Gorman Lake Trail

MODERATE 4 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

Gorman Lake Trail is a 5.8 kilometer out and back trail located near Columbia-Shuswap, British Columbia, Canada that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is best used from May until September.

DISTANCE
5.8 km
ELEVATION GAIN
296 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

views

Trailhead The hike begins when you get off the gondola. (11U 0494547 5680404, Elevation 2326m). Follow the road down from the gondola unloading station to the rib of rock that announces the Dogtooth Ridge hike. When using the road, stay to the left hand side and make sure you don’t get pegged by any mountain bikers making the descent. Once you reach the rock rib, follow the trail up, down and around until you reach the road that goes up to the Blue Heaven chairlift. Follow this road to the top of the chairlift. Then, ascend the metal stairway (a sign declares it to be the Stairway to Heaven) and follow the trail to the top of Blue Heaven, where there is a weather station (11U 0493604 5680695, Elevation 2443m). Head north on the ridge, dropping down to the col and then climbing back up towards the next peak, Ozone.

3 months ago

Awesome hike! Beautiful views and lots of different terrain from rolling hills to very rocky! Hiking shoes are highly recommended. Takes about an hour to do the hike and once you get to the lake can be quite chilly so make sure you are prepared.

Keep in mind, the road up is very sketchy! SUV or truck is a must as there are lots of rocky patches and pot holes! We passed a Toyota Camry on it's way down that were afraid to blow a tire and decided to try another hike.

All in all it took about 4 hours. An hour up and back and an hour to hike...

hiking
6 months ago

Follow the road down from the gondola unloading station to the rib of rock that announces the Dogtooth Ridge hike. When using the road, stay to the left hand side and make sure you don’t get pegged by any mountain bikers making the descent.
Once you reach the rock rib, follow the trail up, down and around until you reach the road that goes up to the Blue Heaven chairlift. Follow this road to the top of the chairlift. Then, ascend the metal stairway (a sign declares it to be the Stairway to Heaven) and follow the trail to the top of Blue Heaven, where there is a weather station (11U 0493604 5680695, Elevation 2443m). Head north on the ridge, dropping down to the col and then climbing back up towards the next peak, Ozone.

The trail north stays slightly to the left of the actual peak of Ozone, gets rocky, and stays below the ridge. Through use, it is now pretty easy to follow in this stretch. You will reach a col, climb up a minor peak, drop to another col (11U 0492872 5681532, E 2458m), bypass the next peak on the west (left) and end up at another col (11U 0492780 5681585, E 2436m). For the next peak, you can choose your poison: go up and across, or stay lower and sidehill gouge. There are braided trails everywhere, so routefinding gets a bit confusing. You are headed for the next col at 11U 0492670 5681760, E 2471m. One more peak, again with trails everywhere. You will end up at a col at 11U 0492549 5681911, E 2492m. You are approaching the ridge on the north side of Feuz Bowl, and things are about to get very interesting.

On the next peak, don’t go to the top of the ridge, but stay high and cross to a rib. You are now looking at the crux of the route. You need to downclimb this steep, loose, rock and pebble slope. What makes it more difficult is that, by trying to avoid loose pebbly stuff, people have eroded almost all the vegetation on the hill. There are some cairns on the route, but you’ll just have to pick your own way down. And, you and your party will need to be very conscious of fall lines, as rocks get kicked loose frequently. Once you are down, you still need to get through the large jumbled boulders to the col(11U 0492255 5682232, E 2425m). You can now look east into the bowl north of Feuz Bowl (Molar Bowl), which is the northernmost drainage that flows into Cedar Creek.

The next peak looks forboding, but actually it is pretty easy. You will notice a prominent block of light brown rock sticking out. You are going to climb up to just below this block, and then head across the hill. The rock here is large blocks of pink quartzite, covered in green and black lichen. Think of it as walking on a seriously sloped sidewalk. The caveat: that isn’t good advice if it is wet, and that lichen gets very slippery. In that case, you’ll have to walk between the blocks. Once you get to just below that light brown cliff, head across the hill. While you need to be careful, the walking here is a lot more straightforward than on the last peak. Eventually, you’ll drop down to a col at 11U 0491726 5682679, E 2476m. You are now above the southernmost branch of the Holt Creek drainage, and can look northeast to the Clamshell.

The obvious trail moseys along over a minor peak or two and drops down to a col above the next branch of Holt Creek at 11U 0491079 5683037, E 2362m.

From here, the easiest route to the col above Holt Lakes drops off the ridge. Head along the sidehill, losing altitude gradually, until you can see two small areas of rockslide ahead of you. You’ll be able to pick out a slight game trail at the toe of the slides. Aim for it. The game trail comes and goes, but keep on the same course, losing altitude gradually and heading towards the back end of Canyon Creek, until you can see a well defined game trail that drops down to a grassy valley below a col well above you. If you look at the north end of the peak just south of the col, you’ll see why sticking to the ridge isn’t a great idea. A GPS reading from the low end of the game trail is 11U 0489850 5683647, E 2287m.

Once you are down at the creek that comes from the col, cross and grind your way back up the other side, mentally cursing me the entire way. Sorry, but this really is the easiest route. You want to head towards the final Canyon/Holt col at 11U 0488583 5684361, E 2366m. If you go straight, you’ll be sidehill gouging across some steep slopes. It is easier to head a little bit right and find some flat spots to walk on. Your feet will thank you.

Once at the col, you need to descend to the bottom of the talus slope and then catch that little trail to the Holt Lakes, just above the cliff. And a lesson I learned from Robson Gmoser many years ago on this very slope: the easiest and safest way down is to run. If you carefully pick your way down, you’ll be slipping and sliding and cursing. Which is what I was doing when Robson ran by, laughing at me. It seems nuts, but it works.

Holt Lakes is one of the most beautiful spots on eart

8 months ago

the view at the top is unreal

hiking
Wednesday, August 24, 2016