Ancient Route – Tikwalus Heritage Trail
The Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) First Nation has traveled the Tikwalus Heritage Trail through the Fraser Canyon for thousands of years. It was used for hunting, trapping, plant gathering, and as a safe travel route that bypassed the sheer canyon walls at Hell’s Gate. Dramatic evidence of First Nations’ traditional use can still be seen along the trail today.
The trail’s other name — “First Brigade” — refers to the trail’s brief history as an early fur trade route. The Nlaka’pamux shared their trail with the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), who used it to transport furs from Fort Kamloops to Fort Langley. “Brigades” of up to 400 horses and 50 men traveled this trail in 1848 and 1849 – the HBC’s first attempt at crossing the Cascade Mountains.
Today, a 10-kilometer portion of the original trail is being restored, giving hikers and overnight backpackers spectacular views of the historic Fraser Canyon. The trail climbs steeply from Highway-1 to the summit of Lake Mountain, where you can camp overnight. Elevation gain: 760 metres. Round-trip distance: 13 km. – Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning