Alpine ski touring / split boarding : Wells, BC : Mt. Murray and Mt. Waverly
Get in on the Cariboo style! The tiny town of Wells, BC in the heart of the sunny Cariboo is loaded with epical adventure opportunities! Wells is one hour east of Quesnel and the jumping off point for the very popular Bowron Lakes paddling circuit in Wells Gray Provincial Park. In the winter, there are fantastic, mellower terrain options for alpine ski touring and split boarding.
The two most accessible areas are Mt. Murray and Mt. Waverly, both accessed by skinning up the Yellowhawk Trail used for summer hiking just outside of Wells. The Yellowhawk Trail generally follows a creek bed, and is usually easy to follow previous skin tracks.
After 2.7km or about an hour of skinning up Yellowhawk Trail, you will reach the junction for Mt. Murray or Mt. Waverly. You have a few rad options from here! It is roughly another steep 1km of skinning to the Mt. Murray play area, and 3km to get over to the Mt. Waverly play zone with some skins off on the way to get down the creek gully. Most choices will take you to the height of land looking further east over Wells Grey Park, super special amazing views!
You could head straight to Mt. Murray or Mt. Waverly to play on the skiable slopes, or do a circular tour to hit one or the other plus Mt. Greenberry for a bigger day – a solid day trip fave is a few mellow laps up at Mt. Murray slopes before heading around the back of Mt. Greenberry and hitting more dreamy slopes to loop back down to the Murray/Waverly trail junction before taking the creek back to the car. Check out the waypoints below and get them loaded into your map to create your own adventure!
As long as you stay in this general area and study the maps before you head out to get an idea of route choices, any option will be a ton of fun! The terrain on the highway side of the Yellowhawk Trail is trickier than it may seem, it can be tempting to duck out below the trail on the ski back to the car but it’s not worth it!
RAD adventure tip: check out Troll mountain, an old skool ski hill between Wells and Quesnel, to get warmed up for the backcountry! It has four t-bars and a little base lodge where it feels like everyone is family, the best!
When to go: early December to early April
Trip rating: C2
Access: from Quesnel, drive east on Hwy 26 – Barkerville Highway for one hour. Pass through Wells and continue on the highway towards Barkerville for another 5km, turn left on Bowron Lake Park Rd and left again at the next junction to stay on Bowron Lake Park Rd. Follow Bowron Lake Park Rd for 3.5km from the Hwy 26 turnoff to reach the Yellowhawk Trailhead (coordinates below, a pullout area is plowed in the winter).
Trailhead: N53.10605, W121.48919
Mt. Waverly/Mt. Murray trail junction:
Mt. Murray sessions start/finish: N53.11705° W121.45069°
Mt. Waverly sessions start: N53.09725° W121.43248°