Monday, July 14, 2014

Hellivator Trail to Dead Horse Creek Gold Mine: Finally Got Through

Long time no post!  It's been so long since I updated this blog that I've forgotten how to use this editor.  Under increasingly heavy demands from my readership of at least three people, I've decided it's time to post a few entries again.  I intend on keeping them fairly brief, but will continue to break down routes briefly on numbered maps.

Took a fantastic ride yesterday up to the Mt. Decosmos summit with Paul.  We took the yet untried technical connector trail that joins the powerlines trail to the network of trails in the Nanaimo Lakes area.  Here's the ride in brief:

1.  Entered on Phantom Rd.  New blockages attempted by Timberwest only lasted a few days here.  A small gap on the right of the fence will allow bikes in.  Quads are screwed at this gate for a while.
2.  Wrong turn left.  Paul's fault!
3.  Followed beaten trail through the Lanzville Foothills.
4.  Joined main logging roads at the Bonnell Main and proceeded towards Kidney and Round Lakes.
5.  Passed blocked entrance (left) to "tank traps."  Nice MASSIVE fire hazard TimberWest!  What a stupid thing to do!  Ridiculous overkill by cutting down all of the "early succession" trees to block the already blocked trail.  What idiots you are!
6.  Left turn to Boomerang Lk.
7.  Right turn right after Boomerang.
8.  Right turn to follow power line trail.
9.  Left off of the power lines trail to meet with connector trail leading to Nanaimo Lakes area.
10.  "The Hellivator" technical trail joining power lines area to Nanaimo Lakes roads.  This is an essential local trail to know if you want to get out to the Nanaimo Lakes area easily.  (What's the real name folks?  This trail has a fairly well-known name, although "Hellivator" is perfect if your front tire is as worn as mine.  ;)
11.  Mt. Decosmos trails.  It's fantastic up there and I highly recommend taking some time to get up there for the excellent views of Mt. Arrowsmith and Mt. Moriarty etc.
12.  The second summit trail at 1256m.  I want to return and see if the narrow trails appearing on Google's 2005 maps continue towards the summit as they appear to do.  Looks like a good hike.  The views of First and Second Lakes from the top of Decosmos must be fantastic.  Must try this!
Comparing mountain heights to those in Old Blighty, Decosmos is 171m (561ft) higher than Wales' Snowdon and 88m (289ft) smaller than Scotland's Ben Nevis.  
13.  Revisited Deadhorse Creek Gold Mine.  Fantastic spot to look around.  If you go there, bring a decent flashlight.  Right at the end of this trail, you'll need to climb down a small cliff using the ropes attached to trees.  The mine entrance is located off to your right once you climb down. 
14.  Attempted to leave through the Second Lake yellow gate.  Locked of course... Wouldn't want people to enjoy the local lakes.  Turned around.
15.  Retraced a direct route to the tank traps work around.  This route connects you half way along the older tank traps route that was recently blocked by TimberWest.  It's slightly more technical than the old traps, but pretty easy to get through.
16.  Black Bear Pub for copious amounts of cold beer.  Highly recommended!

The route shown with colour coded elevation.
The summit, (pink on previous shot), showing trail on 2005 Google Earth map that continues from where we stopped.  Must go back and find this. 
Google Earth flyover of the route

100x animated view of this ride.  Best viewed if you click on the YouTube icon below the video once it's running and then up the settings to 720p and full screen.  Includes a few stops and walkabouts, so if you're not interested in looking at the track in further detail this is a total yawn fest. :) 

Panoramic view towards Mt Arrowsmith and Mt Moriarty

Walking the "Hellivator" before taking the bikes up

Beginning section up the creek bed

A few roots to navigate

The top - Mt. DeCosmos trail network

Looking out towards Mt. Moriarty

Fantastic views - Worth the ride just for that

Slope and short cliff climb down to the mine

Mine entrance

Creek along side the mine entrance

Wikilocs track of this ride is available here.

Further reference to the Deadhorse Creek Gold Mine on this Oct, 2012 post

Great photos and a video of "The Hellivator" trail from Paul who accompanied me on this ride can be seen on his blog.  Click HERE!  (Be warned:  This blog sometimes contains dainty photos of blossoms and even butterflies... phffff).


  1. Nice post, Andy...bout time!

  2. Great post, its good to see you back blogging about the back roads. I am a hiker/SUV adventurer and i have been meaning to plan a hike up DeCosmos, those routes you took with the bikes look easily doable, now just where to start hiking with blocked gates. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Wow, my readership is right back up to four or five already! lol Thx Chris and Ron.... I'll try to keep it up this time around.

  4. Hey names jesse me my old man have been lookin at your blog for years and glad to see your back riding and posting.the info you provide has been a huge help in finding places my dad hasint been to in 25 years and new spots aswell all about the hiddin fishing spots and hdden gems ride and camp anynchance we can keep up the good work!

    1. Hey jwylie! Thanks for the compliments! We'll try and keep posting more regularly this time around. My friend Paul has started to post on this site too, so there's a better chance to see an updated post now. Glad to hear this has helped you find some old haunts out there.

  5. Nice work! I'll have to check this one out myself. Nice to see there's a way through.

    1. Thanks Ross. It's a really handy little trail for getting into those roads on the DeCosmos side. It's going to get quite a lot more challenging though as the rainy season begins. Lots of quad traffic though there judging by the exposed roots and man-made log jams. Fantastic views and well worth the extra wear on the clutch though! Let us know if you ever give it a try.

  6. Amazing blog. This post is looking interesting. Thanks for sharing this with us RadixReviewBlog

  7. Can't wait to try this root out, just Wish I would of found this blog sooner.

  8. Thanks for the detail, I’ll have to check it out one day.


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