Monthly Archives: March 2017

Joffre Lakes, 26 Mar 2017

Chris N. at Joffre Lakes:
“About 3/4 of the main parking lot at Joffre is plowed but there’s still enough snow that you’ll lose traction with 2wd if you drive in too far. Parking close to the exit means you won’t need much of a push. There were about 10 cars in the lot when we were there – a far cry from the 200+ you’ll see on a summer’s day. The snow at the beginning was wet and sticky but improved with elevation. All the lakes are frozen but there is a layer of slush covered by another layer of snow on top of the ice on the first lake. The inlets and outlets of all the lakes are ice free so give these areas wide berths. If you follow the winter trail across the lake, you might prefer snowshoes but most of the route can be done in microspikes with minimal post-holing. Weather was changeable – a bit of cloud with the sun trying to peek out at times interspersed with snow showers. Temperatures varied from about 0 C in the parking lot to maybe -5 C with a bit of wind at our high point. We reached the third lake in under 2 hours, had lunch and spent a bit of time exploring.”

Raven Bluffs, 19 Mar 2017

Chris N. at Raven Bluffs:
“Raven Bluffs Trail is on the SW flank of Nicomen Mt near Dewdney in the Fraser Valley. Being south and west facing and at a low elevation, it makes a good early season warm-up hike. The trail directions I have found for it aren’t very good though. Firstly, instead of parking outside the Inch Creek Fish Hatchery, I would suggest driving across the railway tracks on Hawkins Pickle Rd and park at the yellow gate on the south side of the tracks and 100 m short of Norrish Creek. This eliminates 2 acts of trespass but you still have to cross the railway tracks after crossing to the east side of the road bridge on foot. The route you want is marked by infrequent red and white diamond reflectors. Walk north about 850 m along the edge of the river and around a marsh ignoring branches to the left. At a small pile of rocks, take a right fork and gain a small bench. At the foot of a steep slope, there is another fork at another pile of rocks. Again, go right and start climbing a relatively steep trail. You will pass a few bluffs – 1, 2 and 4 are signed. 1 is viewless, 2 is on a steep slope, 3 is large, 4 is small and easily missed. At 320 m, you will encounter a fork (the left branch may be obscured a bit). If you do the loop, this is where you return. Continue right another 200 m for a large, un-numbered viewpoint (bluff 5). After this point, the trail becomes a bit more difficult to follow due to downed trees and branches. The trail soon becomes an old overgrown road. After a few hundred metres, you will come to a fork – take the left road. More road walking takes you to another junction. Take the left branch and climb slowly. Ignore a right branch and the road eventually ends at the final viewpoint (also used as a launch point for paragliders). The trail continues on the left side of the viewpoint and descends steeply. This quickly returns you to the 320-m fork. The road portion of the trail is largely wet, obstacled and viewless. A better variant would be to go to bluff 5 and then return to the 320-m fork and use that to access the paragliding launch bluff.”

Brohm Lake, 12 Mar 2017

Chris N. at Brohm Lake:
“After years of driving by Brohn Lake without stopping in, myself and a group of Wanderungers explored some of the trails in the area. There are two parking areas – a small one south of the lake (but you can’t turn into it if you are coming from the south) and the main one beside the lake. There was too much snow in the main lot so we drove back to the south one. The trails are well marked and there are directional signs and maps at all junctions. We explored all of the trails to the south of the lake. Snow covered most trails and ranged from a couple inches to a foot in depth. The forest is typical of the dry bluffs of the Cheakamus canyon – pleasant, open forest with lots of salal. There are 2 picnic spots overlooking the Cheakamus flats on the Cheakamus Loop Trail. We had lunch near an old gazebo-style fire lookout at a highpoint just off the High Trail. We covered about 10 km in about 4.5 hours. Though we saw footprints on almost all the trails, we only saw 3 other people. This hike would probably be best on a warm early spring day after the snow has melted – perhaps plan a trip in April.”