Elkford Snowmobile Association
Trails and Riding AreasFamily trails generally run up the Elk Valley which stretches more than 60km north from town to the Alberta border. We groom these trails when we can but the last few years the roads have been ploughed due to pine-beetle timber harvesting. When roads are ploughed riders can still access the valley via the power-line trail on the east side of the river. By far the most popular riding areas are the meadows and alpine bowls at Koko Claims which is up Crossing Creek, just a few km west of the staging area. Elkford Snowmobile Association Volunteers groom the 20 km of main trunk trail at minimum, weekly. The “Claims” main trail is also the gateway to infinite family riding on unploughed forest service roads in the Bull River valley to the west. The only limitation to how far you can go on those trails is how early you get up in the morning and the amount of fuel you can carry. The bowls at Mear Lake and Smith Basin in the Koko Claims area are accessible by intermediate riders. The trails into Tundra and The Gorge are for advanced riders. The amazing valley that is Wayne’s World can be accessed by advanced riders in late winter. Once trails are broke in, most riders with stong groups can make it in to all our areas. Avalanche activity in the alpine is high so riders are advised to check current conditions. Riders cross 5 active Avalanche slide paths on the Koko Claims Trail, these paths are marked with signs showing areas where NOT to stop or play. Please be aware of these signs/areas and stay safe! The Elk Valley and Bull River Valley are low risk Avalanche Areas once there.
Club ActivitiesThe Elkford Snowmobile club is a member of the British Columbia Snowmobile Federation ( BCSF ) Starting with the pitch-in / clean-up in the spring club members work throughout the year clearing trails and staging areas. The clubs work with Forest Lands and Natural Resources (FLNR), Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), and local government, landowners and RCMP, to address noise, safety, and wildlife concerns. The groomed trail is signed to show the highly active avalanche areas. The Club has provided a beacon check station along the beginning of the trail to allow riders to test that their beacons are transmitting. Elkford Snowmobile Association advises all riders to have probes, shovels, and beacons with them. Avalanche conditions are updated regularly on the Avalanche Canada Website. We encourage all riders to check this website at the beginning of each day they go out riding. At the top of Koko Claims / Crossing Creek Trail, in the meadow, the club has provided a warm-up Cabin and Outhouse for all riders to use. The snowmobile club owns a cabin located 35 km north of town. The cabin sleeps 12 and is available to current members and guests; current member bookings are coordinated through the cabin boss. Contact information is provided on all emailed meeting minutes for all active members.
EventsThe ESA meets once a month with each meeting’s date and time being determined at the previous meeting. Usually, we meet at the Elkford Community Centre in a meeting room. The ESA Club hosts an Annual Family/Poker Ride, complete with a free hot dog lunch. We try to also participate in as many community events as we can each year. We post all events and meetings plus other updates on our social media. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ. How many miles of groomed trails are there to ride? A. Up to 100 km of groomed trails depending on the season snowpack and local logging activity. Q. When is the sledding season? A. Could be as early as mid-November thru to late May / June depending on the snowpack in the season. Q. How much snowfall does Elkford receive? A. 10 – 16 feet depending on the season and snowfall. Q. What makes Elkford a great destination for sledders? A. In a word, undiscovered! Located at the end of the highway (highway 43) we have unlimited wilderness, abundance of wildlife, groomed trails, lots of fresh snow, riding from town, local motel accommodations, restaurants, service stations, pubs, general store/grocery store and everything within walking distance from both motels.
Snowmobile Trail Passes & MembershipA printed snowmobile trail map is available with the purchase of a Season’s Pass during the active snowmobile season. Day passes and season passes for the trail are available at The Fas Gas and The Esso Gas Stations, as well some days at the Intersection of Trail 7 and Koko Claims or the Trail Head. Other area maps including hiking, camping, cross country skiing, hunting, fishing, etc are available at the Visitor’s Centre at the Elkford Community Centre. Snowmobile trail passes support year-round trail maintenance, and our groomer operation and maintenance. Prices $20 per day for day passes per machine, $90 per member for a season trail pass. Season Trail Passes are included with membership (except non riding members)- you can join our organization online at https://esa-bcsf.silkstart.com/join, our Membership Team Lead please email us. (General Adult $150.00/year (Trail Pass included), Child $68.25/year, Senior $89.25/year (Trail Pass included), non-riding member $90.00/year (no trail pass)). Warning: Weather and terrain in the Elk Valley’s backcountry is severe and changes rapidly. Many popular trails are NOT maintained so proceed with caution. Always wear an avalanche transceiver. Winter logging operations may occur at any time on the designated snowmobile routes. Please check the Canadian Avalanche Association Web site for current avalanche bulletins. The current weather for Sparwood / Elkford is available on the Environment Canada web site.
Please note that the Elk Valley and Bull River Valleys have many areas with high wildlife values and many routes have restrictions to motorized recreation (see map). Do not ride here with loud aftermarket pipes. If you encounter moose, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, bears or any other wildlife please slow down or stop. DO NOT CHASE THEM OR REV YOUR MACHINES! Allow the wildlife to calmly leave the area, this may take some time. Please be patient and enjoy the sites.
When encountering persons on foot, on cross country skis, on snowshoes or any other non motorized means, please be respectful,0 slow down and try to keep your distance. If you encounter persons on horseback, immediately stop your engine and wave them through.
For more information on safety, the environment, or issues related to snowmobiling please visit BC Snowmobile Federation.