Length: 18.8 km
Condition: This hiking and horse trail
General Route: Runs up the Skaist River to Hope Pass and beyond.
How to Find: From Hope, drive south on Highway 3 to a point where you cross Skaist Creek (which is marked with a sign). There are two trailheads. (1) An old jeep road about 200m past Skaist Creek itself, marked by a yellow gate. However there is no convenient parking at this point. (2) The best parking is on the right side of the road, close to the bridge. It is a wide pullout area, right at the Cayuse Creek FSR (Canam Road) on Hwy 3. Across the highway is a trailhead which joins the yellow gate branch in several hundred meters. The main purpose of this second trailhead is probably so horses can immediately get away from the highway, but hikers may well find it shorter to just walk up the road to the yellow gate.
Trail Description: From the Cayuse trailhead, the trail parallels the highway for several hundred meters before it joins the road with the yellow gate. Once the trails are merged, the first 2km of the road have been improved and are driveable but gated. Beyond that it becomes a cart track built in the heyday of the Cariboo goldrush.
The first section of the trail is about 10 km from the Yellow Gate to a major campground at Grainger Creek. This trail is very evenly graded, with a gradual climb all the way, and few ups and downs. It runs entirely on the south side of the creek, often several hundred feet above the river. At about 10km is the Grainger Creek campground, and a junction with the Grainger creek Trail.
From the Grainger campground, the Hope Pass track continues up the Skaist river. It becomes more and more of a trail. This section is marked with orange metal markers on the trees, and is again well graded. Part way up is a series of switchbacks, which end up with the trail high above the north side of the creek and into Hope Pass.
Beyond Hope Pass, it joins with the Whatcom Trail (an earlier goldrush trail) at Paradise Meadows.
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