2.2 km
146Elevation Gain (m)
The McMurdo Cabin is an old one-room log cabin built in the early 1900s as a mining camp for the works near the Spillimacheen Glacier. The small cabin is in mature spruce forest by a marshy meadow. The marsh is closed to ATVs.

The Columbia Valley Hut Society maintains and coordinates reservations for overnight use of this public hut. The hut is used in summer for access into the area south of Spillimacheen Glacier International Basin and by hikers exploring the small valley at the headwaters of McMurdo Creek. In winter, the cozy cabin is shelter to backcountry skiers. Snowmobiles and ATVs are not permitted south of the cabin.

Visit the Columbia Valley Hut Society at www.cvhsinfo.org/hut.htm for information on booking, prices and hut specifics. “Over the years, minor renovations have been in keeping with the original style of the cabin and it has retained its quaint, rustic charm,” says the society website. See Contact Information and References also.

To protect your vehicle from chewing porcupines, wrap it in chicken wire and make certain the wire is touching the ground all the way around.

0 km: Hike from the parking spot at the south end of McMurdo Creek FS Road.

900m: Take the left fork up a steep rocky road.

1.5 km: Creek crossing on a makeshift log bridge. From here to the cabin the track is through very wet marshy meadows. The condition is made worse by the increasing ATV traffic creating muddy ruts in the saturated soil.

2.2 km: McMurdo Hut Further exploration
A road continues south of the cabin in a narrow valley toward the old mine site. The road follows the steeply gouged creek channel and ascends into the forest. At 1.5 km south of the cabin, the terrain steepens and is rugged, untracked alpine beyond the end of the road.

Winter access
Spillimacheen FS Road is generally not plowed and there is a snowmobile staging area at about 21 km. Snowmobilers ride over 30 km up to the cabin. Beyond the cabin the area is closed to motorized use, and skiers reach into the high country slopes.


he main road to Bugaboo Lodge and Bugaboo Provincial Park is suitable for a sturdy car. The road has even grades but there are many washboard sections; it’s dusty in summer and there are many potholes. Careful driving is required to avoid hammering your vehicle too badly.

Getting to the Bugaboos

Separate hikes continue from various turnoffs, each detailed below.

Follow the directions to Bugaboo Provincial Park. The drive is about 1.5 hours from Highway 95 at Brisco (turnoff from highway is about 26 km north of Radium).

0 km: At Brisco follow the blue Provincial Park signs to the Bugaboos west from Highway 95. Concrete retaining blocks landmark the turnoff. Drive down to the sawmill and follow the main road around to the right and cross two bridges over the Columbia River.

3 km: Right turn at blue Bugaboo sign 47 km.

4.8 km: Right turn onto Brisco Road. Views along the Columbia River.

8.5 km: Turn left uphill at the junction between Westside Road and Brisco Road (Bugaboo sign 42 km). Road rapidly gains elevation climbing out of the valley. (For Lower Bugaboo Falls hike, continue straight here.)

11.2 km: At a four-way intersection, N31400-E46200, make a sharp right turn, uphill. (After you turn the corner, you should see a Bugaboo sign 39 km.) This is a confusing corner on the way back down. If you happened to drive up the slower-going, rough Westside Road from Radium, turn northwest (left) at this four-way intersection. Westside Road is about 50 km on gravel, whereas driving the smooth highway to Brisco leaves you with only 11 km on gravel.

22.5 km: Major intersection, N34109-E37133. Turn right on Bugaboo Creek FS Road (Bugaboo sign 29 km). For Conrad Kain Hut, Cobalt Lake, Silver Basin, Bugaboo Pass and Chalice Creek, continue west on the main road. Avoid several logging roads branching off, including Driftwood River at 27 km. If you drive straight ahead at this corner it is the access for Lead Queen FS Road and Cartwright Lakes and for the road access for Templeton Lake and Tiger Pass–Shangri-la Road; see below.

39.7 km: Stay on main (right fork for Rocky Point Road for snowmobile access).

43.7 km: Bugaboo Falls FS Recreation Site (33 km sign). Nice 200-m hike to view 15-m-high waterfalls. Picnic table and outhouse along roadway.

47.2 km: Bugaboo Provincial Park sign, N22972-E21117.

Reset odometer to 0 for all of the hikes in this area.

Hike Map
Janice Strong

Janice Strong

Janice Strong is an established professional outdoor photographer. Her images grace collections all over the world and appear in many respected publications. She is passionate about hiking and is also an avid snowshoer and skier, exploring the outdoors of the East Kootenay in southeastern BC year round.

She openly shares her passion for the outdoors with others and has introduced hundreds of people to the joys of hiking. For a decade she led hikes for the City of Cranbrook – Parks and Recreation. With her guidance, many people have themselves become enthusiastic hikers.

Climbing mountains, finding new places and enjoying the experience of the journey have always been important to Janice. She cherishes the little things she sees along the trail, as well as the grand destinations.

When Janice is not writing, hiking or taking photographs, she is involved in various creative digital, website design or photographic projects for her clients. She and her husband, Jamie Levine, enjoy their rural property, near Cranbrook, BC.

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