Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
This scramble to Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge has it all, a backcountry campsite on beautiful Southfork Lakes, a long ridge top traverse, and spectacular scenery throughout!
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Route Description for Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge
You will start the scramble to Southfork Mountain by crossing the river, which can be quite shallow and easy to cross once the early-season runoff is done. You will find the signed trail on the other side. Trail markers, in fact, start even before the river crossing and an excellent trail has been cut through the krumholtz between the Southfork Lakes.
The trail across the river begins quite gently, but soon steepens dramatically, gaining 450 m over just 1.5 km. Most of this ascent is on open hillside, and can be very hot if starting in the afternoon. The ascent relaxes near the lower of the three Southfork Lakes! A few very nice informal campsites are located on the edge of the lake and can make a nice base camp for exploring.
Contour around the lower Southfork Lake on good trail before a moderately steep ascent, still on good trail, and you will come to the second Southfork Lake. At this point turn west and start the steep, off-trail ascent to the summit of Southfork Mountain over mixed, easy terrain. At times you walk through a beautiful larch forest, eventually reaching the summit just 40 minutes after departing Southfork Lakes.
After this 1,000 m ascent to Southfork Mountain, take a break and enjoy the views then head south along the very broad and pleasantly hike-able Barnaby Ridge.
The midway point between Southfork and Barnaby, nicknamed The Amoeba, looks quite daunting from a distance. However, as you approach the cliffs on its north-end, multiple easy scramble routes reveal themselves with a trail indicating the most popular option. Follow this trail around The Amoeba without gaining too much elevation.
On the south side of The Amoeba you lose over 100 m, gain a bit of it back before losing it again, then head up the final 175 m to the summit of Barnaby Ridge. The views from Barnaby Ridge are amazing, dozens of peaks to scramble are visible in all directions!
Return the way you came.
Insider Hints for Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge
- This is a great option for a weekend ovenight backpack. Leave your tent at Southfork Lakes and then climb Southfork Mountain and along Barnaby Ridge.
- You can shorten this walk along Barnaby Ridge if the total distance is too long, it’s a big day.
- Start early, as this is a big day and Barnaby Ridge can get very hot on a summer day!
- If you need a snack, the only nearby option is the Beaver Mines General Store in Beaver Mines before heading home for the day.
Getting to the Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge Trailhead
The trailhead is a dirt road with a blue street number sign about 4.0 km before Castle Mountain Resort. The road heads to a research station that is partially visible from the road, so this can help locate it. Drive to the end of the road near the Castle River.
Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge Elevation Graph
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Southfork Mountain and Barnaby Ridge Reviews
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