Category Archives: Multi-day

Southern Chilcotins, 30 Jun 2016

Chris N. in the Southern Chilcotins:
“Matt, Doug and I spent 4 days camped in Graveyard Valley in the Southern Chilcotins and exploring the surrounding ridges. Access was via the Hurley (thoroughly unpleasant but 2wd-able), the Tyaughton Lake road (washboard-y corners but 2wd), Taylor-Mud Connector (slick when wet descending to the Tyaughton Creek crossing but 2wd otherwise), Mud Creek FSR (excellent; very 2wd), Mud-Paradise FSR (one berm 2/3 of the way down the hill to Tyaughton Creek might be 2wd; pothole-y after hill but reportable 2wd beyond the Tyaughton Creek trailheads) and the Relay Creek FSR (totally not 2wd right from the start). The last road requires high clearance 4wd and lots of nerves. There’s channeling, creek crossings, deep rutting, mudpits, off-camber sections with exposure and one steep off-camber hill with bad traction. We spent 1/2 hour doing some road work (bring shovels!) and made it to the road end. But this road isn’t going to last many more years. Once on the trail, they are generally easy to follow but wet at this time of year. We spent most of our time off-trail up in the alpine though and encountered very little snow – even above 2500 m. Deer, wolf, bear and moose tracks abound. Saw a sow grizzly with 3 yearly cubs and a wolf. And met no-one else. An excellent trip to my favourite part of the province.”

Flower Forest

Harrison Hut, 6 May 2016

Colleen C. at Harrison Hut/Meager Hot Springs:

“Thanks to our two capable 4WD drivers we made it all the way to the trailhead. There is active logging in this area and the road was being improved in preparation of more. I always feel torn by this. On the one hand it can be hard to see the results of that industry, but on the other hand I use paper products and without these roads I wouldn’t be able to access the mountains that I love to be in.

We made it up to the hut the first day (which we had all to ourselves!) but it was a long slog and just the first of three long days. We went in and out of snow the whole way up. Three made it to the hut without using snowshoes, but two of us put them on after the Barr Creek crossing. The snow will be gone soon which will likely make the crossings more challenging.

The next day we split into two groups. Three summitted Frozen Boot Peak, a steep hike up then a reportedly enjoyable ridgewalk. Fred and I made a loop up to Two Doctors Peak / Mt Andropov with a side goal of seeing the Meager Obelisk. We found it as we were coming down from the summit, tucked in a small cirque. We admired it from the top of the cliffs, then continued over to the col by Pine Peak and back down to the hut. Sometime while we were gone, a bear walked over our tracks near the hut, but we didn’t see one then.

Each group had a walkie talkie so we were able to communicate throughout the day, still we were pleased that everyone got back by the appointed time. We packed up and headed down to the hot springs, getting there just after dark. The hot springs are lovely but popular, at least 30 people were already there. If you choose to visit this site, please not only practice leave no trace but also do your part to maintain the pools – there is no one else to do it for you!

The last day, we hiked out and started the long drive back to Vancouver. A black bear was seen from the trail and another on the logging road driving out. Plus we saw many frogs!

Huge thanks to the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). We all paid the hut fee and didn’t use any wood, but that feels insufficient compared to the work involved in maintaining an outhouse, hut and trail. A particular thanks to one of our group who has helped out with one of the work parties. Whenever you clamber over a log with a chainsaw cut in it to make it easier and guide your steps, you’ll appreciate his handiwork!”

Orcas Island, 29 Apr 2016

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.”

Turtlehead (Orcas Knob)

Sunshine Coast Trail, 30 Aug 2015

Stephen H. on the Sunshine Coast Trail:
“Nine days into our 10-day, 178-kilometre journey on the Sunshine Coast Trail, I ran out of toilet paper. But there was no way I could hold it until the next outhouse at Rainy Day Lake, so a corner of the Powell River recreation map was sacrificed for the cause.

While the SCT isn’t as difficult as the North Coast Trail, which took me six days to backpack in August, it offers its own special set of challenges. Traversing the Upper Sunshine Coast from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay, the SCT offers no beach hiking, climbs up and over a few mountains, and covers three times as much distance as the NCT.

It’s largely a forest trail — one that visits old-growth groves, clear-cuts, and everything in between. Eleven huts provide shelter along the way, so hikers can plan to spend all but two nights under their roofs. Hotels in Powell River, which is a good place to resupply, often profit from one of the remaining nights, while the other typically involves tent camping near Lois Lake.

Lund Water Taxi provided transportation to the trailhead at Sarah Point. Travelling north to south, we camped at Plummer Creek; slept in a motel in Powell River (and enjoyed an excellent dinner at Costa del Sol restaurant); stayed in the huts at Anthony Island, Fiddlehead Landing, Tin Hat Mountain, Elk Lake, and Walt Hill; tented at Stanley Creek; and spent our final night in the Rainy Day Lake hut. Most of the huts are open-air affairs, but a few are winterized and feature pellet stoves for heat.

Although our thru-hike lasted 10 days — the original plan was 11 days, but August’s big windstorm delayed our water taxi — I recommend 12 days of hiking plus one travel day on the front. If a more leisurely pace is preferable, you could take as long as 14 days.

We found the best views on Manzanita Bluffs, Scout Mountain, Tin Hat Mountain, and Walt Hill. Mount Troubridge is the highest point on the SCT, but its treed summit was foggy during our visit.

All in all, hiking the SCT from end to end was an experience I will never forget. Thanks so much to Jason and Svetlana for joining me on this trek.

See photos from the trip here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shui/sets/72157658135544789

Tin Hat Mountain hut from summit at sunrise

Cape Scott, 1 Aug 2015

Andrew W. at Cape Scott:
“Six hikers planned to hike in Cape Scott Provincial Park on the August long weekend. Planning was a breeze, meals were arranged, group gear sorted and carpool and tent space for all confirmed.

The Cape Scott Trail itself was very dry (a far contrast from the mud that Cape Scott is famous for) and the beaches all so sandy and beautiful. The weather was incredible with only a little bit of rain in the morning while we were safe in our tents. Surprisingly the trail was not very busy at all nor were the campgrounds. It was cooler temperature wise than in Vancouver but still warm so everyone went for a swim a couple afternoons to cool off and relax the muscles. Sleeping with the sound of waves crashing on the beach made for restful nights.

Nels Bight was our campsite of choice for two nights with a day hike to the lighthouse part of our journey. We camped at San Josef Bay for our final night as to provide a change of scenery and a shorter hike out to the car before the long drive home.

Plenty of food was shared among all, including a buffet of freeze dried meals providing ample opportunity to sample!

Lots of wildlife was spotted, including but not limited to: black bears, humpback whales, eagles, squirrels, I’m likely forgetting one or two sightings, there were a lot!

A wonderful way to spend a long weekend with great company!”

Sunset

Mt Steele, 4 Jun 2015

Stephen H. on Mt Steele:
“This was a trip to remember. Celia, Helen, Jason, Svetlana, Tec, and Ying joined me for three incredible days in Tetrahedron Provincial Park. On Day 1, we tired ourselves out hiking to McNair cabin, and slept in Edwards Lake cabin. As night fell, in walked two of the park’s founders and cabin builders, who regaled us with tales from the park’s history. Day 2 saw us move up to Mount Steele cabin and ascend the summit, with its stunning views. On Day 3, we visited Batchelor Lake cabin on the way out to complete our grand tour. Then things got interesting back at the trailhead. One of our drivers popped a drivetrain on his jeep, stranding the vehicle on the logging road. Luckily, a towing company came to the rescue (let’s just say the bill wasn’t cheap), and we all managed to make the last ferry and get home.”

Tantalus Range from Mount Steele at sunrise

Russet Lake, 8 Nov 2014

Chris M. at Russet Lake:
“Our small group of two went with a backup plan – 2-night trip to Russet Lake. I thought we would take the gondola up and hike down route. However, the gondola is shut down until Nov 27 so we started hiking from the village at noon. The Singing Pass Trail is very easy to follow, though there are two washouts, with the Harmony Creek one being the worst. After joining the trail from Musical Bumps the snow became much deeper than anticipated and I was postholing frequently. Because of that, just before dark we set up a tent on the snow and went to sleep with a nice view of Black Tusk. The snow was firmer in the morning and travel was much easier. We went directly over Cowboy Ridge and down to the lake and hut. Russet Lake had only recently frozen over and fresh water was still flowing out (I don’t know if this is available all winter long). It was clear and beautiful. The views were especially terrific from Cowboy Ridge, where we had gone back up to watch the colours after sunset. The temperature dropped and it was a very cold night in the hut. I wasn’t really ready for winter yet. The trail out was frozen and awkward in a few spots but still only took about 4.5 hours to reach the village of Whistler.”

Frozen Statues

Marriott Meadows, 2 Aug 2014

Stacey A. at Marriott Meadows:
“A long-weekend two-night trip to Marriott Meadows and Rohr Lake. Four of us made the trip and were fortunate to have a driver with 4WD 🙂 It’s a short access road to the trail head if you have to walk though. Lots of bugs the whole time: mosquitos, black flies, deer flies, you name it, they were biting us. I would suggest bringing bug hats at the least (or waiting until later in the season). One of our crew had a small over-bed mosquito net that pretty much saved us as we could eat under it, etc. That being said, my skin was mostly covered, I used almost an entire small bottle of Ben’s 30% deet spray, and I still managed to get almost 100 bites! The others seemed to have fared a bit better.

First night was spent at Rohr Lake. The trail to Rohr Lake is muddy in several spots. The last steep hill up to the lake is definitely muddy and slippery and requires care! Alternatively, you can head up the boulder field next to the path with ease. There seem to be about 6 spots for camping at the lake. No toilet or cache, and the trees aren’t ideal for hanging food. Lake is cold but swimmable! The hike to Mt. Rohr takes about 2 more hours from the lake. It’s mostly boulder fields, but well cairned for the way.

Second night was spent at the lake just below the Wendy Thompson Hut (we heard the hut was overfull with a large group of 22, plus others). Again the hike was muddy with a few creek crossings on logs. The terrain was varied with forest paths, meadows, and boulder fields. No apparent obvious camp spots on the lake, just put up our tents on a dry patch of grass. Lots of hikes from here to explore. The lake was cold but refreshing and great for swimming!

All around beautiful views for both areas!”

Sunshine Coast Trail, 17 May 2014

Darcy B. on the Sunshine Coast Trail:
“Six of us hiked the north section of the Sunshine Coast Trail for three days, around 15 kilometres per day. Our group included John, Dennis, Teresa, Edith, Susanna and Darcy. We had warm weather, blue skies and big white cumulous clouds. We parked our cars at the end of the trail at Powell River. Taxis brought us to the boat docks of Lund. After tasty snacks from Nancy’s Bakery, we launched off in a water taxi. Passing the Ragged Islands, we lingered at one spot as a pod of orcas swam by. At Sarah Point, the taxi pilot held the boat with a rope by a rock ledge while we unloaded gear. The start of the trail was elusive. It heads up left and inland, not right and along the shore. Once on the trail, it was well marked the whole way.

The trail was dry and springy, comfortable to hike on. A plethora of spring wildflowers were in bloom. The trail led up and down high hills with viewpoints on bluffs overlooking Desolation Sound. Later the trail overlooked the Pacific and Savary Island. Wednesday Lake was surprisingly warm and many of us stayed in the water up to fifteen minutes. There are low cliffs to dive from. The last two kilometres to Manzanita Hut were the most difficult ascent of the three days. Manzanita Hut sits on a bluff with an expansive ocean view. The location only has one tent pad. Both huts we stayed at had firepits and plenty of cut firewood. John donated his hatchet for future use at Manzanita. The two huts we stayed at have an open ventilation design. Mosquito netting is required to sleep in the huts unpestered.

The trail from Manzanita to Rieveley’s Pond Hut had a couple of long climbs and descents then levels off to pass through open woods with ferns, moss and occasional giant firs. A young bear and big mama were glimpsed running through the forest. Also seen were snakes, frogs, Steller’s jay, red-headed woodpecker, shrew, hummingbirds and several mosquitos. Reiveley’s Pond has an old rickety dock to swim from. The pond is shallow but don’t stand up. The pond bottom is silty mud that you will sink in up to your thighs. A couple of us found out the hard way. There is more space for tents at Rieveley’s Pond Hut.

The third day was the easiest hike. The trail followed several creeks and waterfalls. Sliammon Lake was pristine and warm to swim in. The trail wove through chest high ferns, around several small ponds. At Little Sliammon Lake there is a dock with a canoe and paddles. This lake is pretty and also warm and swimmable. The final stretch of trail ascends to cross a sunny exposed ridge overlooking Powell River. The trail conveniently emerges at Shinglemill Pub. Refreshments were welcome thirst quenchers. The trip was much enjoyed and we all felt luck shone us throughout this 2014 May long weekend.”

Galloping Goose, 31 Aug 2013

Keith cycling the Galloping Goose trail:
“I had Markus and Amy sign up for the jaunt and the weather was perfect. Recently I have done a few things I have not done before and many have been bike related: Pemberton Slow Food Cycle Tour, Whistler Gran Fondo, and cycling the Oregon Coast as well. I have made crabapple hot pepper jelly as well for the first time – great with camembert on crackers! Galloping Goose was one I have wanted to do for a while and it looked like a good time to do it. The trail is about 180 km to Sooke and back to the ferry. It is an old rail bed so I think the grade is no more than 2 or 3 % – even though when everything is flat you notice the “hills”.

The group met up and we were off! The ride into Victoria was basic – the trail is mostly crushed gravel and mixed with pavement. We stopped to say hi to the pigs and they were not so interested. I bowled an orange towards one of them but no movement. The blackberries were big, juicy, ripe, tasty, plentiful and easy to pick. The blackberries seem to get another month in Victoria and are usually better. They were good. BC Ferries had a blueberry promo with White Spot on the ferry – I considered taking off the blueberries in the café to make their offering more tasty and more local; I decided this would be frowned upon.

We had a stop at Thrifty’s for lunch and got a few supplies. Amy had some issues with her bike Clunky Sue with the chain jamming. We continued on. We found a bike shop that did a bit of work and got it hopefully running along well. There are not many bike shops along the route and if you see one and THINK you need something looked at – stop in! The owner of the shop was very thankful for blackberry thorns – he seems to do good business with punctures due to them.

After we were fixed up and a couple of near misses between bikes, the trail was meandering and nice. As we neared Sooke you cross the Sooke Road and Sooke is still about 30 minutes into Sooke proper. If you want dinner out there is a pub called the Stickleback just 2 minutes west down the road before the Shell station. The beer selection is great and the food tasty and reasonable – get the tsunami fries!

The trail is very pleasant and has different smells along the way – from moth balls, to watermelon, to sweet blackberries that are past their prime. We rolled into the Sooke Potholes campground around 7 pm or so and set up for the night after biking some of the bigger trestles – didn’t realize how high up they are. There is a spot for bikers to camp with a big fire ring. I had a dream about a wolverine-like man attacking us, but nothing actually happened. This time 🙂

We had a quick but really nice swim at the potholes in the morning and biked on back towards the ferry. We (I) picked some more blackberries – they were just that good. We saw one rabbit, some pigs, horses and that’s about it.

I met a guy on the ferry who I called White Bread Will as that was what he ordered for food after cutting Markus off in the line up, he was drunk and was biking to Winnipeg on a rough looking machine. I urged him to get some air in his tires as they were super low.

The trail is easy to follow, flat, and a great trip for the fall. Overall a great trip that can be done as a day trip or comfortable 2 or 3 day trip.

Overall a fun trip and great weather!!”