Van Eps Pass +Loop - July 2014

Van Eps Pass and Loop is a half day side spur which leads off of the Fortune Creek trail about halfway to Gallagher Head Lake. Its highlighted brown on the map. To reach the trail means not going on the lower part of the trail and instead taking the easier access lane, or else backtracking a bit once you leave the creekside trail up to the main road.

Trail Details

The early part of the trail zigzags across the hillside quite a bit as you wind your way up, with many stream crossings. Reaching the loop part, it becomes very rocky with many large rocks all over the trail which makes the going much slower. As you near the top of the pass it gets much smoother and easier becoming a mostly dirt trail.

Clearances were very good but the foliage on the lower part of this trail was quite dense and frequently rubbing up on the jeep. Although there were some tracks, this did not appear to be a very frequently used trail.

On the northeastmost part of the loop is an interesting scenic spot with a couple of really large rocks jutting up from the ground, which looks a lot like a small stonehenge. It was a little creepy.

The top of the pass is a very scenic area and we stopped for lunch and quite a bit of photos here. The view is nearly 360. Since it was getting late on a Sunday we didnt continue the short remaining distance to the end.


There are a couple of good flat campsites along the way, and a very nice big flat spot with great views and a fire ring at the end. Just like Gallagher head lake, all are primitive, so all the same conditions apply: bring deoderant, poop bucket, windbreaker and your warm sleeping bag too. Because of the many stream crossings, almost every campsite along this trail will have some water nearby and sometimes even a small waterfall or two, except once you near the top.

This was a very wooded area and we didnt see many big critters, although there were plenty of chipmunks and bugs to go around.


The camping area at the top is pretty and scenic but lacks water and is somewhat open. Bring extra water and some sunscreen if camping here.