Colleen C. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Glorious day to be on a mountain – spring is certainly upon us!
The air was cool through the forest on the way up, keeping the sweat at bay, but was balmy on top. No biting bugs out yet so we basked comfortably in the sun enjoying the views of the tankers, islands, ferries, and several eagles & ravens gliding in the thermals. Lots of grouse are out, and we saw a snail!
There were only tiny patches of snow in a few sheltered spots at the bluffs (just enough for snowballs but you had to work at it). We met one person who had come from the Cypress side, she reported little snow and just wore boots. That said, there are recent reports of heavy snow on other North Shore peaks, so do your best to get current info and be prepared. Spring can be capricious!
This was my first time doing this hike by transit and it worked out well. Take the 250 or 257 to the overpass just before descending into Horseshoe Bay. From there it’s a careful crossing of Horseshoe Bay Dr and short walk back to the Black Mountain trailhead.”
Bob H. at Upper Shannon Falls:
“With a forecast all week for sun for Friday, expectations were high. A little concern about 5 mins from the parking lot, when it rained slightly, but the clouds parted and we were treated with lots of sun today.
Upper Shannon Falls is the 3rd highest waterfall in British Columbia and the hike to the top is well worth it. Today, our group of six parked in the Shannon Falls parking lot, but you can also park in the parking lot for the Sea to Sky Gondola, a short distance to the north. The initial part of the trail is shared with the trail for the Stawamus Chief hike. If you park in the Shannon Falls parking lot, you can see the bottom of the falls before your ascent. The trail is well maintained by BC Parks and there a few bridges to cross. Sections of the trail are steep, with some parts having nicely placed cobbles for steps. The trail was quite busy today and there were about 30 people at the top viewpoint.
The trail rises steeply and there are a couple of viewpoints before the top. There is also a section of the falls, where you can get very close. There is also a nice pool of water in the creek, where you could go in – in the summer, but I would imagine the water is very cold all year. At the top, you are rewarded with an amazing view of the end of Howe Sound, the Stawamus Chief and Squamish. The bluff at the top is a large area and accommodates several people.
Overall, the day turned out perfect and the group really enjoyed the hike.
Blog post here: http://www.buntzenlake.ca/upper-shannon-falls/
Full Flickr photo album of hike here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsktHWSzp“
Chris N. at Phyllis and Marion Lakes:
“We had a full compliment of hikers for this not-very-spectacular destination (organizers: there is a thirst for hikes so do some callouts!). We parked just at the base of the Phyllis Creek road just north of the Furry Creek golf course. The yellow gate at the bottom of the road was locked and, if open, can’t be trusted to be so when you return so don’t drive through it. ATVs have build an elaborate route around the gate and we encountered 2 ATVs. Also met 2 trucks out exploring (not sure how they got up there).
I usually use iMapBC to create detailed 1:20000 maps but I am starting to encounter issues with the age of some of the road data. This trip highlighted those issues. We encountered several recent forks that just weren’t on iMapBC and difficult to see on Google Earth. There’s a triple fork around 1 km – take the leftmost road. After crossing Phyllis Creek, there are new roads on the right in several places and signs warn of active logging.
The lakes themselves are not much to look at but rocky bluffs straight out of an old Chinese print loomed over them and were pretty cool. The second lake has a dodgy makeshift dock. It took just 2 hours to reach a large fence and gate blocking access into the Capilano watershed just past the lakes (I am sure you could get around it if you really wanted to). We had a quick lunch in some wet snow and headed back just as it started to rain. Got some good use our of our waterproof clothing. We were back at the cars in time to drive the short distance to Galileo’s Coffee in Britannia Beach before they closed (3 pm during the winter).”
Paul G. at Kennedy Falls:
“A wet day with a little hail thrown in for effect, but a nice hike regardless. Trail conditions this time of year are slightly muddy, but even with our recent rainy weather, no one seemed to have trouble with the stream crossings. There were a few downed trees, but easy to get around. If you are not familiar with the route, keep your eyes on the few markers. It’s easy to get down a dead end when you are deep in conversation. Besides the beautiful big cedar, Kennedy Falls at the end of the trail was spectacular. For a trail that was relatively unknown a few years ago, it was busy with trail runners early on and hikers later. Popularity due in part by the addition of the new parking lot last year.”