The Trophy Mountains rise 2,575 metres into the sky, with nine peaks towering over the Shuswap Highlands of Southern Wells Gray Provincial Park. Their northern slopes are steep and cloaked in glaciers while their southern slopes are gentle and dotted with alpine lakes and flower meadows. The Trophy Mountain meadows are one of the most easily accessible sub-alpine meadows in B.C. The area offers opportunities for hiking, backcountry overnight and day trips, camping, photography and nature appreciation and alpine ski touring and snowshoeing in the winter.
Do not underestimate the demands of the backcountry. The hiker must be in good physical condition, properly equipped, and prepared to be totally self-sufficient. Take adequate clothing: high elevation weather is subject to change without notice, and Wells Gray’s mountains can receive snow 12 months of the year.
Known as The Waterfall Park for good reason, streams and rivers have waterfalls of varying sizes – never boat, canoe, raft or kayak without learning first where the pull-outs are.
Trophy Mountain trail is usually open from late June until early October yearly.
Open fires are not permitted; carry a backpacking stove.
Any maps listed are for information only; they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
The Trophy Mountain addition to Wells Gray Provincial Park was formerly contained within the Wellesley Gray Recreation Area. It was converted to a park in April 1996 as a result of the recommendations made in the Kamloops Land and Resources Management Plan.
An abandoned cabin in the southwest sector dates to a 1950s sheep grazing operation. An abandoned prospecting camp site on the north side of Trophy Mountain provides evidence of former exploration activity. Trails lead into the subalpine meadows.
Aboriginal campsites and other archaeological sites may exist in the area, but have not as yet been accurately identified.
The site contains a range of nine typically rounded peaks which show evidence of volcanic activity, including the existence of small lava balls within explosion fissures (the “Thunder Eggs”). The area contains over 45 sub-alpine lakes and tarns characteristic of the alpine terrain, with forest cover of essentially spruce-subalpine fir. The area protects a large variety of plant species, with flower displays unparalleled within Wells Gray or the Cariboo Mountains. The area also protects habitat for winter grounds of the woodland caribou herd, as well as mule, whitetail deer, black and grizzly bear, moose, Grouse and Ptarmigan.
Approximately 6934 ha
Sheila Lake has six tent pads for use by backcountry campers. There is a pit toilet and bear caches provided at the lake. Backcountry camping is free in the Trophy Mountains, however, please limit use to the tent pads provided due to the fragile nature of this environment. The tent pads are equipped with fixtures for securing tents, please be aware that tents may require longer guy lines to reach these fixtures.
For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure. Trail conditions and updates will be posted on the Wells Gray Park page under the Advisories and Hiking sections.
From the parking lot a gently ascending trail takes you on a relaxed 45-minute, 1km hike to the sub-alpine meadows of the Trophy Mountains. The elevation gain is only 200 metres.
Trail conditions and updates will be posted on the main Wells Gray page under the Attention Visitor Notice.
The trail winds its way through an old-growth forest of fragrant Engelmann spruce and sub-alpine fir. The small size of these 250 year old trees attests to the harsh living conditions at this altitude.
The trail passes several small streams before breaking out into the open expanses of the sub-alpine meadow. In July and August, the endless saves of vibrant-coloured wildflowers make this one of them most popular hikes in the area.
From the meadow, the trail continues a further 1.25 hours across lichen encrusted rocks to Sheila Lake. The trail ends at the lake, however an additional hour of uphill climbing will get you to the panoramic views of Skyline Ridge (12 km round trip from the parking lot).
Because these ridges are over 2,500 metres, weather can change quickly. Therefore, you should be sure to carry a topographic map, compass, warm clothing, and extra food. Maps can be purchased at the Wells Gray Visitor Centre.
This park also offers guided hiking tours. Contact BC Parks for more information.
There are fishing opportunities in the park. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Some trails are open to mountain bike use and are signed within the park. No cycling is permitted on Trophy Mountain trail.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Wells Gray Provincial Park. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.
The Trophy Mountain area is an addition to the southern boundary of Wells Gray Park, just northeast of Clearwater.
The area is accessed via 11 km of gravel logging road (Bear Creek Correctional Centre road), branching from the Clearwater Valley Road north of Clearwater near Spahats Creek Park.
Trophy Meadow trail allows visitors to access the alpine meadows and basin of the Trophy Mountains, in less than a one hour walk from the trailhead.