Category Archives: Day hike

Stanley Park, 18 Dec 2016

Colleen C. in Stanley Park:
“Due to highway alerts for the snowfall in West Van and the Sea to Sky, the Deeks Bluff plan was scaled back to a wander through Stanley Park. It was actually quite lovely to be there in the fresh snow. A great reminder at how nice the park is, especially the trails in the middle with very few people and tall trees all around. While not an epic hike, it was satisfying to get out for a walk and enjoy a rare day of winter in Vancouver.”

Elfin Lakes, 2 Oct 2016

Andy G. at Elfin Lakes:
“Well I wanted a smaller group to return to Elfin Lakes 12 years after my first Wanderung hike, and I got it! Louise, Susan, and Gloria decided to brave the so-so weather forecast, which changed at the last minute to give us mostly sunny skies for the day. Garibaldi gleamed white in its dusting of snow from the day before, and the lakes were often still enough to yield perfect mountain reflections. We enjoyed a sunny lunch at a picnic table by the cook shelter rather than eating on the tent pads (which the other groups seemed to think was OK – a good opportunity to discuss some Leave No Trace principles). The shelter was empty and every bunk now has a ‘reserved’ label on it.

The trail was quite busy – the parking lot was pretty full when we arrived – many of whom were backpackers on their way out. The hikers’ trail out of Red Heather meadows is being upgraded and is currently a bit of a sticky, slippery mud-fest. One of the backpackers on their way out slipped and ended up plastered from head to toe. We stayed on the main trail on our descent which meant keeping our eyes and ears open for mountain bikers (there were quite a few).

The meadows have plenty of great fall colour but precious few berries. Our only wildlife sightings were a falcon and a bald eagle – not even a whisky jack or chipmunk though we heard pikas among the rocks.

Another great day out and a great way to celebrate 12 years with Wanderung!”

Elfin Lakes, 2 Oct 2016

Yellow Aster Butte, 1 Oct 2016

Anna K. at Yellow Aster Butte:
“Fred, Lisa, Mariana and myself ventured out to Yellow Aster Butte on October 1. Our timing was perfect: no border waiting, and we did the hike in 4.5 hours vs 7 suggested by the book, with rain starting to pour when we left the trail. We didn’t get to see the view at the top, as it was cloudy. We enjoyed the last blueberries and the mix of red-yellow-orange colours. Perfect hike to do in the Fall!”

Brandywine Mountain, 30 Sep 2016

Andy G. on Brandywine Mountain:
“Brandywine has quickly become one of my favourite summits. It’s a great mix of easy hiking and more challenging boulder-hopping with some steep terrain and a bit of route-finding thrown in for good measure. And then there are the stunning views. Mountains, glaciers, meadows, lakes… Definitely a hike to save for a sunny day.

The new trail into the meadows still has a muddy spot or two but it’s a massive improvement on the old trail. We were in the upper meadows within an hour or so. Beyond that there is an intermittent trail and cairns for guidance up to the ridge. More cairns point the way up to the higher part of the ridge, although they run out a couple of hundred metres short of the summit, which is where the route-finding comes it as the summit can’t be seen at this point. The summit itself is a small bump on top of a bigger bump, big enough for our group to find (un)comfy rocks to sit on to enjoy lunch.

The road to the upper parking lot is very rough and steep in places: our CR-V struggled in a couple of spots with a full load of 5 hikers. A vehicle with some clearance is a good idea as the bumpy road causes the vehicle to bounce quite a bit. A Subaru Outback made it up OK though. Budget about half an hour for the logging road.

Car-to-car was almost exactly 8 hours (we were leaving the meadows just as the sun set). We finished the day with a quick bite at the Howe Sound Brew Pub before heading home. Thanks to Sarah, Simon, Anna, and Janavie for joining me and making it such a great day out.”

Brandywine Mountain, 30 Sep 2016

Frosty Mountain, 24 Sep 2016

Eugene Y. on Frosty Mountain:
“Seven of us went to explore the legendary alpine larches in Manning Park. We parked at the beautiful Lightning Lake and proceeded along the well-maintained trail toward Frosty Mountain. The trail was in excellent shape and easy to follow. After a two-hour pleasant walk amid bright-red and yellow fall colours we had a lunch break at the Frosty Creek campsite. After another half-an-hour walk we finally reached the Larch Plateau and then continued along the partially snow-covered trail toward the mountain. The larches had just started to turn yellow, so the predominant colour was golden-olive. The snow on the ground was already partially covered by yellow needle-like leaves.

As we started climbing the slopes of Frosty, the snow got deeper and reached about 20 cm at places. However, the final walk along the ridge was mostly snow-free.
Finally, we reached the summit. The views on the surrounding partially-covered snow peaks were truly breathtaking!

The descend was was fairly straightforward, although some portions of the trail were a bit slippery. We didn’t use microspikes, however, we found hiking poles really helpful.

Some stats. At a leisurely pace while taking lots of pictures, it took us about 4.5 hours from the parking lot to the peak and 3 hours to get back to the car.”

The final ascend to Frosty

Skywalk Trail, 18 Sep 2016

Chris N. on the Skywalk Trail:
“Nikolay, Estafan, Kelley, Michelle, Jodi, and Jordon joined me on a hike around the new Skywalk Trail in Whistler. This trail connects a few existing trails and explores the alpine on the east side of Rainbow Mtn. There are a couple trailheads one can use including the Rainbow Lake trailhead, the end of Alpine Way and the end of Mountain View Drive. We chose the latter as there is plenty of parking right at the trailhead (if you opt for Alpine Way, you have to park on Drifter Way and walk the road to the trailhead). The route is well signed with plenty of official and unofficial notices which is helpful as there are lots of trails that branch off in various directions.

We headed up the Lower 19 Mile Creek trail and then up the Screaming Cat Connector to the Flank trail. Finally up the Screaming Cat Lake trail. The junction with the start of the Skywalk North trail is unsigned but is at a clearing within a minute or 2 of the lake. A fainter trail (the one you want) heads left and around the lake. Iceberg Lake is only 100 m higher in elevation than Screaming Cat but the trail rambles up and down through alpine glades so you will feel like half of the elevation gain is in this section. You actually descend 100 m to Iceberg Lake where Skywalk North ends. Pick up the Upper 19 Mile Creek trail about 10 m north of the outlet of the lake. We elected to stick with this trail instead of branching off on the Skywalk South trail about 700 m east of Iceberg. Skywalk South climbs higher and spends more time in the alpine but the weather wasn’t providing much in the way of views. Upper 19 Mile connects with the Flank trail where one has to go east for about 50 m to find the continuation (Lower 19 Mile). There’s many mystery branches off this portion of the trail but the route we wanted was signed at all junctions. It took us about 7.5 hours with a lunch break but not much other lingering due to the cold weather.

A map of the Skywalk trail and its connecting trails can be found at https://www.cheakamuscommunityforest.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Don-MacLaurin-Skywalk-Trail-Map.pdf.”

Watersprite Lake, 4 Sep 2016

Eugene Y. at Watersprite Lake:
“Nine of us went to explore the new trail to the Watersprite Lake near Squamish. Mamquam FSR was in a decent shape, and our Subaru Outback and Forester quickly made it to the bridge across the Mamquam river (~13 km mark). However, the remaining 7 km along the Skookum Dam road were much more challenging. It would be most certainly unwise to attempt this trip in a smaller car.

The trail was fairly well marked and easy to follow. The first couple of hours we were mostly walking along some old logging roads through a large clear-cut area covered with shrubs and small trees. The route offered a good glimpse of the Garibaldi and Mamquam mountains through the clouds.

The trail became more challenging once we reached the boulder field. The last portion of the trail was fairly steep and involved quite a bit of scrambling. Overall, it took our group about 4 hours (8.5 km) to reach the lake from the upper parking lot.

The lake was truly mesmerizing. All those small islands amidst the soft turquoise waters appeared like in some children’s fairyland. The whole atmosphere was one of a dream and meditation.

Thank you for all the volunteers for building a trail to this little paradise!”

Watersprite Lake

Watersprite Lake, 30 Aug 2016

Danica at Watersprite Lake:
“Cheryl, Susan, Xiru, and myself embarked on a journey to Watersprite Lake. Various trip reports stated that the logging road was okay for 2wd vehicles, but I’m not entirely convinced. Our driver thought it was one of the rougher logging roads she had taken her car up. We made it to around the 15-km mark before bailing, and hiked the final ~1.7 km to the trailhead. We took the old trail, as could not find detailed instructions about the new trail. The hike follows an old logging road, before turning off to a swamp. Unfortunately we got chatting too much and missed the well marked turnoff. A quick backtrack and we were on our way. We had read reports of a muddy trail, and even in late August this was true. Hopefully the new trail will avoid the mud. The lake is reached after ascending a final boulder field, and the views do not disappoint! We spent 2 hrs swimming and lounging (mostly the latter), before heading back. A total of ~19 km and ~9 hrs made for a long but very worthwhile day. A huge thank you to Cheryl for driving!”

Needle Peak, 23 Aug 2016

Danica on Needle Peak:
“It was a hike of many firsts: my first time organizing a callout, taking part in a Wanderung hike, and hiking in the Coquihalla region. Mike and Bobby answered the last minute callout and after a slow start (note to future organizers: King George Station is a terrible meeting spot as there is limited all day parking nearby), we made it to the trailhead. As per other reports, the highway exit is unmarked. After you go through the tunnel, the exit is right before Yak Peak comes into view. Don’t get distracted or you’ll miss it like we did. The trail is well marked through the forest and up to the base of the summit. There are about 3 scrambling sections to reach the summit. The first required awkwardly ducking beneath an overhang. Coming down the guys did some graceful butt-sliding. We found the UBC VOC instructions to be helpful in navigating the scrambles. Overall a great first Wanderung hike!”

Yak Peak, 23 Aug 2016

Andy G. on Yak Peak:
“Four of us – Tamara, Gary, Xiru, and myself – hopped into my car bright and early, and reached the trailhead in slightly under 2 hours. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the hike but it was far more enjoyable than I’d imagined. It may have Grouse Grind-like stats but it couldn’t be further from the Grind in terms of interest. Gorgeous mid-elevation forest, views, a bit of gentle scrambling, blueberries, marmots, and more views. For sure, the trail *is* steep, and would need care in a few places if wet or snowy/icy.

Despite its imposing appearance, the summit of Yak is quite safe with plenty of space to lounge around for lunch while soaking in the awesome 360-degree vista. Be sure to venture over to a bump on the way to Nak Peak (which we called the Naklet) for a stunning view of the north face of Yak. Despite being a short hike, we took our time and we were reluctant to leave. But the Blue Moose beckoned…!

Thanks to Tamara for organizing – we all had a fantastic day out.”

Yak Peak, 23 Aug 2016