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PostPosted: September 6th, 2012, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: September 5th, 2012, 11:22 am
Posts: 4
Don't know if this is the right place to post this...Trip Reports Folder Makes Sense

2012 Labour Day Long Weekend
Moose Valley Provincial Park (for map, see BC Parks website).

Deer Lake Boat Rentals in Burnaby actually rents canoes for offsite use. The rates are cheaper than for use on Deer Lake. They even have foam blocks & tie-down straps for your car. You can get a Clipper Yukon for a week for about $150.

I went with my 3 year old and my non-camping brother-in-law. (The 3 year old has done more wilderness camping than the BIL, lol!) We drove up Thursday night after work. The crosswinds near Ashcroft/Cache Creek were brutal, but the canoe stayed on the car, and the car stayed upright. Everyone was sleeping, so we crashed in a cheap motel in 100 Mile House.

The next AM we drove the logging roads to MVPP. We stopped at 100 Mile Lumber on Exeter Rd, and the fine folks gave us some scraps for firewood. The drive is 17kms of gravel logging road, and then 8.5kms of rough road. BC Parks website says the road is 4wd, but we made it in 2wd (Mazda Protege). There were a lot of potholes, rocks, and one major mudhole right at the foot of a hill. You can just scoot between the mudhole and the trees. This probably makes the mudhole bigger, but we had no choice.

We saw a jacked up Avalanche and an old conversion van up there.

The main park access is at Marks Lake. There are vehicle-accessible tent sites and a pit toilet and a few picnic tables/fire rings.

The portage from Marks to Maitland was very short and the put-in/take-outs were fine (gumboots recommended but you could do it without). Look for the sign that says “Firefly Portage”. There were plenty of loons around.

The Maitland Lake shelter is overrun by rodents and their crap. We poked our heads inside but stayed outside/in tents.

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There is a nice pit toilet at Maitland & a fire ring as well. We had a camp fire, under a bright moon, cooked some dinner and the boy slept.
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The moon was full and the sky was clear, and I went for a full-moon paddle with no lights required! Beauty!
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The next morning was calm and I happened to make a video of 2 sandhill cranes flying by, belting out their otherworldly call. Don't mind the auto-focus madness that happens in the 2nd half of the vid.

We explored all the bays and went back to Marks lake and camped by the cars the next night. The mother-daughter-dog trio in the Avalanche were great, and the girl and Daniel hit it off famously. They stayed up running around and throwing twigs into the fire until they were both almost falling asleep.

We hiked the short overland trail to the Firefly portage. We hiked towards Crane Lake but the trail just led back to the main access road. The area between the road and Crane Lake was boggy.

We went by canoe to check out the portage to Crane Lake. The take-out was mucky but there was a bit of solid (?) ground 30ft from the shoreline proper--a quick gumboot scamper across the marsh led to solid ground. The portage was dry, but the Crane Lake end was another story: bottomless mush for 50ft across. I found a shoe buried in the muck. Crane lake itself was tiny. With only 1 pair of gumboots for 2 adults, we didn’t go for it. (Gumboots for the 3-yr-old are only 6” tall, so they weren’t going to cut it.) Maybe next time.

We went back to Marks Lake and hung out and then started towards home (Vancouver).

On the drive home, we stopped at Gold Pan PP and spent the night. This location was good for the 3-yr-old: a river with sand beach, train tracks with frequent freight trains on both sides. IIRC, the trains stopped at ~10PM and started at 6:30AM, so you can still get some solid sleep in. There is the sound of the river running, which helps too. Camping spots are on the river’s edge, have fire rings, and are about 50ft apart. There was a mix of campers/trailers and tents.

MVPP will get a return-visit, but with a better plan for the mucky portage access. It was soft enough that you wouldn’t be able to push with enough force to move the boat forward/back. I need to figure that one out...any suggestions would be helpful. Maybe throwing bodyweight around in the boat, or frantic 'swimming' through the mud?




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PostPosted: September 6th, 2012, 7:06 pm 
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Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 320
Thanks Tim and welcome to the club. There are about two and a half people from BC who post here. :D
Keep em coming.


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2012, 1:02 am 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1076
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Thanks for the TR! :clap:

Trick with those muddy portages is to go earlier in the year during high water. You will see a lot of wildlife in the spring too. All those islands are havens for animals having young ones.

The rest of the lakes are an awesome trip. You can do a little loop at the south end as well. Just practice up on portaging!


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2012, 9:36 pm 
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Joined: October 13th, 2008, 10:35 am
Posts: 29
nice TR
that trip is on my list to do. hopefuly next year. didnt know that deer lake would rent of longer than the day. good to know

spencer


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2012, 11:26 am 
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Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
I'll second Ted's suggestion of going earlier in the year. I have not done Moose in ten years. They used to restrict the route when the lakes got low, as portaging through the sphagnum bogs can hurt the fragile ecosystem. Wonderful place to ski when the lakes are frozen.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2014, 10:46 am 
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Joined: September 5th, 2012, 11:22 am
Posts: 4
You guys suggested spring, so I'm thinking Victoria Day long weekend.
(I'm driving a 2wd regular-clearance beater. I can bring a few buckets of gravel to throw in a mudhole or something.) Any ideas how can I get an estimate of road conditions?


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2014, 11:04 am 
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Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
I would call the Visitor's Center in 100 Mile House. They may be able to direct you to someone who would know. Alternatively, the local Parks office. The road to the turn off gets used a lot, so I don't think that should be a problem. Where the dead end to the lakes turns off, the road gets sketchier. If you accessed the lakes at the east end, you might avoid some of the bigger holes.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2014, 6:00 pm 
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Joined: September 5th, 2012, 11:22 am
Posts: 4
I called the visitors centre last time and they didn't know squat. I'll try it again.

Yes, the worst part of the road was the dead-end access road. Might be better to hike in from the 1100 road (on this map at km 1122).
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explor ... valley.pdf

The kid can learn that muddy portages build character. lol.
Cool.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2014, 6:38 pm 
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Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: seattle, Washington USA
I think the VC staff can vary. When I was there, a woman who had paddled it and skied it was very helpful.


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PostPosted: April 4th, 2014, 11:15 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1076
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Timvan, I'll bet that those roads will easily be clear by then. I would bring a good swede saw for any fallen trees. (just in case you're first in)
You can also portage into Crane Lakes on the north side.


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