Volcano Ridge Loop
a collection of trails in the sheep river valley forming a triangle in the foothills

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Our original plan was to start from the Volcano Ridge parking lot, which has a shorter access to the loop,
but we found the Gorge Creek trail closed off not long above the Gorge Creek parking lot, so started there instead.

The first 2.5km are along the Gorge Creek, then Volcano Ridge trails as we wind through the valley bottom towards the ridges.
This section includes a few creek crossings - only the smallest of them bridged. (??)

Trail in the lower foothills.

The gorge of Gorge Creek

Chinook (3m) out enjoying a tough first hike.

Embankment along Gorge Creek.

A slabby waterfall flowing into Gorge Creek.

Puppy splashes across the first creek.

Half the group removed their shoes and waded.

the other half put their faith in a small log bridge.

Jenn and Gorana walk a glacier past the second creek.

Hiking past the only creek small enough to possess a bridge. (?)

Our first arm is 2.6km of the Volcano Ridge trail.
It gains little bits of elevation through the trees, then climbs aggressively for the last half-kilometre or so.
We then get 1km of ridgewalk before meeting with the trail we planned to take to the Volcano Ridge Summit.
As it turned out, the weather was starting to look kinda bad, so we decided to skip the offshoot.
Instead, we headed the opposite way up a small bump in the middle of the ridge for a view back down the rest of the loop.

Chinook's already tired enough to nap at every waterbreak.

Axel, Chinook, and Jason start the trek up.

Jason, Gorana, Laurier, and Jenn climb up to the small outlook.

The storm hit us in the form of thunder and hail as we summited the bump. We waited out the hail under trees, then set back off in the rain.
The following 2.6km of the Link Creek trail included a little more ridgewalk, then an unbelievably steep descent, losing our 300m in about 1km - no switchbacks.
Arriving at the link to the third arm still in serious rain we revised our plans and took the faster, easier way back by continuing out to the road, and following it back to the cars.
The Gorge Creek trail was not overly scenic, but we suspected the Gorge Link trail wouldn't be either, and we knew the road would be easy conditions.
To our luck, the rain also slowed, and had essentially stopped by the time we made it to the car, although it never made it back to 'nice' out.

Summit of Volcano Ridge to the northwest.

Storm clouds passing by as the rain lightens.

Rachel and Laurier make it out the last stretch of road.

Pasque Flower (anemone patens).

Shooting Star (dodecatheon conjugens).

Photos taken by Rachel and Axel.

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