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Powell River, British Columbia

Backpack the Sunshine Coast Trail: Elk Lake to Tin Hat Hut

15.5 Miles Total - 4000 ft gain - Point-to-Point Trail

Originally added by Joseph Gulizia

Skip the PCT and head for the SCT. The Sunshine Coast Trail is a 110 mile point to point trek, with mountain huts all along the way!

This is by far the most spectacular section of all the trail. The hut offers 360 degree views of the vast British Colombia wilderness. You will be able to see Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and it's fjords, Vancouver, and the beautiful lakes below. 

To get to the trailhead you'll have to take a ferry from Horseshoe Bay then one at Earls Cove. Drive Northwest towards Powell River. Turn right on to Duck Lake Road. Once you get to Duck Lake turn right on to Duck Lake Branch 1. The road will split, and keep right on Br.3 for another 1.74 mi to Granite Lake Main Junction (N 49°50.587′, W 124°22.710′). Turn left on Granite Main and four-wheel uphill for about 2.5 mi until you come to blocked Washout Creek. Make sure to map this out before heading up, as service is spotty. A good point of interest is to map out a point to Granite Lake, this will take you to about 10 minutes before the trail meets up with the SCT. Then from there follow the signs towards Elk Lake. You will meet a junction just before Elk Lake. You are able to go left or right, and both will take you to your destination. I recommend taking the path on the right (roughly in the NE direction), as there is far less debris in the way. 

What makes this trail so hard is not the elevation (except for the last 2 miles), it is the distance, and the 2 miles of bushwhacking before the Elk Lake Hut. Otherwise you are on a well maintained trail. On occasion you will jump out on to logging roads, and even across a recently clear cut forest. The trail leads you up mountains and down into the valleys below. All until the final ascent to Walt Hill Hut. This is the most grueling part of the trek. Make sure to save some energy and snacks for this. You've now made the final push to the top and are handsomely rewarded with the best views of the entire SCT. When you get to the hut you will see that there is still another 100 ft or so climb to yet another view point. It is worth every last ounce of energy you may have to get up there. Especially for sunset. 

The hut itself is pretty basic. There is a pellet fireplace in case of emergencies. The main room has a picnic table and a bar that outlines a majority of the cabin. There is a ladder that leads to the attic and sleeping quarters. There is a hard wood floor for you lay your mat out to sleep on.

Enjoy the hike, the views, the hut, and as always please pack everything out.

P.S. There is no water source at the top, unless there is snow runoff. So you must pack in all of your water. The nearest water source is maybe a mile or two away from the top.

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Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Swimming Hole


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