South West View from Idaho Peak
After a challenging (steep, very narrow, twisty, rough) 12.5 kilometer drive from Sandon there are two breathtaking trails to the top of Idaho Peak. The photo above is approximately one-quarter of the 360º view at the top (from the former forestry lookout). Each part of the 360º view is equally stunning.
If you look closely you can see a trail on the lower right side of the image. This is the final part of the trail along the ridge to the summit. Look even closer (at the bright green patch in the center of the image) and you might see the trail cut across and disappear into the trees.
Here’s the trail we took to the top (the foreground of this image is that green patch at the centre of the top photo). And yes the ground was frozen on September 24th; there’s some snow around and the path is very narrow in spots. One slip and you’d be down with the black bears and the grizzly that were seen below—one half hour earlier.
The lookout at the peak is that little box on the top right of the image. We saw two hang gliders around this time during our hike. And ten minutes later, met a man heading back down to his truck; his buddies—the hang gliders—needed no further assistance as they would be landing back home in New Denver. (from the peak, you can see all of New Denver and Silverton)
Here’s a last look more or less westward taken during the final part of hike to the peak. We had calm winds, mostly blue sky with just enough clouds to keep things interesting. A great number of photos were taken that afternoon, we hope you enjoy these three and perhaps visit Sandon and Idaho Peak one day.
Hal Wright in Sandon: A Salt Spring Island Connection
Way back in the mid-1980s I worked with Hal’s parents in the Gulf Islands School District. I remember him driving the grade seven class from Fernwood School up to Mount Washington aboard his real bus (not school bus). It was a great trip and one in which Hal didn’t just drive the bus but kept involved with the kids.
I remember all kinds of sliding devices in use at night once the lifts had closed. Not one to be left out of the fun, Hal hurried back to the bus and returned with a big aluminum shovel…and proceeded to race the kids down the hill aboard his shovel.
While heading from New Denver to Kaslo, we stopped in at Sandon, where Hal operates the Sandon Hydroelectric Station. This is the oldest continuously operating hydro-electric plant in western Canada (since 1897). Sandon is now a ‘ghost town’ but Hal and area residents seem to have great plans for restoring the town and the great many collected items (somehow Hal’s acquired and moved a 1908 CPR Locomotive (261 000 pounds) and many Vancouver electric buses).
We missed Hal the day we visited Sandon as he was on the road to Idaho. What we didn’t miss though was a crazy mountain road leading to an exhilarating great hike to Idaho Peak. Lots more on that tomorrow.
And it’s free.
This is the Needles Ferry (Needles to Fauquier across Lower Arrow Lake). It’s been operating since 1913.
As I catch up with Salt Spring work, please enjoy some moments from our journey.
This first image is along a twisty backroad through farms/ranches and vineyards near Vernon.