This is one of the few trails in this region located in an alpine setting. It follows the ridge line from the Santa Rosa summit to Mt. St. Thomas and is a multi-day hike or a long day biking. Be prepared for a rugged backcountry experience and bring water as none is available along route. This trail boasts alpine meadows and rock bluffs with panoramic views in all directions, including spectacular views of Christina Lake and Big Sheep Creek valleys. It often has windfall and is remote. The trail can have snow on it well into July. Check with WildWays for trail conditions.
For a day trip, pack a lunch and enjoy a pleasant hike about an hour’s trek to the first meadow, allowing a spectacular view over multiple mountain ranges the south. The trail follows a moderate grade uphill and is a bit scrambly in places due to loose material, but fairly easy. The Santa Rosa drive has many scenic spots looking out over the Kettle River and valleys along the way.
Starts at 1620 m elevation to max height of 2080 m. Various ups and downs in between.
Distance: 14.6 km to top of Mt. St Thomas
Difficulty: Hike: Moderate – Difficult (remote)
Time: Hike: 2 days
Bike: a long day
Snowshoeing/Ski-touring (2 days)
Elev. Change: 550 m
Uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Snowshoeing, Skiing
Trail Head Access :
Follow Santa Rosa Road (off of Highway #3) 24 km to parking area across from the trailhead. The trail leads along the height of land and there are some good camping spots along the way. Once at Mt. St. Thomas (16 km) take the left fork to descend via Vertical Smile trail to Fife Road or go right and descend a short steep trail leading to Bonanza Creek FSR, which takes you to Highway #3. Be aware that Santa Rosa is an active logging area, so be prepared to yield to logging trucks. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.