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Caribou Mountain Alpine Loop
Timestamp Free: 2019.02.22 - 01:22:22
Ranges: North America Ranges / BC Interior Mountains / Hazelton Mountains / Bulkley Ranges / Serb Range / Caribou Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Tom Tiedje, Robin Tivy, Betsy Waddington
Difficulty: 2: Alpine part is all easy class 2. Final descent to Serb on Caribou south was very hard to follow trail, and involved some bushwacking.
An easy traverse of a remote alpine area. Best flowers ever, and great views to the icy peaks west such as Serb Peak.
This trip was the second of five backcountry trips we did as part of our Smithers road trip. See Smithers Road Trip in the big smoke.

As you can see on the map, the Caribou Mountain area is a moderate alpine rambling area about 10 km by 8 km. It is ideal for a 3 or 4 day trip from Smithers. In particular, it offers tremendous views into the Bulkley ranges

We picked up Tom Tiedje at the Smithers airport and headed west on the McDonnell Lake FSR. We parked the car just off the Caribou Creek east road, at the exact spot specified by the Blix guidebook. We drove the car a short distance down the old black dotted line. This was at the top of a slight hill.

From the car we started out walking down the dotted line, until the lowest point. Then we bushwacked straight down and forded the creek and up the other side. We then came upon the west side road which was in excellent shape. A short distance along this road was the official trailhead, complete with a sign that said "Caribou North".

I had expected that we may never find the old trail but in fact the Caribou trail was in excellent shape, with no deadfall and a continuous foot tread. We followed the trail all the way up. First landmark was the lake at 54.763,-127.718 (1220m). It was somewhat shallow with vegetation along the shore. We considered going for a swim, but decided to conserve our energy.

At about 1540m we emerged above treeline and into the largest flower meadow I have ever seen. On and on we went through the flowers. At this time we also noticed that the sky was beginning to smoke over, as smoke from the southern fires reached the Smithers area.

[photo]Flowers2.jpg[caption]Yellow Arnica, red paint brush and purple asters. McDonnell Lake and Hudson Bay Mtn[/photo]
 We reached the...

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