Salmon & White River Section

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The Salmon-White River section of the Vancouver Island Trail includes a mix of logging roads and mostly riparian trails in close proximity to the two rivers.  The entire section can now be hiked, but work is on-going to replace sections of road with additional riparian trail.

From the Strathcona Dam (the earth-fill dam impounding Upper Campbell and Buttle Lakes), the VI Trail route follows two logging roads – the Greenstone and Paterson Lake FSRs – to Menzies Main near the Salmon River.  Immediately across the Salmon River bridge (on Menzies Main), a riparian trail follows close along the Salmon River as far as a rocky canyon.  From here the route is back onto Menzies Main until upslope of the confluence of the Salmon and its major tributary, Grilse Creek.

At this point the trail drops down to and follows along Grilse Creek.  Soon after crossing over South Fork Main, the trail goes through an impressive stand of old-growth Douglas-fir and redcedar on a highly productive alluvial site – now known as “Grilse Grove”.  At the end of this section, a short piece of Menzies Main leads to a single-log crossing over Grilse Creek.  About 800 metres past this ‘bridge’ is the start of Glen’s Trail, named after one of our most dedicated volunteer trail builders.  Glen has now extended this trail about 10 km and is continuing to extend it (in 2018) to the Salmon-White divide near John Fraser Lake.  Until this is completed, the hiker can use Menzies Main to get to John Fraser Main at the south end of John Fraser Lake.  A trail around John Fraser Lake, completed in 2018, continues past a small falls on the outlet creek before climbing up to John Fraser Main which you follow to its junction with Stewart Main.   A short distance left (south 650 m) down Stewart Main will take you to Stewart Lake and a lakeshore campsite.  The VI Trail route continues northwest down Stewart Main to just past (350 m) a bridge over Consort Creek.

At this point, the trail on your right is now the beginning of the White River Riparian Trail.  The trail soon drops down to a terrace flanking Consort Creek as far as its confluence with the White River.  About 200 m upstream of the confluence, the White can be forwarded at lower summer flows (the White River bridge upstream is no longer usable).  After wading the river, a short trail takes the hiker to a couple of informal campsites on the former Stewart Main.  The White River Riparian Trail continues just behind the campsite near the old bridge crossing and extends upstream for  about 10 km up the White to the vicinity of Kokummi Creek.  This trail passes through mostly old-growth forest alongside the beautiful, clear White River and affords great views of Victoria and Warden Peaks.

The route then follows up the Kokummi tributary valley via the Kokummi Main logging road, with several impressive peaks including Watchtower often in view.  From the end of the road, newly cleared trail (completed and upgraded in 2018) leads into and through Kokummi Pass (about 950 m elevation at the divide) into the watershed of Upper Schoen Creek.  The last 100 metres of the trail is through the slash of a recent (2017) cutblock, dropping down onto a logging road that leads down the Schoen Creek valley to Schoen Lake.

Here is a GPS file in gpx format: 

Sorry, the files below are not quite up to date – e-mail me for the latest version – TL Oct 23, 2018.

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For the Grilse Riparian Trail alone/onlyFree Download

For the White River Riparian Trail alone/only:

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In the map below, where duplicate tracks are shown, one track is along the road and the tracks closer to the rivers are the riparian trails.