Rating: 4 stars.
Distance: 9 km return to the lookout.
Description: A trail that is unfortunately overlooked by many as an ‘alternate’ route to the summit of Joss. The ‘epic’ bikeable East Approach to Joss has become very popular in the last couple of years. Rightly so, its a good one but this trail does not disappoint either. If pushing your bike up thousands of feet of single track is not your thing and you want to check out the Joss Lookout to see what everyone is talking about, this is a great option. Approaching from the west this trail provides an excellent route to the top with about a quarter of the effort as that from the east. I would even go as far to say that this hike ranks right up there with Eagle Pass Mountain and Fred Laing Ridge. That with the added bonus that it is only an amazing 35 min drive to the trailhead from town on relatively good road. Thats hard to beat! There are a couple of different options for getting to the top of Joss on this approach. 2.4 kilometres from the trailhead the trail itself diminishes. From here you have basically two options. The first and probably the easiest is to follow the high ground, traversing the high ridge all the way to the lookout. This route provides awesome views of the south side of Joss and its alpine lakes. The second option is to take the low ground and follow the basin below the large impressive crags on the north face of Joss. Hiking up the ridge to the summit and back down below the face makes for a great round trip day. Obviously travel is not quite as easy below the face due to the boulders, scree and rubble, at least in later season when the snow has melted. See the maps below for the two options. For those ‘ultra’ trail runners why not stash a vehicle on the east side and traverse the entire Joss Mountain east to west covering nearly 15 kilometres on perfect trails with an easy alpine route between.
Directions: Drive east along the Trans Canada Highway. Just past Three Valley Gap Resort, around the corner at the top of the two lane hill look for the Three Valley-Mabel FSR. (The most treacherous part of your day will be turning left onto this FSR coming from Revelstoke). Reset the odometer at the start of the Three Valley-Mabel FSR. Turn left off the Three Valley-Mabel FSR at 6.0 km onto the Bowman Road. Follow this road navigating a few forks with the accompanying maps for 10 km to where the trailhead begins. There is even a proper trailhead sign that would be hard to miss.
- Three Valley-Mabel FSR: N50 55.906 W118 28.916
- Bowman Road: N50 53.082 W118 29.729
- Joss Mountain west approach trailhead: N50 50.356 W118 29.921
- Joss Mountain Lookout: N50 49.842 W118 27.252
Useful Maps: Backrounds Mapbook.