Sledding the Coquihalla Summit

Britton Creek is where riders can park, unload and gain easy access to the trailhead

by Karissa Gall

Snowmobiles lined up in front of a cabin.
Henning Cabin at the Coquihalla Summit. Photo courtesy of Amy Davies.

Main draw: the pipeline trail

With three distinct trails totalling over 50 kilometres of well-signed, weekly-groomed riding area, the Coquihalla is known for its variety of quality, deep-powder terrain.

It all starts with the Pipeline Trail, a scenic alpine trail system of which more than 10 kilometres are groomed regularly. This trail is the most popular with beginner riders and families. From the Pipeline, more advanced riders can choose to continue on to either Henning Mountain or 10-K (Coquihalla Mountain). Riders looking to make a day of it can also choose to connect to the Merritt or Tulameen snowmobile clubs’ trail systems.

Most visiting riders travel the Coquihalla Highway from Hope via Highway 5 north towards Kamloops. The highway climbs through the Great Bear snowshed, crests the summit of Coquihalla Pass, then crosses the top of the Thompson Plateau. Near the summit (exit 228, 30 minutes east of Hope) sits the Britton Creek rest area and parking lot, with washrooms. Just two minutes off the highway, Britton Creek is where riders can park, unload and gain easy access to the trailhead.
According to Coquihalla Summit Snowmobile Club member John Lejeune, “in the last four to five years the club has seen fathers and mothers and kids on their snowmobiles riding the trail together.

“That’s what it’s all about,” said Lejeune. “Seeing them enjoying it and enjoying it safely.”

Sledders’ hangouts

Only a half hour from the hill itself, the town of Hope is home to many local restaurants which support the Coquihalla Summit Snowmobile Club. Rolly’s Restaurant and Home Restaurant are sledders’ favourites for breakfast. For dinner a little local pub offers all-you-can eat fish and chips.
There are several hotels and motels in Hope for sledders taking an extended stay, and the Coquihalla Lakes Lodge is located only a mile and a half from the 10-K parking lot and staging area. Rent a room and park your sled right outside your door.

Extended stay

  • Henning Mountain: This riding area can be accessed from the parking lot at Britton Creek and offers riders climbs, bowls, gladed areas and some great boondocking potential.
  • 10-K (Coquihalla Mountain): Steep and deep, 10-K is the most advanced riding area in the Coq. Follow the Pipeline Trail up to find more boondocking potential and more aggressive high bowls here.

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