After a fairly arduous bikepacking trip to the Chilcotins in July I headed back as part of a 17 rider crew from the Dirt Hombres Mountain Bike Club in mid-August. The plan was to have our camping gear flown into Spruce Lake and ride in/out on unloaded mountain bikes. That way lots of people who were not interested or equipped to bikepack could enjoy some backcountry riding and by sharing the cost of the flights 17 ways it wasn’t super expensive.
We all rode in 35kms along Gun Creek Trail from Tyax Lodge. It’s a pleasant ride with a slight uphill grade for the most part. There are a few hike-a-bike sections to keep you honest, but on unloaded bikes we cruised up the trail without much difficulty. At one point a black bear blocked our progress and he was quite stubborn. The sight of a large group didn’t phase him and he even started trotting down the trail towards us to see what was going on. I had to fire off 2 bear bangers to get him off the trail. After which point he just watched us pass from a safe distance.
One concern I had initially was how we’d manage 17 riders on such a big trip. Happily without any prompting the group broke down into smaller teams that rode together throughout the week. Everyone had someone to ride with that wanted to do something similar.
When we arrived at the lake our luggage had been delivered by Tyax Air and we setup our camps for the next 4 nights. There was only 1 other group camping at the time so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Each day we set off on different rides from our Spruce Lake basecamp. There are enough trail options to ride something new each day for 5 days – although most rides are out and backs.
We really lucked out with the bugs. There were literally no flies or mosquitos to deal with. In my limited Chilcotins experience that was just unheard of, but very welcome.
Not having to carry camping gear and coming back to an established camp after each ride was quite pleasant. It certainly made the riding less gnarly and more fun.
In the early mornings and evenings we did quite a bit of fishing. Spruce Lake is filled with a ton of hungry trout which makes fishing dead easy. Sharon caught her first ever fish on her first ever cast. 🙂
Needless to say we ate a lot of trout during our stay at the lake.
For the most part we had dry and hot weather during our trip with the exception of one day of light rain. It was just enough moisture to cool us down and keep the dust in control.
The Dirt Hombres had a lot of smiles and laughs at Spruce Lake. There was lots of talk about doing a similar trip next year. If so I’m bringing a packraft and I’m going to fish a whole lot more. 😉