Stephen H. on Orcas Island:
“Three glorious days in the San Juan Islands. Rasham, Ino, and Anna joined me on this no-reservations car camping trip south of the border. Day 1: Hiking to Turtlehead rewarded us with stunning views of the Salish Sea. Day 2: A grand loop up and down Mounts Constitution and Pickett granted us more spectacular views, forest walking, and a visit to a stone tower on the former summit. Day 3: We did a short walk to Cascade Falls before hitting the ferry back to Anacortes. All of these hikes are highly recommended. Our original plan was to camp at Mountain Lake. It was full, so we took a spot at the Midway campground by Cascade Lake, which had flush toilets. One trip highlight: seeing the broken soda fountain overflow with root beer on the ferry over. Another: a barred owl hung out with us at camp for a bit. Also: all the pop music we listened to all weekend.”
Phil A. on Mt Kelly:
“Lured by blue skies and warm temperatures, we set out to conquer Mount Kelly and the ridge to Nordheim Peak in Manning Park. We attacked from Allison Pass (N49° 06.924′ W120° 51.805′). The road had snow from the get go. After getting off track due to some fallen trees we had to bushwhack back on course. At the end of the road, the trail through the woods to the peak of Mount Kelly was slightly difficult to follow due to inconsistent flagging. Once at the peak, the trees thinned out and we easily navigated along the snow-covered ridge (which progressively slushed up in the spring sun). We then walked almost to Nordheim Peak to luxuriate in the sunshine before heading back.
Total elevation gain: 1400 m.
Snowline: Dependent on the side of the mountain, but the road was covered from the road/trail up. Snowshoes necessary.
Distance: 18 km.
Total Time: 7.5 hrs including lunch, breaks, and faffing.”
Andrew W. at
Radium Flora Lindeman Lake:
“It was a last minute callout with some last minute changes due to snow.
First up: Radium Lake. One look at the snow level and that idea was quickly changed. Second up: Flora. We got 3/4 of the way there (after many a switchback) but then encountered deeper snow (2-3 ft or so) than expected so a return to base was the wisest course of action. Naturally, we were equipped to camp and camp we did. Lindeman Lake was relatively quiet and a refreshing night.
Pics on the Flickr pool as per usual.”
Chris N. at Hut Lake:
“Despite reports that the area was closed to vehicles, the gate at Levette Lake was open and we encountered a party on ATV and dirt-bikes and another in a convoy of 4wd. The road is 2wd to Evans Lake and, if you are determined, you can push up the steeper rougher bits to Levette Lake (or park on the roadside part way). Beyond the gate requires 4wd. There is a short stretch of rock crawling calibre at the cell tower. Hut Lake is unremarkable but it was a joy to camp without snow this early in the season. Some industrial activity was audible from nearby Paradise Valley. On the first day, we explored the old roads to the north. One road follows the north shore of Hut Lake before becoming a creek bed and heading up. Following this, you can visit two other lakes – one with a rough camping area and the other with a rope swing – before the road ends. All other roads quickly disappear into undergrowth. On day two, we bushwhacked around Hut Lake and found some very pleasant first growth forest on the south and east sides of the lake. We also checked out another lake to the west and followed an old fishing path for part of the way. On the way back, we popped in at Levette Lake which has an amazing view of the Tantalus Range but were treated to more industrial noise pollution. I have heard this area is very busy in the summer but was largely empty at this time of year.”
Bob H. at Kennedy Falls:
“This is a great hike with two points of interest. First, is the big cedar tree, which has been estimated at over 600 years old; the second is Kennedy Falls. Don’t let the length and elevation gain of 170 m fool you for this hike. There are many ups and downs on this trail making the cumulative elevation gain 750 m. The length of the trail is 5 km, so the return total is 10 km. The trail traverses the west slope of Lynn Valley and you will find the big cedar tree 3.3 km from the start; also of note – the big cedar tree is less than 100 m from Lynn Creek. The cedar tree is massive and the only reason I think why it was spared from the saw in the early 1900s, when the whole area was logged, is that there was no saw large enough! The end of the trail marks Kennedy Falls, which is spectacular and fills the air with wind, mist and rainbows. There is a new parking lot at the trailhead on Mountain Highway, which fills up fast, so get there early. This is a very popular mountain biking area.
Blog post here: http://www.buntzenlake.ca/big-cedar-trail-and-kennedy-falls
Full Flickr photo album of hike here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskxGD5Pg“