ATV & Dirt Biking
Outdoor Vehicles is a great way to get around and see some remote terrain. The mountain ranges around both Sandon and Cody offer numerous off-road trails for you to explore the beauty of the mountains and the old mining sites from the late 1800s.
Trails in "The Valley of the ghosts"
Eagleview: This is a branch off the Sandon to Retallack trail, heading up just before the snowmobile cabin. A hand-written sign was marked “Eagleview”, but it was lying against the bank and may not be there when you visit. The road winds its way up one of the mountains and very quickly gains in elevation. Some sections are steep. You can ride up to the 2,191-metre point, but then encounter a 60-degree straight climb up to the top. Do not attempt to ride this last section as it is all loose shale and is very difficult to even hike up, and if you roll your quad it’s likely a non-survivable accident. But do hike up to the top (2,203 metres), as it is carpeted with alpine wildflowers and provides a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.
Idaho Peak Road: This is an unmaintained 12-km road starting at the ghost town of Sandon and winding up passed old mines to two parking areas. Idaho Peak (2,280m) is approximately 2 kms from the parking areas (hiking only). There is an unrestricted 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains (elevation gain: 146m). There is a fire lookout at the top, easily visible from the surrounding areas. Idaho Peak is well-known for its wildflowers, and is a popular destination for hikers.
Payne Road: Payne Road starts right across Carpenter Creek from the ghost town of Sandon, and passes through what was formerly the Sunnyside area of Sandon (the high-end residences that received sunlight earlier in the season). It is marked as a “trail” at the start of the road, complete with a hiking guide, but in reality it is a logging road and the logging road radio frequency is posted. The “trail” follows the old K&S Railway bed, but take the logging road that leads up the mountain. Payne Mine’s No. 8 Portal is a great place for taking a break and cooling down, as cold air constantly blows out from the opening. There are numerous ATV trails that switchback up to other Payne Mine . These are steep, high-altitude trails.
Sandon to Retallack: The overgrown route leading from the ghost town of Sandon to the ghost town of Retallack is a steep climb; it passes through Cody then switchbacks high up the mountain above Sandon, and leads to several abandoned mines. The switchbacks are tight; some are 3-point turns with a 4×4 vehicle. The road passes next to a small glacier near the top (2,214m), and starts winding down into the next valley towards Retallack. At the top of the trail, there are several paths to explore, and you can see Sandon far below.