Arrowhead Trail

Rating: 2 stars.

Use: Bushwhack, Hiking.

Difficulty: Moderate due to short bushwhack.

Distance: 500 m bushwhack, 1.5 km walk along road to the old townsite. 

Description: A railway once went from Revelstoke to Arrowhead along the valley bottom. The railway was abandoned during construction of the Arrow Reservoir. At Arrowhead one would get off the train and get on a paddle wheeler for the journey south on the Arrow Lakes. Arrowhead was once a thriving community. Before BC Hydro flooded the valley almost all of the townsite was dismantled and removed. (see Arrowhead brief description PDF below)  50 years later Mother Nature has reclaimed much of the land leaving only old footings, fruit trees and a cemetery. The cemetery contains headstones dating back over 100 years. Have a look at the Heritage Resource Assessment PDF attached below for a complete account of what remains or stop in at the Revelstoke Museum to get the complete history before you go.

Access to Arrowhead is by bushwhacking and hiking to the old townsite roads or by boating from Shelter Bay. There are two private properties immediately north of Arrowhead but this road is private. Please respect the property owners, do not trespass.

To access Arrowhead follow the Crawford Main to the 36 kilometer sign where it starts to climb toward Sproat Mountain. Take the 4900 Rd to the right and follow it to the end. At this point you will have to bushwhack 500 m downhill until you hit one of the old Arrowhead Roads. We are hoping in the future to lay out a good hiking trail to link to this old road. From this point it is a one kilometre walk to the cemetery and townsite. See the attached maps.

Arrowhead has been a much disputed topic among Revelstokians in recent times. After BC Hydro purchased the properties at Arrowhead during construction of the Arrow Reservoir in the mid 1960’s, they sold the land to the Ministry of Environment as partial compensation for the flooding of the valley. The Ministry of Environment agreed to protect and enhance the wildlife that uses Arrowhead. The Arrowhead Conservation Society has a mandate to protect the wildlife habitat and heritage values of Arrowhead and have been instrumental in undertaking the heritage and plant reports that are linked to this page below. They continue in their efforts to establish a stewardship agreement with the government to protect Arrowhead.

Motorized user groups want trail access to the area but up until this point the government and CSRD has been reluctant to approve access to this historically and environmentally natural rich area. Hopefully the government holds true to the protection of Arrowhead. Allowing motorized access into Arrowhead would be a mistake.

Perhaps in the future an ‘arrangement’ with the government, CSRD, property owners and local user groups can be reached that would provide non-motorized access to this environmentally sensitive area. See the attached PDF below for a Report on Arrowhead’s Heritage Resources and Heritage Plants.

Please do not scavenge any of the remains at Arrowhead as this is the heritage value. Not even bottles or rusty cans. Please respect the cemetery, the final resting place of the pioneers of this valley and many First and Second World War veterans. Take only pictures and leave only the fewest of foot prints. Please do not trespass on the private property.

Arrowhead supports many different species of wildlife including both black and grizzly bears. This is their home, you are the visitor. Please keep any dogs on a lease to prevent harassment of wildlife and to prevent problems with bears. Packing bear spray is recommended. Overnight camping is not recommended.

Directions: Follow Airport Way Road south past the airport. Continue past the end of the pavement. Turn left onto the Akolkolex FSR. 7.2 km from the start of the Akolkolex FSR you will come to a road on the right. Take this right onto the ‘Hard’ Way or keep on the Akolkolex FSR to the 12.5 kilometer switchback onto the Crawford FSR  i.e. the ‘Long’ Way. I wouldn’t suggest taking the hard way unless you have a 4X4. The Long Way and the Hard Way meet again at the 18 kilometer marker at the Akolkolex River Bridge.  From here drive to 36 km on the Crawford Main FSR. Lots of turns along the way. At 22.5 km the road branches into three. The left road takes you to the McCrae Hiking trails. The middle road goes to more clearcuts. The right road is the Crawford and continues to Arrowhead. Best to punch in the GPS.

Trailhead GPS:

  1. Akolkolex FSR: N50 52.725 W118 05.857
  2. Start of the Hard Way: N50 50.439 W118 02.824
  3. End of the Hard Way: N50 49.744 W118 01.941
  4. Crawford Y4: N50 43.532 W117 56.431
  5. 4900 Road: N50 43.466 W117 56.502
  6. 4900 Road End: N50 42.280 W117 55.960
  7. Aimpoint: N50 42.080 W117 56.242
  8. Arrowhead Cemetery: N50 41.740 W117 55.753
  9. Arrowhead Townsite: N50 41.643 W117 55.344

Useful Maps: 

Arrowhead Trail Garmin BaseCamp Map PDF

Arrowhead brief description PDF (Arrowhead Conservation Society)

Arrowhead Logging Roads and Lot numbers PDF

Arrowhead Townsite Plan map PDF (Arrowhead Heritage Resource Assessment)

Arrowhead Heritage Resource Assessment 2009 PDF

Final Report on Arrowhead’s Heritage Plants PDF

Arrowhead 1910.
S.S. Kootenay at Arrowhead, circa 1903.
On the Arrow Lakes, circa 1925. Arrowhead in the background.

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