Last weekend (May 7, 2016) we had our glamper rig set up at Jordan River and decided to head out for a day trip to try to find the elusive Kludahk Trail on the San Juan Ridge via Jordan Main and North Main logging roads. These roads are heavily used in active logging operations so they were in great shape for us and it was a Saturday so there was no hauling happening. Be very careful if you go on a weekday as the logging trucks have right of way and there isn’t much room to maneuver if you meet one. You will need a four wheel drive vehicle with good clearance and you also want to make sure you have a spare tire as the roads have very rugged sharp rocks. Pack yourself lots of water, extra food and clothing and a personal locator beacon – if you run into trouble this can truly be a lifesaver. A couple cold ones to wet your whistle on this dusty journey is never a bad idea either!
Backroad Adventure in search of the Kludahk Trail
Thanks to the amazing View Ranger Navigation App on my iPhone, we had no trouble at all finding the trailhead. There is no cell service past Shirley, but this app works on GPS without a data connection. Just make sure you have a fully charged device and you are good to go. If you are going for a multi-day trek you either want a dedicated GPS unit with extra batteries, or some sort of battery pack or solar charger for your smart phone. The logging roads and trail-heads for the Kludahk Trail are notoriously difficult to find and navigate due to the scarcity of directional signage.
Once we found the trailhead it was only a few minutes into the hike and we were seeing the beautiful long-needled pine trees pictured below. From the base of Jordan Main to the highest elevation we reached near Raven lake, we gained 1005 metres which put us into some pristine sub-alpine terrain.
Pine Trees on the Kludahk Trail
The wild blueberry blossoms were plenty and we would love to return later in the summer to gather berries!
Wild Blueberry Blossoms on the Kludahk Trail
Making our Way up the Kludahk Trail
Fawn Lilies on the Kludahk Trail
Nice trail treads to help get through the very wet boggy terrain
Wildflowers along the Kludahk Trail
Sub-Alpine Bogs and Meadows on the Kludahk Trail
Meadow Cabin on the Kludahk Trail
We really wanted to try to find one of the adorable huts that dot this 48 kilometre trail so we were thrilled to find Meadow Cabin, complete with propane stove, wood stove, fire wood and a couple canoes. Doesn’t get much better than this!
Meadow Cabin on the Kludahk Trail, Southern Vancouver Island, BC
The view from the front door of Meadow Cabin is something else!
Meadow Cabin View
Inside Meadow Cabin
Second Floor Bunk in Meadow Cabin
Meadow Cabin Loft View
Ladder from the Loft of Meadow Cabin
Wood Stove inside Meadow Cabin
Kludahk Trail Outhouse – Raised for Winter Access
Meadow Cabin to Raven Lake on the Kludahk Trail
Once we had finished checking out Meadow Cabin we continued on to Raven Lake. This was the highest elevation we reached and we were so excited to find plenty of snow! It was a super hot day so we stopped for a quick snow-ball fight and snow-bath to cool down. So sweet.
Snow on the Kludahk Trail. Taken May 7th, 2016
It wasn’t long at all and we were descending down to the picturesque Raven Lake where we had a snack break and enjoyed the incredible peace and quiet. Once we were fed, watered and rested, it was time to start heading back towards the truck. We cannot wait to explore more of this pristine wilderness area!
Approaching Raven Lake on the Kludahk Trail
Raven Lake on the Kludahk Trail
More snow on the way out
Signing the Guest Book at Meadow Cabin
Trail Sign on the Kludahk Trail
The Kludahk Trail follows the San Juan Ridge east to west for 48 kilometres from Jordan River to Port Renfrew, paralleling the Juan de Fuca Strait. Due to its high elevation, this trail is usually covered in deep snow from November to June however recent seasons have seen much drier conditions than normal. Considering it’s only 2 hours out of Victoria this semi-alpine environment of bogs, ponds, meadows, cedar, old hemlock, spring wildflowers, summer berries and charming cabins make it such a unique and intriguing destination. We can’t wait to spend more time here!
Have you ever visited the Kludahk Trail? I would love to hear about your adventures there. If you’ve never been and would like some information about it, please feel free to reach out in the comments below.
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