Distance: 8-10 km Round Trip
Elevation Gain: 710 m
Time: 3-4 hrs
Road Access: Moderate, paved & gravel forestry road
Part of the Creston Community Forest’s trail network on Mount Thompson, the Thompson Pack Trail is a 4.7 km (one-way) trail that parallels and meanders along Sullivan Creek. The trail takes you through beautiful cedar-hemlock forests that boast an abundant and diverse population of fungi. Thompson Pack Trail is a nicely shaded trail that provides hikers and bikers with relief from the sun making this a wonderful summer hike.
This trail was originally built to transport supplies up to the Thompson Forestry Lookout Tower. This tower was used seasonally and was used as a fire lookout. Due to it’s proximity to town and great single-track, this trail provides excellent opportunity for hiking, horse-back riding, or trail running. This trail is also open to mountain bikers.
Depending on how far you would like to hike, you can access the trail at two locations:
1. Vance Road Access - For the longer 10 kilometre hike, head southeast on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook for 5.9 km, turning right at Canyon-Lister Road. Continue on this road, and turn left onto 51st Street after about 1.5 km. Follow Vance Road until it’s end, at which point the trailhead will begin. Park on the left hand side of the road’s end, and hike up the decommissioned road until pink flaggers appear on your left hand side – this is the official start of the Thompson Pack Trail.
2. Thompson Mountain Hub - Forest Service Road Access - For the shorter 8 kilometre hike, head southeast on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook for 5.9 km, turning right at Canyon-Lister Road. Continue on this road, and turn left onto Whimster Road after about 1 km. Follow Whimster Road until its end – keep left to continue onto Mount Thompson FSR. Stay on this well maintained gravel road for 2 km. Park at the “Thompson Pack” sign alongside the road or back into the spur road.
The CCF’s trail crew have recently upgraded this trail, which included brushing out the understory, some regrading of the trail, and the construction of two new bridges along Sullivan Creek! Keep an eye out for the crew’s handy work on the upper bridge, which was constructed using only hand-tools.