Revelstoke is a hotspot for adventure in British Columbia. Thanks to an abundance of mountains, an active logging industry and a rich mining history, motorized access into the mountains has never been better.
South of Revelstoke, past the Shelter Bay Ferry, lies a long-forgotten area that holds a hidden gem for the off-roading enthusiast—Paint Lake.
Paint Lake is a small alpine lake on Mount Symons near the Monashee Provincial Park. Access is via a network of logging roads from Shelter Bay, which eventually deteriorate into an overgrown and washed out mining trail before conditions improve in the alpine.
At the top, dirt bikers can enjoy a view of Paint Lake, as well as Arrow Lake. — Steve Shannon Photography
To get there: Follow Highway 23 south to Shelter Bay, then continue south on the Shelter Bay Forest Service Road to the Limekiln Forest Service Road. Once on Limekiln, the route finding is difficult but in general, stay left at the intersections until the road becomes overgrown. Spring rains and snowmelt have taken their toll on the road, which has become very rutted. Follow this road up through the alders until it breaks into beautiful subalpine forest. The road becomes quite rocky, but most riders should make it without too much difficulty.
Eventually, the road breaks into the alpine where views of the Monashee Mountains and Arrow Lake make it difficult to concentrate on the trails. Please stay on designated trails in the alpine to preserve this fragile environment for all to enjoy.
At Paint Lake, there are plenty of options to explore on foot, including an old mine site up the valley to the North. From the mine site, a short hike brings you to the ridgeline and an overlook of Monashee Provincial Park.
The scenery is stunning. Here is a view of the Gold Range from Mount Symons. — Steve Shannon Photography
A few kilometres before reaching Paint Lake, there is a trail that branches to the north and climbs up the ridgeline over rock slabs littered in loose rock, making for a challenging ride. The climb is worth the effort, as the views of the Gold Range are stunning.
Retracing the route to the bottom brings riders back to the Limekiln Forest Service Road, where riders can continue back to Shelter Bay, explore Hall Mountain farther to the north or head south towards Fosthall and eventually reach the Arrow Park ferry.
One thing is for sure: there is no shortage of opportunity for adventure!