Skoatl Point is a large volcanic feature on the Bonaparte Plateau. The hike is 10km return, much of it through the forest on a single track trail. The final section is a steep scramble up basalt ledges to the top. The view from the top extends over much of Bonaparte Provincial Park.
The road network is a bit difficult to navigate. Directions are found in the articles at the bottom of the page. It is becoming quite grown in over the years, but it only has one challenging spot, a deep water bar (note to self – bring a shovel to reduce the mound next time). From the signed trailhead, the single track trail winds through spruce forest over to Adler Lake, then climbs through a wet zone into an old burn on the slopes of Skoatl Point.
The trail goes straight to the southern slopes of Skoatl where the basalt columns are stacked up to the top of this old volcano.
The trail crosses some talus slopes and winds around to the east side. From there it is a steep scramble to the top. This is a good spot for lunch while enjoying the wide views. Dagger Lake lies north of Skoatl.
Many other lakes can also be seen from the top of Skoatl – Willowgrouse, Mollimarn, Estelle, Tuwut, Couture, Lloyd, and Hiakwah. Fishing trails link many of the lakes of the Bonaparte so there are many days of exploration possible, but good navigation skills would be needed. We enjoy hiking the Bonaparte, but some words of caution are offered. The lands around the park are active logging areas so it is better to carry a two-way radio (RR4 channel). Many of the sideroads are unmarked and some are rough. Deadfall is common so carry an axe, a saw, or a chainsaw if venturing off the main FSRs. Bring a good map and compass or a GPS. The best months are July, August, and September to avoid the wet areas and the mosquitoes. Fall colors make mid-September to mid October a good time to hike. It was 3 degrees at 5000 ft+ for the start of our hike on September 16 so expect some frost or snow in the fall.
Several other site articles have some more detail for hikers wanting to go to Skoatl Point: