Posted by Derek on Dec 13, 2016
Height: 2198 feet / 670 m
GPS recorded height: 2264 feet / 690 m
Lat/Lon: N48 21.283 W90 00.793
Line Parent: Tower Mountain
Key Col: N48 20.675 W90 01.146 (1969ft / 600m)
Clean Prominence: 229ft / 70m
Date Summited: July 27, 2016
Carson Creek Peak is the fourth highest summit in Ontario. The peak is the second highest point along a ridge which runs northeast from Tower Mt. The Aldina fire tower still stands at the summit. Carson Creek Peak is the highest offroad accessed peak in Ontario.
There are 2 possible routes to Carson Creek Peak. This trip report outlines the northern route from Boreal Road. For information about the route from the south see my other trip report.
From Thunder Bay, take Hwy 11/17 west and pass through Kakabeka Falls. Immediately past the falls, turn left on 590 and head south, then west along the road. 13.4 km from the intersection with Hwy 11/17, Boreal Road branches to the right, which despite being a gravel road, is wide and well graded. Drive 19 km along Boreal Road and park at an intersection with an overgrown 2-track quad path.
Hike southwest along the 2-track quad path, past a couple of creeks and wetland areas. After hiking for 1.3 km, you will arrive at a fork in the road. Turn left at the fork and follow the path southeast. After crossing a creek/beaver dam, the trail begins to ascend more steeply up to the summit. 3.8 km from Boreal Road, you will arrive at the Aldina Fire Tower.
0.0 km – Departed Trailhead at Boreal Road (3:00 PM)
1.3 km – Turned left at fork (3:20 PM)
3.8 km – Arrived at Summit (Candidates A & B) (4:00 PM)
3.8 km – Departed Tower Summit (4:20 PM)
5.1 km – Arrived at (Candidate C Summit) (5:13 PM)
9.9 km – Arrived back at Boreal Road (6:38 PM)
Note: After documenting my first hike up Carson Creek Peak, I received information describing a simpler route to the peak; a northern route from Boreal Road. As I was coming back to the area, I decided to investigate the new route and to visit 2 other high point candidates in order to confirm the highest point on the peak.
Day 4 of my Western Ontario peakbagging trip. I had met up with Ben Lostracco 2 days prior and together on Day 3, we hiked to the Kenora District High Point(s). We had spent the night sleeping in our respective vans at the rest stop on Hwy 17 at Lodge Lake. Since my camera had died after the first hike on my trip (to Sleeping Giant), Ben and I drove into Thunder Bay so I could purchase a new camera. We had breakfast at a McDonald’s in town and then afterwards I set off to find a camera. This turned out to be an aggravating experience, as it took multiple store visits to find a suitable in-stock replacement.
After finishing my errands in Thunder Bay, I headed out to Kakabeka Falls where I met up with Ben. We drove through town, turned left onto Hwy 590 and then drove 13 km to the turnoff onto Boreal Road. Once on Boreal Road, we followed the wide gravel road for 19 km where we found the start to our hike to Carson Creek Peak — a turnoff onto an overgrown 2-track quad path.
The hoard of blackflies at the trailhead gave us a sense of urgency and we suited up quickly and departed Boreal Road at 3:00 PM. The trail started off level and despite being overgrown with tall grass and alders, it was fairly easy to follow. We crossed a couple of wetlands/creeks along overgrown beaver dams. At the first dam crossing we found some old animal traps laid beside the path. After taking a left turn at a fork, the trail began to ascend more steeply.
We arrived at the fire tower at 4:00 PM. My maps showed a potentially higher contour just northwest of the summit, so we made a short bushwhack to check it out (I missed exploring this on my previous trip). We found the 2nd candidate high point, just 50 meters away, but it was hard to tell which high point was the highest.
I also wanted to check out a 3rd candidate high point south of the fire tower, so we followed the trail south from the summit, treading around bogs and mud traps for about 350 meters, and then bushwhacked for 600 meters along old skidder paths, across a marsh and then through a thick tag alder forest. We found highest point on a large rock, however my GPS indicated that this spot was lower than the other 2 candidate high points.
As there were a lot of mosquitoes at the summits, we didn’t stay long. We returned back to the trailhead via the same route, arriving at our vans at 6:38 PM.
We decided to find a crown land camping spot for the night, so we drove west on Boreal Road, and then turned left onto Marks Lake Road. My maps indicated 2 possible campsites on Marks Lake, both just a short drive off the main road. We stopped at the second of the 2 campsites — a large clearing at the northeast end of the lake. We met a family from Thunder Bay, who had made a day trip out to the campsite. After they headed out, we had the campsite to ourselves, however we could see a large active group of trailers parked on a private beach, just across the lake.
GPS Tracklog (GPX Format):