Silent Pass is one of a few play areas near the city of Golden, B.C. Here's a general map of those area.
For specific directions to Silent Pass, scroll down.
A more detailed winter recreation map is available for viewing at most accommodation and tourism related businesses in Golden. Areas dedicated to one, or several types of winter recreation in and around Golden have been agreed to by members of the Backcountry Conflict Resolution Committee (BCRC) of Golden.
The BCRC is composed of recreational and commercial, motorized and non-motorized winter enthusiasts, including representatives from the B.C. Government. For over 5 years, this group has committed itself to ending conflict within the backcountry, and has zoned areas for certain uses. These agreements have been established by members of the public, for the public interest.
Areas shown on the map as red trails are zoned for snowmobile use. Other areas not marked may have motorized restrictions. Please check the maps at local snowmobile retailers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center (Ph: 250-344-7125) or the B.C. Forest Service office (Ph: 250-344-7500) if in doubt. Please help us keep these local agreements alive and have a great time!
Grooming frequencies may vary! Please support the grooming efforts of the local club by buying a local club membership or donating to the grooming fund!
BC Forest Service, Columbia Forest Dist. 250-837-7611 (Revelstoke).
Watch for logging trucks on active log haul roads. Follow radio equipped vehicles whenever possible. Use lights and drive safely. Park away from loaded logging truck right of ways to avoid possible collisions.
http://www.avalanche.ca/weather/bulletins/index.html (800) 667-1105
Beaverfoot - Family - Drive to the 50 km point and unload. Hundreds of km of broad valley logging roads. Low elevation sledding. Avalanche hazard.
Blaeberry River - Family - Good road riding even in inclement weather. Gentle rise in elevation, leading into high alpine country. 160 km return. Maximum elevation 6,000 feet. Avalanche hazard. GROOMED
Old Big Bend Highway - Family - GROOMED trail starts on B Road at Donald or snow line. Wide logging road riding in low elevation, leading to Susan Lake, Hope and Chatter Creek Trails.
Gorman Lake - Experienced - Higher avalanche hazard. Trail to high alpine with lots of area for climbing. Maximum Elevation 9000'. 100 km return. GROOMED
Hope Creek - Experienced - Higher avalanche hazard. High alpine meadows for experienced climbers. Park at Susan Lake turnoff or at snow line on B Road. Maximum Elevation 9000'. 100 km return.
Hospital Creek - Intermediate - Short day ride into high timber. Maximum Elevation 5000'. 30 km return. Avalanche hazard. GROOMED
Lang Creek - Experienced - Higher Avalanche hazard. Trail to high alpine with lots of areas for climbing. Maximum Elevation 9000'. 100 km return.
Mount 7 - Family - Beautiful ride to the top of Mount 7 overlooking Golden. Nice night ride. Maximum Elevation 6000'. 25 km return.
Parson - Nicholson - Family - Wide logging road. Maximum Elevation 4500'. 100 km return.
Quartz Creek to Prairie Hills - Family to Experienced. Higher avalanche hazard. Large play area for all abilities. Maximum Elevation 7500'. 40 km return. GROOMED 3 times a week
A user fee has been implemented: $10 for sledders who are neither a member of the local club nor the BC Snowmobile Federation (BCSF) and $5 for members of the BCSF.
Silent Pass - Family to intermediate. Wide logging road leading along the Spillimacheen, up McMurdo to Silent Pass and cabin. Non motorized terrain above the cabin. Maximum Elevation 9000'. 160 km return. Avalanche hazard.
Susan Lake - Family - Logging road to Susan Lake. GROOMED Avalanche hazard. Many interconnecting roads. Maximum Elevation 6000'.100 km loop.
West Bench - Family - Old road with no bridges leading to Donald. Maximum Elevation 3000'. 80 km return. Avalanche hazard.
Glenogle Creek Trail - Intermediate to Expert - Mountain ride to high alpine with higher avalanche hazard than other trails. Maximum Elevation 6000'. 100 km return.
Bobbie Burns - Family - Wide logging road leading to heli-skiing lodge. Maximum Elevation 5000'. 80 km return.
This link opens a fact sheet compiled by Golden RCMP about important regulations which apply to all vehicles and trailers travelling on BC-highways and that may differ from regulations in your home province.
Here's some more general information from the web…………
Great rides from family trips in the valleys to challenging hill climbing in the alpine. The most popular trails are groomed regularly. There is a new back-country lodge dedicated to snowmobilers. Plenty of play areas. More than 1,000 readers of SnoRiders West Magazine voted Golden for Bronze Awards as Most Challenging Riding Area and Snowmobiling Area You would most like to Ride in the Future. Guided tours are offered from late November to April, but some areas offer good sledding until June.
Banff Snowmobile Tours Ph: (403) 646-3063
Kickass Sled Rentals Ph: 344-2231
Kinbasket Adventures Ph: 344-6012
SnowPeak Rentals & Tours Ph: 344-8385
White n' Wild Ph: 344-6546
NOTE for 2005: An avalanche last winter has destroyed a bridge at 56.3 km. This is 850 metres before the McMurdo Hut turnoff and 2.8 kms from the original trailhead to Silent Pass.
Synopsis: Easy hike, idyllic setting, loooong approach. (Of course, if it wasn't at the end of the proverbial 40 miles of bad road, it would be utterly overrun, wouldn't it?)
Access: From the lights in Golden, drive south on Highway 95 and turn right on the Parson River Crossing road. Set your odometer to zero here. Cross the Columbia River and its back channels on the five bridges and head up the hill on the Spillimacheen FSR.
There are many branches off this road, but stay on the main road. At 17 km, take the north fork (straight ahead.) At 45.8 km, turn left on the McMurdo Creek FSR and cross the river on a bridge. (This is the first left after the very sharp corner.) Follow the road for another 10.4 km. It is rough and muddy in spots. Again, stay on the obvious main road. At 56.2 km, you may see flagging tape across the road ahead of you, and a parking area on the left. Flagging tape tends to disappear, and there is no other barrier to driving into the creek, so be extremely careful here.
Trailhead: The bridge that used to be across the creek is now on the other side of the valley, severely bent. Descend to the creek and cross on the precarious plank, or rock-hop.
Trail: Follow the skid trail from 850 meters until you come to a junction. There is a vertical post that shows McMurdo Hut is to the left and Silent Pass to the right. Follow the old logging road to the right for another 1.9 km. It climbs to the right, and then switchbacks to the left. (You're right. If that bridge isn't going to be replaced, a trail up the hill here would make sense. But without a trail, it is easier to stick to the road.) When you reach the landing at the end of road, go to the end of the landing and follow the very obvious track that climbs sharply up the hill on your right. This is the second steepest stretch on the trail.
The trail winds through the forest and is fairly easy to follow. After about 800 meters, you will come to a section where a wide path has been slashed through the trees. The slash has been carefully positioned to fill holes between rocks. This is the snowmobile trail. The altered surface makes smooth sledding but terrible hiking. At this point, the hiking trail turns sharply to the left. Look for it.
The trail then enters a flat, boggy meadow where the track is faint before the final climb to the pass, up a lightly treed draw on the left. Once in the pass area, the trail heads to the west end of the meadows, past several smaller lakes, to Silent Lake.
If you follow the trail around the lake, you can gain the height of land and look over at the peaks on the west side of the Duncan River, including the Battle Group and Schooner Ridge.
This might wet your appetite………….