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This is such a pretty lake, surrounded by a beautiful little road lined with birch trees. Its such a beautiful spot. Like Donner lake, its on the rarely visited west side of Strathcona Park. It is accessed from the Ucona mainline logging road out of Gold River. The lake is accessed via somevery old and rough roads.

Be sure to look for the geocache!

One way, there is about 7km of logging road out to the road access and then about 10km of old road going around the lake and back out onto the logging road.

The rough road is very rough and definitely has some “B” sections. NOTE: The Lake is almost completely inside Strathcona Park, the road around it should only be travelled on foot or bicycle.

Time of Year:
This area should be free from snow from May to November

In Gold River, head down Muchalat Drive, then turn onto Ucona Dr – towards the Rod and Gun club. This is the start of Ucona Mainline.

GPS File:
Adventure Ride – Kunlin Lake Loop.gpx

(click on image to enlarge)

This is such a beautiful road around the lake (click on image to enlarge)

On Ucona mainline you can see the south side of the imfamous Colonel Foster mountain

On the way in, be sure to stop off at Star lake

Here are the twin rocks where the geocache is hidden.

A nice little bridge across a feeder creek to the Ucona river.

Written on July 19th, 2012 , Adventure Ride, Hike, Mountain Bike

Donner Lake is a beautiful mountain lake on the rarely visited west side of Strathcona Park. It is accessed from the Ucona mainline logging road out of Gold River. There is a very rough old road that leads out to the lake. But its worth the effort.

There is even a canoe and paddle at the lake if you want to truy some fishing.

One way, there is about 7km of logging road, then about 11km of very rough old road out to the lake. About 5km of this road is in Strathcona park so you should be doing it on foot or bicycle.

The rough road is very rough and definitely has some “B” sections.

Time of Year:
This area should be free from snow from May to November

In Gold River, head down Muchalat Drive, then turn onto Ucona Dr – towards the Rod and Gun club. This is the start of Ucona Mainline.

GPS File:
Adventure Ride – Donner Lake.gpx

(click on image to enlarge)

Doner Lake (click on image to enlarge)

A nice place to sit and enjoy the view.

Bridge across a Ucona feeder creek

One of the many creek washouts along the way

View of the mountains from the trail to Donner Lake

Written on July 19th, 2012 , Adventure Ride, dirt bike, Hike

There is a karst cave a couple of km above Skutz Falls along an old logging road.

There are two ways you can get there:

  1. From Skutz Falls. With a dirt bike/ATV/Rock Crawler you can ride up the old road and get right to the trail head, then a short 5 min hike. If you are in a car or truck, then you have to hike up about 2km (elev of 350m) – its a couple hour hike.
  2. A longer way in, but an easier hike is to take the Holt Main logging road at Glenora, which turns onto Stoltz main. You can drive a truck within 1km of the trail head. Once parked you can walk about 1km down a gentle old logging road.

When trying to find the trailhead look for the two cutdown trees right on the side of the road. There will be a bit of flagging marking the trail. The trail is not very worn in, so look carefully. Its about a 5-10min hike up the bank. You will start to hear a creek and then see a ravine. A steep little trail goes into the ravine, then into the cave.

If its snowy or wet you might want to take a rope to use as a hand line, as the last part of the trail is steep and there are no handholds.

Difficulty: The main loggin roads are easy. If you ride up from Skutz falls its moderately steep and washed out. A bunch of rubble but rideable.


GPS File:

Written on November 20th, 2011 , Cowichan, dirt bike, DR350, Hike, KTM 450 EXCR

In 1944 a Patrol Plane crashed near the top of Mt Boldoc, south of Cowichan Lake, near Gordon River. The plane struck the summit of Mt Bolduc, where the tips of the wings were torn off, it then continued over a gully and crashed into a lower summit.

Access: Go to Cowichan Lake, west of Duncan. Go to the end of the paved lake south road, past Mesachie Lake, past Honeymoon bay – where it turns into a major logging road. Go south on the logging road to Gordon River. Just before Gordon River camp (basically and Orange smashed up car on the side of the road), take the left turn off – this is Harris Main. Go along about 1/2 km to a right hand turn on Mt Boldoc Forest Service Road. Drive up and up as far as you can go, near the top, a spur will take a sharp left, follow this up and around the summit. When the road turns to fresh blast rock keep your eyes peeled for flagging on the left. Ornage and yellow flagging in the trees (see picture below). Pay very close attention – I drove by it twice.

NOTE: if you want to find the wing tips, you will have to go further along the road, near its end. Hike through the slash to the top of the mountain. At the point where the clearcut meets the forest at the gulley, walk into the woods. There are two wing tips, one wigher up almost at the top, and another, a little wasy down into the gulley.

Ride Time: about 1-1/2 to the top from Cowichan Lake. The hike in takes about 5 minutes.

Difficulty: Easy logging roads. Short trail from logging road to the engines and main crash area. If you want to see the wing tips you will have to drive up the road further and hike through slash up to the summit of the mountain.


Here is a map which shows the route from Gordan River. You can get at Gordon River from Cowichan Lake or from Port Renfrew.

GPS File:
Mt Bolduc Plane Crash.gpx

See Also:


Approaching Gordon River Camp. Harris Main is to the left. Gordon River to the right. On Harris Main, there is a sign that says “TR7″, but that’ll probably be blown to bits later this summer.


The Mt Bolduc Turn Off


A view of Mt Bolduc

Written on September 10th, 2011 , Adventure Ride, Cowichan, dirt bike, Hike

Deep in the Sooke hills, up on the San Juan Ridge, exists a pretty little lake called Wye Lake.  Here is a nice loop that you can ride or ATV from Shawnigan or Jordan River (east).  You might even be able to do it in a short wheel base truck, although there are a couple of tough sections. 

If you want to actually go to Wye Lake, be prepared to hike along the Kluhdahk trail for a couple of km.  Nice lake, they have some canoes you can paddle around the lake.

From Shawnigan, you can either head out past Weeks lake along Kapour and return along the San Juan River, or vise versa.

From Jordan River, take the East Mainline up to the reservoirs, cut through the reservoirs to Butler main.  Its locked and gated at Butler Main, but at the bottom of the access is an old road that cuts through slash and pops out onto Butler Main. You might be able to slide your bike under the date too.

Ride Time: 3-4 hrs from Jordan River


Its mostly logging road.  There are two sections that might prove a little difficult to beginners.  The cut through from the reservoirs to Butler main bumps up through some slash.  But its starting to get pretty worn in.  It’d be a pain if its wet and muddy. You might be able to slide your bike under the gate though.  The other part that is a bit challenging is the ridge road that goes up from the San Juan to the top of San Juan Ridge.  Its marked in red on the map.  When arriving at the bottom, there are three roads that split off. A nice one on the level, another nice one that goes down, and a nasty overgrown, rocky one that goes up the ridge.  Take the nasty overgrown, rocky one.  Its only a couple of km long, and then pops out onto loggin road again.



GPS File:

Wye Lake Loop.gpx

See Also:

Backroads map book is sorta useful, but old data.

CRD Atlas is very useful…  http://viewer.crdatlas.ca/public#/Home 



Written on August 2nd, 2011 , Adventure Ride, dirt bike, DR350, Hike, KTM 450 EXCR, Sooke

Southern Vancouver Island sports some of the largest trees in the world. Here are a few of them, and maps/GPS tracks of how to get there. They are all on logging roads and you can get to them by a car, but a truck would be better. Of course a dual sport bike would be the best.


Port Renfrew Area

San Juan Spruce – Right at the San Juan recreation site. Explore along the banks on both sides of the road for many large trees
Red Creek Fir – this road can get muddy 4×4 recommended, go August to Sepmtember
Avatar Grove – either side of Gordon river main
Harris Creek Spruce – a lone giant right along side the new Harris Creek Road
Chester’s Grove (not sure where this is, somewhere around port renfrew)




Carmanah Valley – Huge Spruces, Firs and Cedar Trees
Cheewhat Ceder – supposedly the largest in the world



Shawnigan Lake/Mt Tod

Old Demonstration Forest with a large tree and a sleeping giant


Other Areas

Written on July 29th, 2011 , Adventure Ride, dirt bike, Hike

Trapp Mtn, is just another unexciting bump located in the Sooke hills.  However, it was a good opportunity to test out riding the dirt bike for the approach then putting on the runners for a hike.  (this is supposedly what I bought the bike for in the first place!). 

Access: I gained access to the logging roads from the gate off Clarke Road, off Otter point place.  The gate was unlocked. The ATV routes around the gate have been freshly ditched. You can slide your bike under the gate though.  Glad I went on a Sunday, there was active logging in a number of areas along the way.

Ride Time: about 4hrs round trip from the gate at Clarke Rd.  45 mins on the Dirt Bike to get to the trail head; couple hours to go up and down the mountain.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate dirt bike ride – Logging road approach, and then a bunch of bumping around on an old rocky forest service road.  Easy hike up an overgrown old road to the col, then up a trail – a little bit of hands on.  No cliffs or anything like that.

Now if you are a good trials rider, you will probably find the overgrown road up to the trail a snap. If you are a real good trials rider you mike the challenge of the actual hiking trail to the summit. I am neither, so I just hiked those parts.


GPS File: Trapp Mtn.gpx


The reclusive 4 stroke animal hidden in the woods. (click on pictures to view larger)


The trail that leads down to Camp Barnard. Nice bridge, I wouldn’t want to try to get the bike across that.


The ho-hum summit of Trapp Mtn.

Written on May 8th, 2011 , dirt bike, Hike, Sooke

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