Alpine touring at McCrae Peak

McCrae Peak

Celebrate the start or finish to your season in the Selkirks by heading up to McCrae Peak for some sneaky shoulder season skiing and split boarding! The beauty of this spot is that there is road access all the way up into to the subalpine trailhead at 1800m, coinciding with the typical early and late season snow line.  It is even better news if you end up having to drive the last km or so on the road to the trailhead in snow, then you can strap on your skis or split board right from the parking lot! Living the dream!!

Snow coverage early in the season can be hit and miss, some years the perfect storm delivers a ton of snow up in the alpine and tapers out juuuust enough that you can drive the whole way in.  More often it is fairly slim, beware but don’t let that stop you!

The uptrack follows the summer hiking trail, coordinates for the trailhead start and a couple junctions
are listed below. From the trailhead, briefly ski up and down and up a rolling decommissioned logging
road for about 1km before heading up the single track hiking trail taking off on the right. The
coordinates for this spot are also below, in any case watch for trail signs and other tracks and you will
likely just figure it out! After about 1.9km of steady switch back climbing on the single track, you will
reach a junction. Carrying on straight will go down to the lake and campground, heading right will
continue uphill and around onto the shoulder with minimal downhill. This is the most popular choice
instead of going downhill to the campground but both are good options! Just take the trail to the
junction, bust out your contour map and put your winter alpine travel skillz to work! Pow turns for

After your alpine roam, head back to the campground trail junction and follow the single track back out
the way you came in. This will be a much different experience than your trip in, as the trail can more
closely resemble a luge run! Hit the powder brakes!!!


Cost: FREE

When to go: when the snow line is right about 1800m! Typically sometime around mid-Oct to late November, then again in April-ish. Totally depends on the current conditions!

Trip rating: B3

Access: It is 33km of logging road driving to get to the trailhead! That’s about an hour of gravel road, 4WD or AWD and winter tires are key! Low clearance vehicles with good traction will make it, proven theory! From Revelstoke, head south out of town on Airport Way and follow it for about 15 minutes until the pavement ends at the start of Akolkolex Forest Service Road heading uphill on the left. There will be a sign forest at the start and one of them will say Akolkolex FSR! There will also be some brown signs pointing you to Mt. McCrae Recreation Trail, keep an eye out for those and you may not need these directions! Shortly after the 15km yellow road marker take a hard hairpin right, coordinates also below.

Just past the 22km yellow road marker you will come to a 4 way junction. Go realllll slow here and turn left onto McCrae FSR. At this point, if you are heading up in the fall the road should still be bare if you’re going to be able to drive all the way up to the trailhead. Heading up McCrae FSR for the final 11km. At about 32km, the road takes a final big right corner that swings away from the side slope and up into the trees. This last 1km through the trees is a bit rough for low clearance vehicles and may be too snowy to drive up, parking in the clearing right after the big corner is also a Rad option!

Start of Akolkolex Forest Service Road: N50.87875°, W118.09770°

Big hairpin right turn on Akolkolex FSR: N50.85736°, W117.98625°

Junction for McCrae FSR: N50.81094°, W117.99822°

Parking area 1km before trailhead: N50.82860°, W117.97249°

Trailhead: N50.83514°, W117.96123°

Start of single track trail: N50.83226°, W117.95422°

Trail junction for campground at lake or McCrae shoulder: N50.82169°, W117.94135°

RAD Adventure tip – if you have been up there recently, post a conditions update in the comment section below!

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