An amazing ridge-line adventure, full of mining history and mountain tops! The Texas-Reco ridge is strung between peaks with wide views all around. Come in late July for the wildflowers!
Trailhead & Driving Directions
Drive along Highway 31A between New Denver and Kaslo. Turn off at the sign for Retallack Lodge (28.6 km from downtown Kaslo), immediately cross a bridge and reset your odometer. To the right is the parking for the Retallack Old Growth Cedars Trail.
You’ll quickly reach another junction where left descends to Retallack Lodge and right ascends for the hike. It is recommended that day users check in at Retallack Lodge before driving up. This will allow the lodge to:
- inform you where they are operating that day and provide tips to avoid mountain biking groups.
- radio up that there are hikers coming up Stenson Creek FSR. This is a narrow road with blind corners. You don’t want to meet a logging truck or one of the massive shuttle vehicles that the lodge uses for bikers.
- give you the latest info about bears in the area.
- You can also call the lodge ahead of time to ask whether they are offering heli-biking on a given day. Avoiding days with the helicopter will provide a more serene hiking experience!
At 0.9km, fork right onto Stenson Creek FSR. Continue up through the forest, ignoring a right fork down to a recent clearcut around 1.2km. At 3.9km, reach a prominent junction and fork right. You’re now ascending up towards the Texas-Reco Ridge ahead in the distance. At 5.5km, stay left on the main road. At 6.9km, cross a bridge and begin to switchback higher. At 8.7km, stay right on the main road.
Park on the side of the road at 9km. You’ll see a series of gravel ramps ahead with the distant Texas-Reco ridge beyond. Driving further is not recommended unless you have low range gears, a powerful engine, and nerves of steel.
This post and the GPS track describes the route to West Texas Peak. Info about summiting Texas Peak and Reco Mountain is provided at the bottom.
Hike up the Road
The first 2km of this hike are up the road! Quickly reach a road junction once you start hiking and take a hard left. Looking ahead, you’ll see why you parked the car – the road ascends steeply towards the ridge!
You’ll hike the road up through the forest and then come out along a series of avalanche paths. Look back to see the peaks of Mount Brennan and Whitewater Mountain prominent across the valley.
At 1.8km, pass a creeklet with the remains of a miner’s cabin and an old mineshaft. The ridges in this area are littered with old miner’s claims and trails – they were part of the Silvery Slocan boom that started the nearby City of Sandon.
You’re now getting closer to the ridge. The road does a tight switchback and then at 2.1km reach a series of cairns and flagging tape on either side of the trail. This marks the shortcut to Texas Peak – look for a trail leaving the road on the left. If you miss this junction, no worries! Staying on the road will still lead you up to the ridge closer to Reco Peak.
Walking the Ridge
Once you attain the ridge, stop and look around. You have options! A trail runs all along the top of the ridge, with a wide cat-track path on either side. Turning right will lead you to Mount Reco and left will go towards the Texas Peaks.
To hike to the Texans, go left. The rocky summit of West Texas Peak is visible beyond a green peaklet on the ridge that we’ll refer to as “the grassy highpoint”.
At 3.7km the trail reaches a wide meadow and fizzles out a bit. Take a sharp left and look for a cairn – the trail appears again briefly, leading you up towards the grassy highpoint and then abruptly ends. It’s off-trail now!
Pick your way up the steep grassy slope, inventing your own switchbacks to manage the grade. It’s 150m of elevation up! You’ll see lots of bear diggings here – a good reminder to call out.
At last, reach the top of the grassy highpoint and gaze out at the Texan Peaks! The true Texas peak is to the left, just slightly higher than West Texas Peak on the right.
Up to West Texas Peak
A mountain bike trail starts on top of the ridge (they get dropped off by helicopters!). Follow it to West Texas Peak.
The mountain bike trail is excellent until the very last 40m up to the West Texas Peak summit. The trail steepens into an almost vertical chute full of loose sandy-slippery rock suitable for mountain bikers with a death wish. Ascend carefully or pick a better route on the boulders to the left.
Reach the summit of West Texas Peak after 5.2km. You’re now at 2461m elevation and an impressive alpine panorama surrounds you. Look for familiar landmarks and hiking spots. Mount Brennan, Whitewater Canyon, and Mount Jardine to the North. Mount Loki to the South-East. The white folds of Kokanee Glacier to the South. And Idaho Peak and the Vahallas to the West.
Option to Scramble Texas Peak
If you wish to summit the true Texas Peak and sign the summit cain, you must scramble down the ridge beyond. The true summit is only 30m higher… is it worth it? You decide! It’s 0.6km away with about 100m of elevation lost and 130m of elevation regained.
Option to Summit Mount Reco
Mount Reco is a more enticing bonus summit – it has a trail all the way up and is the higher of the peaks at 2525m!
To hike Mount Reco, retrace your steps all the way back along the ridge. Go past the cairns that mark the Texas Peak ‘shortcut’ trail and stay on the ridge until your reach the road again. Pick up a trail heading up to Reco. It will wrap around the ridge near the top rather than going straight up. From the road to the top of Reco, you’ll go 2.4km round trip and gain 291m elevation.
Retrace your steps back down the road to head home!