Gray Creek Pass: Open (July 28, 2023)
The pass is an unpaved (gravel) road from Gray Creek to Kimberly, B.C. It is 53.6km (33.3 miles) long. We recommend traveling in a 4×4 vehicle with a high clearance (no lowriders). This is not a shortcut, it is a scenic route so be prepared to drive slow and take pictures.
Update June 20, 2023
Though Gray Creek Pass is open as of writing this, it will be CLOSED from July 4 to July 28. The pass will be closed at 0 km on the West (Gray Creek) side and at Redding Creek on the East side. Another project this fall will have the road closed to fix a retaining wall as well, with details to come.
Update September 19, 2022
The Gray Creek Pass is currently closed due to the replacement of the Baribeau Creek bridge. You can still travel up to Oliver Lake and beyond but you will not be able to get all the way through at this time.
Update July 12, 2022
Last Saturday, July 9th, a pick-up made it through across the top of Gray Creek Pass – that puts this year’s opening about a month later than last year.
There is still snow on the road at the top of the pass as of writing this, so if you are in a car you may still not make it and will want to plan to go around for another week or so, or at least be prepared to have to turn around if the snow is still too much for your particular vehicle. Drive safely!
Update Nov 7, 2021
Gray Creek Pass is closed for the winter (unless you’re driving a snowmobile)! The pass opens when the snow is melted so the opening date changes every year, typically sometime near the beginning of July. Call Gray Creek Store at 250-227-9315 if you’re wondering if it’s open yet.
Update July 16, 2021
The Gray Creek Pass is open.
Be prepared for smoke from the fires as well as most of the spur roads are closed due to the hot, dry conditions.
Update June 13, 2021
A snowy pass road (you’re won’t be driving over just yet) with Thanksgiving Mountain in the background. Thanks to Terry Turner for the picture and report!
Update July 20, 2020
Gray Creek Pass is open for the season! The washed out parts are newly filled and one pass goer says it’s loose and rocky and did not really recommend cars going over the washouts since they’re so low to the road, but bikes, motorcycles and trucks should be ok. Use caution.
Update June 22, 2020
The latest update from Tom: the summit may be clear enough for traffic in the next 4 – 5 days or so. Unfortunately as of today BC Forestry is still saying it’ll be about 3 weeks before a temporary bridge can be built over the Redding Creek washout. So the pass likely won’t be passable until at least July 15th.
Update July 7, 2020
Gray Creek Pass is now open, but BEWARE! The parts that were washed out are newly filled and very soft and lumpy. One guy who went over did not recommend taking cars over the washouts, but motorbikes, trucks and bicycles should be ok. Use caution.
Update June 16, 2020
Important Update – Very large culvert washed out on Redding creek , about 150 ft wide and 50 ft deep. initial estimates are 2-3 weeks before a temporary bridge can be installed. Also there is still a couple feet of snow at the top of the pass.
Update March 15, 2020
Still closed. Opening date is typically end of June or early July.
Update June 16, 2019
Vehicles have made it over the Gray Creek Pass. It was reported three says ago, so the pass was officially open June 13th this year! Drive carefully and remember, due to the road and it’s conditions this is more of a scenic route than a shortcut. If you have any first-hand information on the Pass’ condition please give Gray Creek Store a call at 250 227 9315, email firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook.
Update May 30, 2019
Pass is not clear yet, but there’s hope. Lovely alpine flowers about 12 km up the pass on the Gray Creek side! The pass is usually open some time between end of June and early July.
Update October 29, 2018
The Gray Creek Pass received fresh snowfall on October 28, 2018 virtually ending wheeled traffic and opening the snow machine season.
An early October snow closed the road for a few days but bright sunshine soon cleared the route enabling many to enjoy the golden larches brightening the slopes until October 28.
These are some of the last pictures taken this season on October 18th. Thank You Clayton S!
Latest Update! September 25, 2018
The Gray Creek Pass is open once again!
Two gentlemen came over yesterday and told us that it was Beautiful and Dry!
UPDATE! AUGUST 13, 2018
Due to the current forest fire situation, the Gray Creek Pass is CLOSED.
Please watch for Updates as the situation changes.
Gray Creek Pass Update June 25, 2018
Good News to Everyone!
The Gray Creek Pass Is Open!
We received word late Friday that the signs would be turned on Monday, June 25, 2018!
Travel Safe and don’t forget to check out Oliver Lake!
Gray Creek Pass Update June 11, 2018
Two days of a heavy snowfall have delayed what appeared to be an early opening of the Gray Creek Pass.
Last week Forestry reported that the snow was melting well with all of May’s and early Junes sunshine and there were no slides or subsidences on the driveable portions, on our side almost to Oliver Lake Recreation site.
June 30, 2018 will see the start of the BC Epic 1000 Cycle Race leaving Merritt BC for the tough 1030 kilometre ride to Fernie BC
This is the third year of this race and over 60 are expected for the Grand Depart from Merritt. It may be possible for the front runners to reach Gray Creek late on July 1st.
You can follow individual runners on trackleaders.com
Gray Creek Pass Update October 26, 2017
The Gray Creek Pass is now Closed for the Season!
Tom says it’s time to get your snowmobile ready for the winter rides up the Pass!
Gray Creek Pass Update October 2, 2017
The Gray Creek Pass is open until the snow moves in!
Completion of the new concrete bridge at Baker Creek is now complete. This new bridge was completed on Sept 29, 2017 which has meant that the Pass was once again open for those wanting to enjoy the fall scenery!
Gray Creek Pass Update June 23, 2017
The pass is open for the season! Crews just removed 3 feet of snow that was still at the top of the pass, so the road might be slick and mucky at the top. Also be aware that the road is quite rocky on the Kimberly side.
*Gray Creek Pass Update Nov 11, 2016
The Gray Creek Pass is now Closed!
Rain at lower elevations results in snow at higher ones. Please be aware and read all signage when looking to travel the pass.
*Gray Creek Pass Update : June 21, 2016
The Pass is now Open!
Tina Zimmerman emailed Tom to say that she had opened up the Gray Creek side and turned the sign around. The very top patch still has snow that would be difficult for small low clearance cars to get through for the next couple of days but that should melt fairly quickly. The grading on the Gray Creek Side side should be finished up today as well.
*Gray Creek Pass Update : June 20, 2016
Thomas Mehren says that their group of 9 managed to make it over from Gray Creek to Kimberly. There was about 50 meters of snow at the top and several of the party pushed their bikes through but they did make it!
On June 15th, Gary Jenzen made it to a couple of swithbacks from the top on the St Mary’s side. He sent us these pictures too!
*Gray Creek Pass Update : May 19, 2016
On May 8th and 9th Felix-Antione and his dog Coco took 2 days to walk over and enjoy the spectacular scenery as they traversed the old powerline road.
2015 is the 25th Anniversary of the official opening of the Pass. Do you have photos you can share? Send ’em to email@example.com!
Also: The pass is now officially part of the Trans Canada Trail – click here to check out the Trans Canada Trail – Gray Creek Pass web page!
*Gray Creek pass Update: June 10, 2015
There be Boulders! And snow even with this early summer heat.
Gray Creek Pass Update: May 7, 2015
Ken from Cedar Grove Campground had a hiker who just went over the pass. The hiker says there’s still 2 meters of snow at the top (he needed snow shoes) and there are 2 boulders blocking the road on the west side of the pass.
Gray Creek Pass Update: February 9, 2015
Did you know This is the season when you can see pink snow at higher elevations – an algae activated by the sun.
Gray Creek Pass Update:
November 13, 2014 – Local travellers report
The snow was about a foot and a half when we were up at the summit!
October 31, 2014 – Local travellers report
A fellow who stopped in to the store today reported the summit has 2 to 3 inches of snow. He made it through with chains and said it was one of the most beautiful drives he has taken!
September 9, 2014 – Local travellers report
Jim and I were the guys on the BMW R1200 adventure bikes that stopped into talk to you about the Gray Creek Pass yesterday morning. We headed up shortly afterwards and about 3 hours later we were high fiving at Jim’s place in Kimberley. It was a great ride! A bit rough in spots and lots of steep down hill grades where our bikes are especially good at holding a slow speed without braking. We timed the weather perfectly as well. We could smell the rain coming, but it held off until we were enjoying a BBQ a couple of hours after we parked for the night.
Thanks for your helpful information and advise on the Pass. That was another excellent adventure checked off the list.
July 5 ,2014
Local Travelers reported the road was in excellent shape, we went over the Pass to a tributary road 5 kms on the other side, one large boulder on the road, no ice on Oliver Lake, there was a Ptarmigan nesting near the Sphinx Mountain cairn, amazing flowers in the basin
amazing visibility … could even see Fisher Peak
July 2, 2014
We have an official first hand account that Gray Creek Pass is open! No major damage to the road. Drive carefully, take it slow and enjoy the scenic drive. See you at the bottom on the Gray Creek side (you just might need a slushie or something to celebrate the journey)!
June 29, 2014
June 26, 2014 Tom drove to the summit Wed afternoon June 25th. Met a Forestry pick up that had done the same. The road has wintered well – no slides, washboard, potholes or mud. There is snow in the bush at Oliver Lake but tables and camping area bare. Snow just below the summit is about 18″ deep – in the days when this was plowed the road would be open now. Avalanche lilies, yellow violets and white crocus are blooming well near the summit. There were 13 bear poops on the road past the second crossing of the South Fork – they must be feeding on the lush roadside alders. Tom’s guess for opening is July 2 – or sooner if ATVS help the melt by making tracks in the snow.
June 25, 2014 Folks made it to the 17 km mark and then hit snow. From the Gray Creek side just past Oliver Lake..stay tuned!
June 9, 2014 Report from Paul at Kokanee Chalets – made it up to the 16km mark on his motorcycle from the Gray Creek side. Snow on peak 4 km long. Snow depth from 6″ to 14″. Soft road sides – stay to the inside. Thanks for checking.
May 28, 2014 Report from the BC Jeep Club – made it to the 3rd bridge from the Gray Creek Side. GPS blue line shows location.
Oct. 19, 2013 Report from a traveler:
Oct. 4, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery: Pass Pics – Thanks to Terry!
Oct. 3, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery: It is early – but I wouldnt say Oliver Lake is really frozen – looks more like slush ice. It is early for snow and there has been quite a bit more since. Two mororcyclists reported that when they tried the Pass from the Kimberley side yesterday they found at least 6″ of snow and had to turn back. They thanked us for keeping Pass updates on www.graycreekstore.com
Oct. 1, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery: Up at the 5000 foot elevation there is 6″ of snow up to the pass on the Gray Creek side. The ground is not frozen, so it may melt. Tom wonders how soon until the higher elevation larch trees will turn to gold.
Sept 10, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery: I drove to the summit yesterday – road OK after rain. No surface washed away at all. Blowdown destroyed a picnic table at the Oliver Lake site, but other table OK. Huckleberries at summit and Oliver Lake are ripe, but small & scattered. Bushes have changed color.
Aug. 7, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery: I crossed the Pass to the 2nd crossing of Redding Creek. Grading and culvert repair completed on the 18 km from Hwy 3A at Gray Creek to the summit is excellent. Oliver Lake – please take 5 minutes to walk through the trees to this beautiful alpine lake – and 20 minutes to walk all around this gem. Culverts at 27 k have been repaired with stony fill as there is no gravel there. This is the roughest section. Baker Creek Bridge has been re-decked and no longer has a 5 ton limit. Road is ok for 2 wheel drive, but no low clearance vehicles.
July 30, 2013 – Report from Pass Officials: Full CLOSURE Mon, Tue, Wed July 29-31 as indicated below. Aug. 1-6 Grading crew on Gray Creek side. Expect temporary/minor delays. Aug.1 minor work mini excavator – minor delays.
July 23, 2013 – Report from Pass Officials:
There will be temporary delays WED, THUR, FRI July 24-26 at the 13 km mark on the Gray Creek side. FULL CLOSURE MON,TUE,WED July 29-31 at 6.5km on the Gray Creek side. No Access – only walkers and people who can carry their pedal bikes over the construction! Thanks for checking and stay tuned…
July 10, 2013 – Report from Pass Officials: Kimberly side at 6.5 km road narrow. There is a fill failure – stay to inside. At the 12.9 – 13.1 km mark tension cracks in fill – stay to inside. Sorry to disappoint, but currently it is not suitable for trailers or motorhomes until repairs are done which should happen between 1 to 2 weeks. Thanks for checking and stay tuned!!
July 4, 2013 – Forestry has repaired the culverts at 27 km from the Gray Creek side, and the pass is open. Another milestone – the first couple to walk over made it to Kimberly today!
Keep in mind the pass is steep and road conditions can vary so be prepared to take it slow and enjoy the natural beauty. If you’re coming from the St. Mary side turn right on the highway and you’ll find Gray Creek Store almost immediately. Let us know how the pass is doing (and perhaps reward yourself with a slushie or something for all the good driving)!
June 28, 2013 – The snow if off the summit and this morning vehicles are trying to drive through, but a double culvert down the Kimberley side has plugged and washed some road away. Two motorbikes from Gray Creek Side couldn’t make it past. As well, two vehicles were there and unable to cross. Just looking at it, pedal bikes wouldn’t be able to make it over either. This is about 27k from the Gray Creek Side. This has washed out before so it is need of better repair.
June 20, 2013 Melted 1 km past Oliver Lake – reported to have a 60 foot stretch of 4 feet deep snow. With heavy rains the last couple of days, appears there may be a washout at 3km on the Gray Creek Side…stay tuned and thanks for checking!
June 12, 2013 Melted to 16 KM mark. This is just past Oliver Lake. As per pass Engineer Tina, doesn’t look like any major issues for this year! Stay tuned and thanks for checking!
May 26, 2013 – Snow at the 11 km mark which is about 4000 feet! Stay tuned..and thanks for checking.
Report from Pass Officials:
Pass was closed for most of the 2012 year. Excess rain has caused road washouts and unstable banks. Engineers are assessing required work and an application for funding will be made. Contact our MLA and voice your thoughts over the funding and maintenance of the Gray Creek Pass Road!