Andy G. on the Great Garibaldi Glacier Lily Hunt:
“Glacier lilies! A familiar refrain to the ears of those who know me. It was a pleasure to introduce two Wanderung and Garibaldi Lake first-timers to those cheery yellow flowers. As expected, they were a little past their peak but we did see a few nice patches. We wandered up beyond Outhouse Junction, following the trail towards Black Tusk for a km or so where we found the best flower displays. Then we headed down to the lake to cool off our feet. The most surprising discovery of the trip was the water level in the lake: I’ve never seen it so low. Rubble Creek wasn’t flowing out of the lake at all, with nothing but old trees visible.
The trail is in excellent shape, if a little dusty right now. No snow and almost no mud. The campgrounds look to be snow-free. We encountered the crew working on upgrading the trail and rested awhile to chat with them. Bugs are mostly not a problem except at Taylor Meadows campground, where the bug rating was upgraded to irritating. I was hoping to see a bear, as that would have made for bear sightings on my last 3 callouts, but it was not to be. (I did the same trip a few days later and we saw a lone black bear grazing the meadows between Taylor Meadows and Outhouse Junction.)
Full flower update is on Live Trails and photos are on Flickr.
Many thanks to Jackie and Aaron for indulging my obsession and keeping me company on a long day of hiking.”
Steve on Elk Mountain:
“Pros: Wildflowers! Minimal bugs. No snow. Views of the valley.
Cons: Crowds. People with dogs.
Don’t let the crowds and dogs fool you, this trail is challenging and steep in sections, though not nearly as bad as 103 Hikes would lead you to believe. It takes more like 6 hours, not 7. Make no mistake about it, July is the time to do this trail due to wildflowers, though I’ve also heard it is a great Fall destination also. Many fields had 6 or 7 types of flowers (and colours) in one eye-shot.
We really pushed the speed on the way up, but I suggest slowing down, and taking in the views. The trailhead can be accessed very easily with only maybe 0.5 km of the access road being gravel. We were behind a convoy of 7 cars from the Korean hiking club of Vancouver.
Seven of us did this Chilliwack trail on what turned out to be a sunny day and followed up with a trip to some fruit and corn stands in the area. I’m still trying to figure out why we didn’t use the drive-thru at the corn place instead of getting out!”
Beth on Elk-Thurston:
“Astrid, Bahman, LJ, Geoff and I hiked Elk-Thurston Mountain on Sunday. It started with a pleasant hike through the forest which lead us to a ridge walk from Elk to Thurston. Along the ridge the meadows were beautiful, in bloom with Indian paintbrush, lupine, tiger lilies, glacier lilies and more! We had great views of surrounding peaks of the Chilliwack area and the Cascades, though Mt. Baker was hiding under clouds. This is a great hike! The trail was virtually snow-free and in good condition, with only the occasional small snow patch at the top which did not cause any difficulty. We could see that there was more snow on the north-facing side of the mountain. The day was topped off with a drive over the new Golden Ears bridge (very bumpy, yet majestic), and a bite to eat.”