Fight Lake Trail – Kamloops Trails
Posted on: September 8, 2019 1:45 am
by: Doug Smith
Battle Mountain is the third mountain in a line (Trophy Mountain then Table Mountain) on the east side of the Wells Gray Corridor Road. It is a long way in and up to the mountain so it is best done as a 2 or 3 day backpack. A few decades ago, I did this route (to the summit of Battle Mountain) as a 2 day backpack, but on this recent trip in August, we stayed two nights at Fight Lake, coming home on the third day. The trailhead is on the Battle Mountain Road. This narrow road can be driven for 2 km to the Philip Creek Bridge. There is a trailhead there, but we were told that the trail is too difficult now because of windfall. It also involves a lot more elevation gain than the second higher trailhead. Beyond the bridge the road is high clearance. In wet conditions, it may be 4WD. It is also a bit grown in, hard on exterior paint. The road ends at 7.4 km. The trailhead is signed at the parking area. We hosited our packs and started the climb to Philip Lake. The first 3 km was a series of switchbacks, climbing 360m following Philip Creek.
There is a small backcountry campsite on Philip Lake, a good place for a rest and snack on the way to Fight Lake. It would also be a good basecamp for a hike to the top of Table Mountain, a 24 km return hike.
After Philip Lake the first wet meadows are now crossed on newly installed boardwalks. The next 3 km climbs through the forest on the lower slopes of Mt. Philip.
As the trail emerged into Fight Meadows, junction signs indicated a trail over to Branta Lake (and beyond to Indian Valley and the Stevens Lakes), to Fight Lake Campground, and north toward Battle Mountain. We turned to the campsite and set up tents in subalpine meadows by the lake. the backcountry site has a bear food cache, an outhouse, a rough sheltered cooking area and hectares of spots to pitch a tent. We set up camp for a 2 night stay. The weather was good and we enjoyed watching the sun go down, then a clear starlit sky and a waning gibbous moon.