Eagle Pass Mountain

On 2 August 2020, Zosia Zgolak and I ascended Eagle Pass Mountain located about 23 kilometres west of Revelstoke, British Columbia in the Jordan Range of the Monashee Mountains.  I discovered this popular hiking objective a couple of years ago while researching for things to do around Sicamous during Thanksgiving, but at the time, I figured that there would be too much snow already in the alpine zone to allow for a feasible attempt or to even make it to the trailhead in my car.  I was probably at least right about the latter.

From Trans-Canada Highway, turn north onto Crazy Creek Forest Service Road (FSR) about 39 kilometres west of the Revelstoke Suspension Bridge or 31 kilometres east of the junction with Highway 97A in Sicamous.  Drive for 4.4 kilometres and keep left on the main road.  In another 1.7 kilometres, stay left.  After another 2.1 kilometres, stay right.  About 300 metres past the last junction, go left.  Drive the remaining 5.0 kilometres to the trailhead parking area with outhouse.  This last stretch of the drive has some steep and rough sections.  A high-clearance vehicle with 4WD capability is strongly recommended.

Zosia and I drove to the trailhead the previous evening and spent a tumultuous night there after a very loud thunderstorm rolled through the area.  The weather cleared up by the morning, and we enjoyed a very straightforward hike along the well-maintained trail which gradually climbs through forest to an open basin south of the summit.  From the open basin, we could already see the lookout building on the summit, but we still had a lot of climbing ahead of us.  After crossing the basin, we gained the south ridge of the mountain and proceeded up increasingly steep terrain.  Although the trail runs all the way up to the summit, the last 50 metres or so are very steep--so much so that a fixed rope has been placed along the first part of this section.  Thankfully, the trail was dry on this day and posed no serious problems for us.

The lookout building on the summit was recently rebuilt and is now frequently used as an overnight shelter by backpackers (no outhouse or reliable water though).  There is a fairly new bunk bed with mattresses inside, and some people even pitch their tents on the flat roof which is accessed by a wooden staircase.  In fact, we ran into a large group of young women who did just that the previous night, but the thunderstorm apparently chased them inside the lookout building where a couple was already sleeping.  It was likely a restless night for everyone as they waited out the storm.

Because of the very pleasant weather, Zosia and I spent well over two hours on the summit which included a short stroll to a helicopter landing spot west of the lookout building.  Once we had our fill of far-reaching views, we reluctantly left the summit and returned the way we came.  Our hike back to the trailhead went without a hitch, and the long drive out Crazy Creek FSR was also uneventful.  Later on, we would eventually cap the day off with a refreshing swim in Upper Arrow Lake just north of Nakusp.
It's always nice to have an outhouse at a trailhead! Zosia begins hiking along the trail to Eagle Pass Mountain.  An outhouse is hidden in the trees behind the trailhead sign on the left.
You'll be thankful for the forest if there is a hot afternoon sun! The trail mostly climbs through forest initially, but it occasionally crosses an avalanche slope such as this one.
Still some climbing ahead... At a clearing near tree line, the lookout building is visible atop the summit (right).
The basin is a good place to replenish water bottles. The trail crosses and then ascends the east side of a broad basin.
Steeper than it looks! The trail continues up the steep ridge below the summit.
Look for a fixed climbing rope on the steepest part of the trail. Zosia ascends the remainder of the ridge before the summit.
Avoid camping here during a thunderstorm! Zosia arrives at the lookout building on top of Eagle Pass Mountain.  A bunk bed is inside the building, but it is also possible to pitch a tent on the roof.
Note the sweat stains on my T-shirt; Zosia hasn't even broken a sweat! Sonny and Zosia stand on the roof of the lookout building on the summit of Eagle Pass Mountain (2348 metres).
Can you spot the helicopter propellers? This is the view along the west ridge of Eagle Pass Mountain.

There is much to explore here!

The snowy Monashee Mountains stretch across the northern horizon.


Maybe a good place for ski touring? The ridges to the east invite further exploration.  On the centre horizon is Mount Copeland.
That's one way to avoid driving that nasty Forest Service Road! Some hikers watch as a helicopter takes off from the ridge west of the summit.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Sonny kicks back for a quick snooze on the summit.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

Very steep! Zosia begins the steep descent off the summit.
And they lived happily ever after! The end! The sun sets across Upper Arrow Lake.
The drive to the trailhead is more arduous than the hike! Total Distance:  ~8.0 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  6 hours 39 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  846 metres

GPX Data