We explored the hills above McQueen Lake and Pass Lake on a grey and stormy day. Using high clearance vehicles we climbed on the Dairy Creek Branch Roads to a spot at 1223m and parked. We followed skid tracks, motorcycle trails and also did some bushwhacking. We found an easier route on the way out.
The douglas fir forest had some south-facing open spots, lots of deadfall, and some wetter zones. Fairyslippers (calypso orchids) bloomed in clusters on the hillside.
At the top of the hill were two ponds, with the ice not-long-gone.
Thunder broke right over our heads so we worked our way back down. The rain started soon after we were safe in our trucks. From our explorations we could see that there are numerous possibilities for hiking or snowshoeing, with informal trails linking to Noble-Dairy Creek area, Pass Lake, and the Tranquille Plateau. This is remote and rugged terrain though, so good planning and preparation is needed. Here is a map to some of the trails – Noble_ORV_Trails