Try the Triune Mine adventure

The Triune Mine Trail near Trout Lake, B.C., offers scenery and a bit of local history

by Steve Shannon

A man on a dirt bike riding up a rocky trail with the mountains in the background.

Here is Steve Shannon riding towards the Triune Mine with the Badshot mountain range in the background. — Steve Shannon Photography

In the backwoods suburb of Trout Lake, B.C., there is no shortage of adventurous rides for the avid off-roader. A rich mining history has left a network of long forgotten roads and trails weaving throughout the spectacular mountain ranges surrounding the lake.

Silvercup Ridge is well known amongst the off-road community for its easy access to the alpine and an extensive network of trails. Two peaks—Triune Mountain and Fays Peak—rise prominently above the view of the ridge from town.

On the backside of Triune lies one of the more interesting rides in the area.

How to get there

From the town of Trout Lake, follow the signs toward the ghost town of Ferguson, but not before stopping at the Trout Lake Store to fill up with fuel from a 100-year-old gas pump! The general store sells premium fuel only, and uses a glass pump from the early 1900s.

Just prior to reaching Ferguson, there is a prominent intersection. Turn right and head across Lardeau Creek (you may see signs pointing to the nearby CMH Galena Lodge). Follow the main road along the south side of the valley. Eventually you will see a decommissioned road on the right just before the main road turns left and down across Lardeau Creek.

Follow this branch up and keep an eye out for an ATV trail on the right side. The trail is sometimes overgrown with alder and may have fallen trees across it. The trail is very steep and rocky and is recommended for intermediate and expert riders only.

The area’s rich history

The trail climbs aggressively up Triune Creek and after a few switchbacks, the alder subsides to beautiful subalpine flora. The grade lessens and the commanding views of the Badshot mountain range will quickly grab your attention.

At about 2,100 metres in elevation, a small creek crossing leads to the beginnings of an old mine site, the highlight of this trip.

Looking in at a mine shaft in the mountain.

The mine site is the highlights of this trip. Amongst the debris are the remains of a tramway. — Steve Shannon Photography

First opened in 1900, the Triune mine produced more than 400 tonnes of ore between 1901 and 1905. It was mainly a silver mine, but miners also found lead and limited amounts of gold. The mine produced a further 83 tonnes between 1916 and 1918.

After more than 20 years, reports show the mine reopening between 1939 and 1940 before legal disputes closed it until the 1950s. The history of these old mine sites is fascinating and many artifacts still remain intact at the Triune Mine.

Do some more exploring on foot

There are a few old roads around the mine site that are best explored on foot, due to rock fall and the steep terrain.

For the adventurous spirit, see if you can find the trail out to a ledge with a knotted rope ascending a cliff face. The climb up the rope is well worth the effort to view one of the mine shafts, complete with tracks and railcar disappearing into the depths of the cliff face.

A dirt bike parked on the side of a rocky mountain.

There are a few old roads around the mine site that are best explored on foot, due to rock fall and the steep terrain. — Steve Shannon Photography

The remains of a tramway are also visible amongst the debris, and those with an eye for detail may notice wooden stakes with flagging tape on them, used by Canadian Mountain Holidays heli-skiers to mark their landing spots.

Once finished exploring the mine site, relax and soak in the views of the Badshot Range before descending back to the valley below.

Back at Trout Lake, there are plenty of other roads to explore, or you can take some time to try and catch one of the famous Gerrard rainbow trout, which can grow to 30 pounds. 

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