Backpack - Stein River Canyon & Stein Valley


Backpack - Stein River Canyon & Stein Valley

CANCELED 7/17 DUE TO BORDER/PARK CLOSURE. Phase 3 (home county) & Phase 3-4 (BC destination). Scenic river canyon with summer wildflowers, early fall color and mushrooms, pictograph sites, birds and more.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy/Moderate, Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 20.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 2,400 ft

Lytton Esso 7:30am


Leader not accepting new permission requests (including waitlist) while park closed per BC provincial order and international border crossing is closed, Require WA & BC COVID-19 reopening phase 3 or higher, park and borders open, and end of self-isolation requirement in BC.

6/1 STEIN valley Nlaka'Pamux provincial park closed UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, DUE TO BC Provincial  See

IMPORTANT NOTE:   US/Canada border crossings temporary closure extended for 30 days (to 7/21) to non-essential travel (ie recreation & tourism) due to COVID-19.    If border/park closures or self-isolation requirement extended to 8/21 or later, backpack will be canceled and rescheduled in  2021 (May or Sept/Oct).

Registration open to Mountaineers members only, with 2-3day moderate Mountaineers backpacking experience.  Minimum 3 persons.

Before  requesting leader permission, be sure to review all trip details (leader notes, route/place info, links) to ensure your interests and qualifications are compatible with trip expectations.

* Leader permission required (use leader permission link) for leader review and approval, prior to registration - your complete request will include 2-3+ day moderate Mountaineers backpacking experience (past 2 years), carpooling/transportation needs, passport expiration date, and why you're interested in the Stein backpack.  Carpooling discouraged during COVID-19.  Leader unable to review or approve incomplete permission requests without above info.     

Experience the natural beauty, rock art, captivating spirit and power of the Stein River canyon! You can usually count on a dry or mostly dry backpack here, as the lower and middle valleys are situated in the rain shadow (rarely rains, except in winter).

Pace leisurely to moderate, paced with brief stops for photo opportunities and for enjoyment of nature. If you're seeking a faster pace or prefer a different objective than photography/nature enjoyment, this is not the trip for you.

Motel/camp accommodations recommended at Skihist Provincial Park (just N of Lytton), Canyon RV Park/motel near Boston Bar, or Totem motel in Lytton for evening prior to backpack.   Skihist Provincial Park info:

Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park is a large provincial park (similar in size to Rainier), without requirements for backcountry camp reservations, fees, permits.

 Lower Stein Valley Trail description:                                                                                                                                    

Latest trail report:

The suspension bridge crosses the Stein River at about 7 miles, allowing access again to the Middle Stein valley and extended backpacking into remote sub-alpine/alpine upper Stein from the eastern trailhead.

On day 1, we'll backpack 5-7 miles along/above the Stein River, between trailhead and basecamp in a Lower Stein Canyon camp (Teepee or Earl's Cabin camp).  Camps have bearproof food storage, pit toilets and nearby water source.  We'll do a day hike up to 10 miles RT on Sunday from our basecamp, along more pictograph sites and the scenic Lower Stein into the Middle Stein valley.

In addition to 10 essentials required, strongly recommend following:  trek poles, bear spray. 

Leader will have copies of topo map for participants.

Drive time from Everett, approx 3-3/4 hrs.

Background on Stein pictographs: (Leader will bring excerpts for those interested in pictograph interpretations).

NOTE:  Stein Valley was submitted into UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination process in April 2018.   For more info:



Stein River Canyon & Stein Valley

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports