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Beattie-White Queen Loop

Mount Beattie and White Queen have individual trails leading to their respective summits… but you can also hike a loop connecting the two! And the best part of the loop is the connection trail leads through a patch of wildflower meadow in the summer and a huge golden larch stand in the fall.

Summary
Trailhead: Whitewater Ski Hill Road
Distance, round trip: 12.3km
Elevation: +680m
Season: late June to late September
Difficulty:  Moderate

Trailhead and Driving Directions

Drive 6.9km up Whitewater Ski Hill Road to park at Hummingbird Pass (before the main ski resort area). The road will widen with a large pull-out on the left for parking.

Heading down to the kiosk

Hike down the road to view the summer kiosk with the trail map for White Queen. The extension to Beattie isn’t marked on this map, but the first half of the hike follows the same route.

Up the Humming Bird Mine Road

From the parking spot, walk down the road, past the winter kiosk, across the bridge, and continue on as the road slowly ascends. After 0.8km, reach a junction where the road is signed “Cat’s Paw”, and switchback left away from the main road to keep ascending. At 1.4km, the road will switchback right as it climbs higher and can become overgrown as it goes on.

Hiking through fall colours in late September

By 2.2km, the road fades away into hiking trail, contouring above Hummingbird Pass and then curving East. Pass the signed Friendship Tree at 2.6km.

At 2.7km, reach a signed junction and stay left to head to Mount Beattie (right goes to White Queen). Shortly after, you’ll cross a creek and then slow down as you’re passing by the old Hummingbird Mine. You’ll see the tailing pile to the right of the trail (across the creek) and then look on either side of the path for rusted artefacts. On your left is a hill and you can explore off-trail to find the footprint of old cabins, with a stove, kettle, and bedsprings rusted.

To Mount Beattie

The trail ascends at a gentle grade through the forest, winding through huckleberry bushes and crossing open meadows. In late August, the berries are ripe and it’s a good idea to call for bears! The trail is well marked with a beaten path and clipped shrubbery.

Hiking through open grassy meadows in September

After 4.5km, reach a flagged junction. Heading right will ascend 0.1km to Beattie’s true summit and the junction to White Queen. Left heads to North Beattie for another option.

Connector Trail

From Beattie’s summit, follow the connector trail South towards White Queen. The trail is well marked with flags, cairns, cut logs, and boot-beaten path. Initially you’ll descend steep rocky bluffs before the trail continues downward to the saddle. Views across Five Mile Basin are on the left.

Looking ahead to White Queen. crowned with larches on a clear day

After 5.6km, reach the saddle between the peaks – a level area with a small pond to the left.

Now the ascent to White Queen begins in earnest! You’ll gain about 230m of elevation as the trail climbs rolling bluffs and ascends through the forest. Sections are steep, making this route preferable on the ascent. Many locals snowshoe this route in winter, but there is avalanche terrain on the backside of White Queen, so you need to be familiar with the area with avalanche training and equipment.

By 6.4km, you’re getting close to the summit – the trail levels to wind through meadow full of flowers in July. In September, we were surrounded by golden larches. This larch forest is the highlight of the trip and a good reason to hike the loop!

The trail ascends along the edge of a rockslide with steep footing, and then finally at 7km – White Queen Summit!

White Queen Summit

White Queen is a good lunch spot because it offers the best view, looking straight over to Ymir Bowl with panoramas in every direction. You’ll also find an excellent collection of larches in the fall.

View from White Queen’s summit, looking at Ymir Peak
Descending the White Queen West Ridge trail

Descend the White Queen – West Ridge Trail to return – this trail descends 2.5km back to the Hummingbird Mine junction, loosing about 400m elevation. But it’s well built and manages the grade well. You’ll enjoy views across to Evening Ridge on the way down.

From the Hummingbird Mine junction, turn left back to the road and down the final 2.5km to the trailhead.

Hiking back down the road with Ymir Peak in the distance
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