Seventy Buck Viewpoint Update

For the last few years hikers have been using the logging roads up Seventy Buck valley to access Eagle Hill and Seventy Buck viewpoint. It wasn’t to last, of course. So before reclamation this summer we asked the SRD and SLS to consider keeping certain of the roads open for hikers and bikers. Meaning, just narrowing them to quad-width trails so we could get by. They were happy to oblige, but then we ran up against a snag: rancher X who owns the grazing lease. He wanted the one road kept open to the boundary with the Reserve so he could inspect the fence at regular intervals (this is not a trail of use to us) and  wanted  the trail  heading towards the viewpoint reclaimed in case his cattle stray onto it (hardly likely).  He threatened to close down the whole valley if  this route remained open. Legally, I don‘t think he could have done this.

As an aside, we have yet to see a cow in this valley and I can’t imagine cattle will be wandering the cutblocks, which are choc-a bloc with slash, anytime soon. Quite apart from that, the Stoneys use a gate to get into the valley and hunt, which is why you hardly see any moose or deer in the area-just their bones. Strikes me as being a dangerous valley in which to run cattle.

Anyway, we walked all the routes yesterday to see what had happened. The start of the road from Hwy. 68 has been reclaimed and you must now walk up the cutline to its left to get onto the narrowed logging road beyond. I am happy to report that the route to Eagle Hill has been unaffected and in fact improved. The route to Seventy Buck Viewpoint  is a reclaimed mess that took ages to walk. By the time we reached the viewpoint for lunch we were feeling despondent. But soon bucked up when we  saw what we think were a couple of eagles gliding around the cliffs and using the thermals to spiral high into the sky. The view was  great as always, and the mountains very clear, all of which reminded us of why people love this viewpoint.

Seventy Buck viewpoint

Lunch on Seventy Buck viewpoint

Then went NW to the high point, gathering up flagging left behind by SLS. On top  saw that the other access trail had been reclaimed. Again, it took a long time to pick a way through the very large cutblock to gain the rancher’s quad trail. The trail  is pretty rough at this end and I can’t see it being used by bikers. The cutblocks, by the way, are very colourful right now with fireweed, asters and arnicas.

More picures.  

So below is a map showing past logging roads and present trails. The question now is, how to get to the viewpoint?  Do we spend a lot of time clearing a way through the slash with chainsaws, or do we come up from the west slope? There is a logging road, not yet reclaimed, that leads to a NE-SW cutline that can be followed up with deviations to the high point. It may be possible from near the top of the cutline to traverse across to the gap between the high point and the viewpoint. Another alternative is the south ridge of the viewpoint, but it is very steep. OK for going down…

Inviting your comments.

Seventy Buck map
4 comments… add one
  • peter adamson Mar 23, 2014, 8:31 am

    I have followed this cutline and quad trail for 4 years (2009 to 2013) without ever finding a map/description. The reclaimed area at the top of the quad trail is as far as I went because there is no path and I felt the risk of crossing the reclaimed land was too high for a lone hiker. With your map, I may find a way to the viewpoint.
    Thank you.
    Note – I have twice seen cattle in the bush along the cutline to #68. I have also found the cutline to be too muddy early in the year. I avoid muddy trails to minimize trail damage.

  • Gillean Daffern Jul 31, 2011, 2:43 pm

    The book has the latest map. Since publication there has been talk of reclaiming the rancher‘s quad trail north road section. So if that happens there will be little point in going on to the higher point and returning via Seventy Buck valley. You could of course return via the NE-SW cutline to Hwy. 68. Just know the logging roads at the bottom are being reclaimed (i.e covered in slash).

    Unlike the national parks where nothing much changes, things change in K Country from week to week and it’s hard work keeping track. So I’m always grateful to readers who let me know of anything new or different I may not know about.

  • RyderDA Jul 30, 2011, 10:09 am

    The map above is different from the sketch map on Page 249 of the 4th Edition. Given the number of ongoing changes in the valley (there was logging equipment working on the road shown in the above map above 10 days ago), is the map in the 4th Edition still the best for access?

    This type of stuff must just drive you nuts, Gillian, in your ongoing effort to keep your book up to date.

  • Bob Stebbins Aug 26, 2010, 3:47 pm

    Terrific update to Seventy Buck! We will surely use your map to try to reach Eagle Hill from Rt. 68. We’ve climbed it twice, once from the back and before SLS ruined the place (2008), and in 2009 from Rt. 68 up the south ridge (following more or less the GemTrek trail). The latter is steep in places, as you note, but no worse than many other advanced trails in K-Country. Moreover, about half-way up the ridge, the angle eases and a good trail materializes. Before that, however, it’s mostly a bush whack, though a relatively short one since Seventy Buck is only 347m high. The south ridge route is, by the way, a good early spring hike.

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