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Snowy Mountain - Cathedral Park Double Loop
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.12 - 07:44:16
Ranges: Snowy Mountain Protected Area
  (8 days)     Elevation Gain: 4600m
Participants: Sandra McGuinness, Doug Brown, Robin Tivy, Betsy Waddington
Difficulty: 2: Mostly on trails, some of which are intermittent. Some minor route finding on scrambling sections.
A backpacking double loop over the Snowy Mountain horse loop, then a loop in Cathedral Park. Main peaks are Snowy Mountain, Haystack Mountain, the Boxcar, and Lakeview mountain.
Snowy Mountain is a unique peak right on the edge of the interior grasslands dry area. It is under consideration as a national park, to preserve the grasslands. To the west is Cathedral Park. This trip joins up both areas, and is a really great hike.

Our original idea for this trip was to reach Snowy Mountain via the roads and trails from the east, as described by Stephen Skog. And then we'd traverse thru part of the Pasayten Wilderness to Cathedral Park, then loop back around and finally return via high ridges to the Snowy trail. But research into the current status of the roads approaching Snowy from the east seemed to indicate that they are now gated by the Indian Band in Keremeos, who ask for a fee to use the road.

So we decided to do the same basic loops, starting at the Ewart Creek trailhead. Ewart creek runs right up the center of the area, with Snowy mountain on the east, and Cathedral Provincial Park on the west. Before researching the trip, I had no idea that there were such good trails in the Snowy Mountain protected area. A key realization was that the topo map for Snowy mountain has 20m contours, instead of the usual 50m. So suddenly things that looked real steep were in fact gentle rambles. Furthermore we found a horse website which described lots of trails in the Snowy area. So then my goal was to go and explore this Snowy Mountain area, and document all the trails we could find. Thus one outcome of this trip was the Snowy Mountain/Cathedral Park -Trail Plan.

Day 1 - Hike 4 km up Ewart Creek
(September 3)
 We left Vancouver and met Doug and Sandra at the "Red Bridge" which starts the Ashnola River Road. Our meeting time was 3:00 PM. We then drove both vehicles to the Ewart Creek trailhead, crossed Ewart creek on the footbridge,...

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