Length: 9.7 km
Condition: Clear of deadfall, all bridges intact, gradual grade.
General Route: This hiking trail branches off from the Hope Pass horse trail to Nicomen Lake. Can be combined with the Heather Trail to make a 2 or 3 day traverse. Highway 3 - Nicomen Lake is about 20km.
How to Find: Hike up the Hope Pass trail, then turn at grainger Creek. There are signs.
Description: Summary: This trail has an even gradient all the way up. As of 2012, it is often used by mountain bikes who ride starting from Blackwall Peak.
Trail Description: The trail starts out with a couple of small switchbacks coming up from Skaist Creek. At If hiking up the Hope Pass trail, you could avoid the first two tiny switchbacks by contouring through the forest. Then you go on a long slow climb across a steep slope above Grainger Creek, and then curve south above the first big sidecreek, coming down from Norske peak (Norske Creek). After a very short descent, you cross Norske Creek. This is the only elevation loss on the entire trail, and only 30m or so. There is a camping spot here, and the creek must always have water, since it did even after 2 months dry in 2012.
After crossing Norske creek, the trail does a hairpin and continues to climb in a northeast direction, before going around a nose at about +4.5 km. Then there is another long reach before you finally cross Grainger Creek itself at about +6.6 km. After Grainger crossing, the trail switchbacks up and crosses several other forks of Grainger creek before swinging around to the SE and Nicomen Lake.
In the lower sections, it is cut into a steep slope that would be a serious crash if you went off the trail. Higher sections it contours up side creeks to avoid elevation loss.
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