McKirdy Cabin, Meadows & Ridge (#5 on hiking map)
- Difficulty: Hard
- Warnings: No official warnings. Check social media feeds below for current trail status updates.
- Wheelchair accessible: No
- High-clearance 4×4 advised to access trailhead? no
- Best seasons: summer, fall, winter (ski/snowshoe)
- Distance (return cabin): 6.2km / 3.9mi
Distance (return ridge): 8km / 5 mi
- Approx. time: 3-4 hrs return (cabin) 5-6 hrs return (ridge)
- Elevation gain (cabin): 500m / 1640ft
Elevation gain (ridge): 750m / 2460ft
- Steepest grade: 30+%
- Viewpoints: Stunning views of Kinbasket lake, Canoe Valley, Mt. Robson, and the Premier Range
- Geocache points: Yes
- Closest bathroom/outhouse: Outhouse at the cabin
- Cell service? Not much
- Gear to bring: Bring 1.5L water/pp, hiking poles (for downhill) and mosquito spray
- How to access/where to park: You can access this trail from the top of 5-Mile Road (this road does not appear on Google Maps!). When dry, this road is usually fine for all types of vehicles, though the way down can sometimes be hard on automatic breaks. The maximum grade of this road is approx. 15%.
- Best Parts: Incredible views and a relatively short hike to the alpine due to the higher access road. Also the option of staying overnight.
- Worst Parts: There are some very steep sections that are sandy and it’s hard to grip unless you’re wearing good hiking shoes. Hiking poles are recommended for these sections. Watch for falling trees. Watch out: bears are sometimes spotted along this trail during spring and summer. Be sure to make lots of noise so you don’t surprise them and they have time to leave to avoid an encounter. The mosquitoes are very bad starting as early as mid-May and continuing until mid-September. Bring DEET and a netshirt/pants and avoid hiking at dusk if you want to stay sane.
- BC Sites and Trails map
Alongside a babbling brook just below the alpine meadows sits a red and grey cabin. From the ridge is a stunning 360 degree view down Kinbasket Reservoir, towards McBride and east to Mt. Robson, which pokes its head above the other mountains. This is a perfect hike for young, fit people who are not necessarily experienced hikers, but want something spectacular that will make them break a sweat. This hike is not recommended for children or those with knee problems, due to its steepness. From the ridge are the best views. Mid-summer, the meadow is covered in alpine flowers. For a shorter hike (3.1km one way) and longer stay, you can book the cabin overnight. Foamies and cookware are already supplied. An outhouse is not far from the cabin. The trail begins at the top of 5-Mile hill, which you can drive to. The cabin can be booked by calling 566-8244.
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Elevation change profile (metres and km). Click to expand.
(This profile includes the meadows only)
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