Mt. Burke Re-route Trail

So we were out yesterday on the one fine day between rainy days looking to find a bypass to the flood damaged Salter Creek section. The sight of a river running down Salter Creek made us even more determined to find a better route.

The bypass starts just before the north bank trail of Plateau Creek reaches Salter Creek. Look for a flurry of flagging on the left just after the drift fence. (The north bank trail isn’t in wonderful condition and at some time in the future I forsee another reroute that avoids the creek bed and stays away from the eroding bank edge.)

Near start

The new section of trail heads up the bank near the start. Once the tread is worn in it will be obvious.

The route up the ridge north of Salter Creek falls into two equal parts separated by a good traversing game trail. All of it is flagged. The lower part is steeper and there is still lots of ground-level deadfall to be removed by those wanting to help out.  This section may also want tweaking. Although it works fine on the descent,  the odd zig may be appreciated by people walking up it.

Above the game trail we cleared a route all the way to the Mt. Burke trail. Initially you follow an open stony  bench above an exceedingly tiny rock band, then move left and up through an area of matchstick pines where we removed the deadfall and scuffed the trail. The junction at 741730 (NAD83) is marked with flagged trees.

Burke earth

We were quite happy with the route — the clearing certainly went faster than anticipated. Only  250 m of trail to go!

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7 comments… add one
  • Steve Riggs Jun 11, 2018, 6:34 pm

    In the end we thought that the cutline was a decent enough route despite the gradient, as the tread is very good, with a firm smooth surface giving fast travel both up and down. Not much to see in that matchstick forest anyway, other than a few patches of clematis, so may as well get it over with! It was a bit cool and partly cloudy on Saturday morning- my feelings might be different if I was grinding upwards under a hot sun. If anyone was feeling the urge to improve the trail- I would suggest first taking a bowsaw and a couple of strong arms to the many trees lying across the upper pack trail- most would succumb fairly easily.

  • Gillean Daffern Jun 11, 2018, 1:14 pm

    Hi Steve, we first looked at this cutline way back in the 70s! Didn’t like it then and still don”t like it. Just not an enjoyable route and, most important, not in keeping with the rest of the trail. The present described route is not the best either. You’ve still got the creek bit to contend with. What is needed is a new trail, perhaps starting off on the cutline route, then meandering off right through trees and meadows to join up with the present described route somewhere before it joins the pack trail. The idea low down is to keep the gradient easy. Would be interested to hear other people’s opinions on this.

  • Steve Riggs Jun 10, 2018, 10:28 am

    We hiked to the old lookout on Mt. Burke for the first time on June 9, 2018. After the initial meadow we followed a heavily beaten path with flagging in a few spots- uphill to and along the margins of a cutblock. Climbing out of the cutblock into forest- the very good trail with lots of fairly recent saw work continued on a more or less direct line easterly following what turned out eventually to be a cutline, along the way dropping into a deep side valley before a long, at times steepish grind straight uphill to meet the pack trail. Definitely not the route as described in the trail guide, but it looks to be the most popular nowadays. It’s certainly very direct and cuts off a bit of distance, but some may be discouraged by the cutline grind and the climb out of the dip on the way back (which while short is the steepest uphill of the whole Mt. Burke route!) With no GPS along, I have approximated this route on a Google Earth image linked to below.
    https://steveriggs.smugmug.com/Odds-and-Ends/i-VCXXhjf/A

  • Alf Skrastins Jun 6, 2015, 8:57 pm

    The new route between Plateau/Salter Creek and the original pack-horse trail is becoming quite well used with a pretty good tread.
    The bottom section is still too steep and should get a few gentle switchbacks sooner than later.
    The old packhorse trail could use a bit of chainsaw work to get rid of some deadfall, which has been lying across the trail for years.

  • Bob Wilson Aug 17, 2014, 1:40 pm

    We successfully summited August 16. The new trail is certainly do-able. Thanks for starting it. When we went to work on it last week, it appeared that most of the work had been done. Thanks to the anonymous trail workers…

  • Bob Wilson Aug 6, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Hi, Gillean. Two friends and I are going to be in the area this Saturday. We can try to move a bit more deadfall to help improve the trail further. Knowing about the flood damage, my original goal was to find the Mt. Burke trail, so these postings are most timely.
    Thanks,

  • Gillean Daffern Jul 13, 2014, 10:19 am

    Has anyone tried this out yet?

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