- Location – from Stake Lake up to the top of Chuwhels Mountain
- Elevation – From the 7 km mark at 5000′ to the top at 11.5 km at 6235′
- Distance – up to 4.5 km one way
- Time – 1 – 4 hours depending on fitness, where you park, and the conditions
- Type – Forest service road to the top and back
- Season – May through October (or ski/snowshoe in winter)
? A quiet walk on seldom-driven roads to the top of a mountain
? Wildlife and high forest ecology.
To Get There:
Drive towards Stake Lake on the Lac le Jeune Road. Turn right onto the Chuwhels Mountain FSR (sometimes called the Lodgepole Lake Road). Pass Lodgepole Lake Recreational site and continue on a good forest service road until the 7 km mark. The road is much rougher after the 7.5 km mark (signs are posted every 0.5km). A good 4WD vehicle can drive all the way to the top. 2WD vehicles can try the road, but its very rocky and rough. You may choose to park off the side of the road at 7km or further on, but its hard to turn around if you get to a spot you don’t like. It is pleasant walk or mountain bike to the top and back.
? If you 4WD to the top, ignore the rest.
? It is a pleasant walk in the forest from the 7.5 km point up to the peak at 11.5 km. When the road forks, just follow the power lines. At the 10.5 km mark, the road forks and there are two power lines. Take the left fork up to the peak of Chuwhels. The right fork goes 1.0 km up to a repeater tower on a south peak.
? There is a very tall tower on top of Chuwhels. When we visited here in mid-June there was still snow drifts on the west slopes.
? Return by the same route.
Flora and Fauna
We spotted deer, marmots, birds, squirrels, and bear signs. This is high forest terrain with varied forests, swampy areas, small lakes, and rocky hills. When you look below, expect to see a lot of pine beetle reddened forest
If You Go There:
? Wear good shoes. The surface is quite rocky.
? Dress for the elevation
Is this a hike or a 4WD route? It will not be a “memorable” hike, but it does offer an alternative route in the summer heat. Wildlife sightings are likely and on most days there will be no one around.
Turn off N 50 30.930 W120 29.150
Chuwhels Mountain N 50 32.478 W120 35.318