Access to sites and trails

Access to recreation sites and trails is often along unpaved Forest Service roads or resource roads.

In B.C., there are many types of resource roads which are defined as roads found on Crown land that are not part of the provincial highway and byway system. Public roads and highways (administered by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure), municipal roads, rural side roads and roads on private or federally managed land are not considered resource roads.

Roads to more popular recreation sites often receive some surface maintenance, such as grading and brushing. However, access roads may be rough, not all hazards are signed, and road conditions can change at any time.

Sharing resource roads with industrial vehicles

Roads to recreation sites are often used by industrial traffic such as logging trucks.

Most resource roads are "radio assist" and use of mobile radios for communicating location and direction is not mandatory. Always drive safely according to road and weather conditions and if using a mobile radio, do not solely rely on mobile radio communications recognizing that not everyone has or is using a mobile radio. Where posted, road users using mobile radios must use the posted channels and call protocols.

Always yield to industrial traffic on resource roads. Watch the video Sled Golden produced with Canfor on winter road safety guidelines.

Learn more about resource road radio communications.

Changing road conditions

Drive safely according to the road conditions and weather at all times. Back country roads may present rough and wet conditions with soft muddy sections. Where avalanche paths exist the roads may be partially covered with residual debris. As always, caution is advised on all roads and back-country travelers should be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions and stream flows which may affect road conditions. 

Some helpful driving guidelines:

  • Use caution, courtesy, and concentration
  • Drive to road conditions
  • Stop in safe, visible locations. Use pull-outs
  • Yield to oncoming traffic at single lane bridges
  • Use a mobile radio

Additional road safety tips are available in the resource road user safety guide (PDF, 1.28MB).

Learn more about resource road safety information, including road closures and information for driving on Forest Service Roads.

"Wilderness" roads

Roads to more remote recreation sites and trails are generally maintained to a 'wilderness standard,' which means they can be quite rugged in sections. Motorists should expect rough surfaces, potholes and cross-ditches. Not all vehicles are suitable for wilderness-standard roads, especially in poor weather conditions.