Hiking to Bill Putnam
(Fairy Meadows) Hut


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Swan Creek Trail - Description (as of August 2004)

  • Drive to yellow kilometre marker 63 on west side of Kinbasket Lake.

  • Turn west (uphill; small ACC sign at junction) and drive approx. 2 km. Park here unless you have a very high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle.

  • Walk up this de-activated logging road.

  • After approx. 1 km there is a sign describing the history of the Swan Creek Trail.

  • After approx. another 1 km on this rugged road, on the right side, there is a cairn and a primitive sign marking the start of the Swan Creek Trail.

  • Follow this trail on old, very overgrown logging road for approx. 1 km to end of clear cut.
    NOTE: The trail is hardest to follow here because of very thick alder. Keep your eyes on the ground so as not to lose the trail.

  • The most tedious part of the trail is now behind you. For the next several km the trail follows closely the S bank of Swan Creek (less than 100 m from the creek), through mature forest and across avalanche slopes. At one point on this stretch, you have to cross one nasty avalanche debris pile that spans the creek. (Do not cross to the N side of the creek, always stay on the S side).

  • Eventually, the trail climbs steeply up through the forest away from the creek.

  • The trail is generally easy to follow if you keep your eyes open for cairns, flagging, and the trail bed.

  • Cross the second avalanche debris pile.

  • Past this debris pile, there is a good creek to get water from.

  • Eventually, the trail leads up on to a long, lateral moraine, high above the Granite Glacier.

  • The hut is approx. 1 km beyond where the trail leaves the lateral moraine. Congratulations! You have done it!

NOTE: Bring some flagging tape, machete or pruning shears to help keep the trail from disappearing, especially on the old, overgrown logging road where the bush is worst.

Hiking time to the Hut: Plan on 6 8.5 hours going up.

Kinbasket Lake Logging Road:
The road is generally good and can be driven on with non 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Watch out for logging trucks!!!

Pictures - Swan Creek Trail and Fairy Meadows Hut area

Swan Creek Trail sign on the old logging road

Hiking on the old logging road

Section of the trail through mature forest

The first major obstacle: avalanche debris pile

Gaining the lateral moraine

On the lateral moraine, Granite Glacier to the right

Location of the Fairy Meadows Hut

Above Fairy Meadows Hut, towards Friendship Col

Hiking above the hut, Granite Glacier in the background

Evening at the hut

Descending into Swan Creek

A tricky spot on the Swan Creek Trail

All photos: Jacob and Karin Herrero, 2004

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