Houston Hikers

Your guide to outdoor recreation adventures near Houston, British Columbia, Canada

  • Watershed: Upper Bulkley
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Length: 2.9 km
  • Round Trip: 3.5-4 hours
  • Distance from Houston: 10-30km
  • Cell Coverage: Yes
  • WARNING: Due to the nature of the cliff edge, these trails may not be suitable for pets or small children.


  • Cell Service


Due to the 2014 wildfire, please use extreme caution on the Chute Trail (see map)

This is a stunning summit reached by an easy trail. China Nose is a remnant of a massive lava flow, rising gently from a forested south end to a shocking and exciting 400-metre cliff at its north end.

The trailhead is about 45 minutes from Houston, and the three-km hike up takes about an hour and a half, only climbing 160 m in elevation.

Sometimes the name is spelled “China Nose,” but in other places as “China Knows.” The BC Geographical Names Database recognizes both, with the latter explained by the enigmatic story that “the China[man] knows” where the gold is up there. For my money, though, the most descriptive name is the Wet’suwet’en: Tse Zhul, or “rock neck.” Its summit is at 1420 m elevation, just at treeline for this area.

Yellowstone National Park in the United States is famous for having been built by volcanic activity in the Eocene epoch, 50 million years ago, when lava and watery mixtures of ash and rock smothered the ground in volcanic breccias, agglomerates, basalt and tuff, hundreds of metres thick. We have the same thing here in north-central BC, where we call the result the Nechako Plateau—that vast, tumbled area between Houston and Prince George. At China Nose, a fat layer of those mixed flows lies exposed like a slice of cake.

Some content Provided by Morgan Hite & Northword Magazine

Main Trail:
Length - 2.9 km
Difficulty - Moderate

Chute Trail:
Length - 1.2 km
Difficulty - Advanced

DIRECTIONS: (approx 27.5km from Houston)

  1. Drive East of town on Highway 16 for 8.6 km until you reach McKilligan Rd on your right.
  2. Travel 3 km and follow the signs to the Knockholt Landfill.
  3. Drive past the landfill, the road now turns into the Heading Creek FSR, the kilometre signs start from here.
  4. Travel for 12.5km and turn left onto the Heading East FSR.
  5. The Chute Route is on your left at approx 13.2km
  6. The Main Trail is located on your left at approx 16km