Stephen H. at the West Knob:
“Sunday’s forecast-as-rainy day ended up being the perfect somewhat-sunny day. Angela, Svetlana, Nuria, Rebecca, Eugene, and Rasham joined me for a satisfying hike on the Whyte Lake, B-P, and Donut Rock trails to this viewpoint on lower Black Mountain. Views were enjoyed, mushrooms identified, and riddles solved. Trail junctions were easily spotted, though not necessarily well signed.”
Steve v. at Seed Peak:
“After a failed attempt last year, I learned from my mistakes and Andy, Pete, Janice, and Danielle joined me for a successful peak bag on a balmy October day.
With more confidence in our GPS tracks and an early start, we were able to guide our driver, Danielle, to the trailhead without issue. She made quick work of the obstacles and a high clearance 4×4 was required.
The trail itself has 4 distinct phases: a clearcut and wooded trailhead, a rolling ridge-like ascent, a barren rocky section with tarns, scree and glacier, and the peak view area (also a ridge). The thing about this trail is that all parts are extremely scenic (especially in fall). In fact, I would consider none of this trail to be the usual “chore” section that exists in most BC hikes.
Wayfinding was needed, but not much, and the drive is very long so do your homework, but I’d rank this as one of the top 10 in the 103 Hikes book (though know the stats under-represent the elevation gain and distance).”
Eugene at Yellow Aster Butte:
“This yellow and red wonderland is now at the height of fall colours. And there are still plenty of ripe blueberries/huckleberries over there!
It took us about 2.5 hours (130 km) of driving from Burnaby to reach the turnoff to the logging road toward Yellow Aster Butte. This time included a 25 min border wait (we ended up in the slowest line), a 20-min shopping stop at IGA, and a 5-min stop at the ranger station.
A couple of people ended up taking transit from Vancouver to Langley in order to catch a ride from there. That worked surprisingly well, thanks to the new high-speed 555 bus. Perhaps, Wanderung should add the Carvolth bus exchange to the list of potential meeting spots…
Once on the logging road, it took about 35 min (7 km) to reach the trailhead. The road is passable for small cars, although it’s fairly rough and requires careful navigation, as there are quite a few deep potholes. I was caught off guard a couple of times and ended up slightly scratching the bottom of my Protege, but nothing major.
The trail was in great condition apart from a few wet spots. It wasn’t too crowded, although we did meet quite a few groups, some of them with dogs and small kids.
At 3.5 mi there is a junction; the left branch leads down to the lakes (tarns), and the right trail climbs another 150 m and reaches the butte. As it was still warm enough to swim, some of us went down and took a plunge into the water. It seems that most of the visitors skip the lakes altogether. And yet, those lakes are quite stunning and offer a truly gratifying experience!
Mt. Baker offers some of the most spectacular and yet easily accessible trails within a 100 mi radius from Vancouver. Hopefully, more organizers (and drivers!) will consider visiting the area, as there seems to a be lot of demand for this kind of trips.”
Stephen H. at Burke Summit:
“A rainy day saw wet shrubs soak the pants and boots of Rasham, Sandra, and I on Burke Ridge. We followed the Club Tread directions, with assistance from a GPS device, taking a logging road much of the way, then the Burke Ridge Trail the rest to the top. Lots of blueberry bushes, mushrooms, scenic ponds along the route. Clouds meant no views on top. Still, the hike to Burke Summit proved to be a mostly enjoyable 6.5 hours.”