlooking the city of Cranbrook.

Hiking Premier Lake Provincial Park with Video

Premier Lake Provincial Park is nestled against the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains, in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia.

Premier Lake’s main hiking trail is an easy (but long) 7.5km loop between Yankee, Canuck and Turtle lakes. This is a picturesque hike along the base of the Rockies that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The lakes are usually amazingly clear and offer many places to view wildlife. Yankee and Canuck lakes provide great fishing opportunities for those who pack a fishing rod. Personally, I would recommend fly fishing in these two lakes. Turtle Lake, as the name suggests, has a large population of Western Painted Turtles. During late spring you can find the nearby crawling the female turtles looking for place to lay their eggs.

For those looking for a more challenging and longer hike, hikers can fork at the beginning of Yankee Lake onto Saddle Back Trail which greatly gains elevation, as it climbs to the Peak of Travois Mountain.
Besides Hiking, Premier Lake Provincial Park offers a variety of other activities including full facility camping, boating with boat launch, fishing, and swimming. There is also a fish ladder and fish collection station which provides eggs for the Kootenay Fish Hatchery. Signs along the creek interpret the life cycle of the rainbow trout.

Click Here for the: Premier Lake Provincial Park Trail Map

Click Here for: More information at the BC Park website.

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