Bob H. on Mt Nutt:
“Mount Nutt is in Golden Ears Provincial Park and the trail was made between 2011 and 2013 by the Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club. The first 1.6 km from the parking lot is a very gentle slope on a gravel path (East Canyon Trail), which is a good warm up. At the 1.6 km mark, you take a right turn into the forest and the vertical gain really starts – suddenly you find yourself heading up fast. The trail is very well marked (can be slippery when wet). For a while, the climb follows a small creek, which drains a small lake further up.
The lake is nice and the area around it gives you a little reprieve from the gruelling climb. Soon after leaving the lake area, the climb continues. Eventually, we reached a viewpoint (680 m), which offered a pretty good view of Alouette Lake.
Continuing along the ridge, you are treated with about 4 more viewpoints overlooking Golden Ears, Evans Valley, Edge Peak and Alouette Lake, among others.
Photo album of hike is here
My blog, with trailhead/parking location and route stats, is here.”
Eugene Y. on Golden Ears:
“This route has a well-deserved reputation of a most challenging trail in the Lower Mainland. The trip felt much longer than 24 km, as it also involved almost 2 km of cumulative elevation gain (according to our GPS). Traveling at a brisk pace, we made it to the peak in 5.5 hours, however, the return trip took us well over 6 hours, as some parts of the trail were quite slippery. The steep middle portion of the trail was particularly sketchy on the descent; it would definitely benefit from some additional foot steps and permanent chains or ropes.
Panorama Ridge below the shelter was mostly snow-free, however we had to cross a large snow field on the way to the peak. The condition of the snow varied. An overnight hiker told us that it was somewhat icy in the morning hours. However, the snow got softer by midday, even though it would still require some efforts to make foot steps. We had to carefully navigate the snow field in order to avoid the steeper portions. Even though we’ve seen a few groups having made it to the top without crampons, many of us were really happy to wear microspikes.
Trekking poles (or even an ice axe) are really needed on this snow field. In fact, even with snow poles, some of us found it difficult to perform a controlled descent. Using poles for stopping yourself while sliding definitely requires some practice; moreover, poles can easily bend or even break if not held properly, as some of us discovered.
The final scramble to the top was, perhaps, the most enjoyable part of the route. We were lucky to get some really dramatic views through the fog.
Overall, this was quite an epic trip with a wonderful group of people.”
Stacey A. atop Golden Ears:
“Mark, Mike, and Tanya joined me on an overnight hike to Golden Ears. The first part of the hike to Alder Flats was fairly straight forward with some elevation gain. After Alder Flats, you climb up an old logging road that now resembles more of a creek bed, due to the larger rocks, before the steeper hiking starts just after the stairs. The route is well marked with flagging, but we could see where people could get off the trail if not paying attention (per some of the Club Tread posts). The trail climbs consistently up until you hit Panorama Ridge, at times requiring a bit of acrobatics and fancy footwork with our big packs on! The Golden Ears website said the shelter was at the 9 km mark, but it was closer to the 11 km mark. A good part of the trail is in the trees which made for a nice break from the sun, but as you near the ridge, it becomes more exposed. There was no snow the entire way to the shelter/Panorama Ridge. Lots of snow & run off surrounding the shelter and up towards the summit, so lots of opportunity to get water (but you have to cross a bit of a slippery slope to get to the stream). There was no outhouse to be found at the shelter either. LOTS of biting black flies and mosquitoes the whole way up and at camp. That being said, if you are considering doing this as a two day trip, it is absolutely worth the effort to camp at the ridge!! For the hike to the summit, I believe there is a possibility to complete most of it without needing to get on the snow. The snow is fairly soft and quite slippery. Our crew had crampons and was able to hike straight up the snow to a bit of a saddle just before the final ascent (and we saw people doing it with nothing, although they seemed to be slipping a fair bit). There was a steeper scramble right before the summit. The route we took from the shelter took less than an hour to the summit.”
Jennifer on Golden Ears:
“Getting an early morning start Valerie, Tamara, Jonathan, Darcy and Jen headed towards Maple Ridge and Golden Ears. Fortunately Valerie stepped in to drive as our driver did not call or show up for the hike (thanks Valerie!) The morning was clear everywhere except a big mass of clouds over Golden Ears. Our group set out despite the overcast skies, and after a lovely stroll through the forest, and scamper up onto the ridge, we were met with snow right down to the trees. Panorama Ridge didn’t give us any sense of its name as we wandered into a cloud to start our final push to the summit. When we got to the top, we were above the clouds and it was lovely and warm… but with no views. There were a brief couple of metres of scrambling but generally hiking all the way was possible. We sat at the summit trying Jedi mind tricks to part the clouds for almost an hour while eating lunch and relaxing. On the way down finally the clouds parted and we got wonderful views of the surrounding peaks and lake. Breathtaking as we ran/slid/butt scooted down the alpine sections of our hike. While not essential, ice axes did come in handy for some of us! Salmonberries galore kept us energized for the long hike out. Everyone hiked at roughly the same pace, and total hiking time was 5.5 hrs to the summit, 4.5 hrs back to the cars. We ended this long but fabulous mid-week escape with milkshakes and dinner at a local diner. Thanks everyone for a great Tuesday!”
Cam at Hector Ferguson Lake:
“A completed mission to Hector Ferguson Lake: need I say more? The plan was hatched for a quick over nighter for a short and easy hike to Hector. Three brave souls in attendance.
Thursday morning it was sprinkling a little bit but nothing out of the ordinary for Vancouver weather. Biked to 6.5 km mark, hiked to 9.5 km, forded Gold Creek twice and rejoined trail on east side. Forded again at 11 km to west side of Gold Creek, followed trail to bottom of drainage from 1502 and followed flags up. We missed the flags going to the NW out of 1502 creek towards drainage of HF lake. Bushwhacked up 1502 then turned west and joined up with HF lake. As many of the local hiking books describe the lake is pretty but the shore is far from inviting for overnighting. On Friday we followed the flagged route back to 1502 creek a much better route than what we took on Thursday.
Return distance 32-34 km, 650 m elevation gain, I measured 750 with my extra side trip.”
Erez at Hector Ferguson Lake:
“This was a 2-day camping trip. Michele and I started hiking around 10:30. The first ~11 km of the trail are very well marked and we had no trouble getting to the Gold creek crossing. There are a few places where one needs to cross very minor creeks, but that is easily doable with no need to take the boots off. We set up camp at the sandy patches on the east side of Gold Creek, had lunch, and by 15:00 we continued to the lake. Gold Creek is now passable, with two branches to cross. The first crossing is wider but shallower and with no strong current. The second one is deeper and has a pretty strong current but with a stick and some careful stepping is not a problem. The level of the water was thigh-deep at the deepest place. After the creek the trail is more overgrown, but still pretty easy to follow. Very close to the lake there is a land slide and the trail is harder to find. You need to hike through the dry creek bed-rock a little up the slide and then veer left following the orange markers into the forest (thanks to Michele we added markers so this should be pretty obvious now). From other trip reports I read, I believe this is the place other people left the trail and got stuck. The marked trail does lead all the way to the lake. We stayed there for 1/2 an hour and hiked back to the camp for some nice dinner. This was an awesome trip.”
Heather on Golden Ears:
“Bob, John, and Heather did a shorter overnight trip, leaving Saturday afternoon and hiking 5.5 km up to Alder flats to camp. From there, they left the tents Sunday morning and hiked to the peak of Golden Ears, enjoying blueberries and watching the clouds come and go. The peak was clear of clouds with partial views to Pitt Lake and some of the mountains to the north. However, other clouds obstructed Mt. Robie Reid and the Fraser Valley, so the views weren’t quite as stunning as they could be. Unfortunately, the trail was the most littered with garbage of any provincial park that I’ve been in. This included the emergency shelter being a complete mess, and random garbage and graffiti everywhere else. Too bad. Sunday’s total distance, 18.5 km, took us 11 hours with a few nice breaks. A bit of a slog as a hike… I have previously done it in one day by mountain biking 6 km up the east canyon trail, stashing the bikes, crossing the river, and bushwacking up to the main trail, and I think I prefer that strategy to the 24 km slog.”
Robert C. on the Alouette Mountain trail:
“Alouette Mountain is located in Golden Ears Provincial Park near Maple Ridge. On the Friday before the Victoria Day long weekend, seven of us headed out on the trail to Alouette Mountain which provides an endless panoramic view of neighbouring mountains and other landmarks. Without snowshoes, our goal was to hike to the snowline but we were motivated to reach the summit after realizing the snow was relatively easy to walk on. It was a challenge physically, especially to do a hike that is even considered long in the summer (22 km return) with an elevation gain of 1100 m and a peak elevation of 1366 m. This trail has lots of variety winding through forests and an old logging road. This hike was a great example of teamwork as each played a role in navigating as we tried to view the tree markers, some of which were buried under the snow. After about 4.5 hours hiking through the snow we saw the famous Blanshard Needle that towers over the mountain. There are great views of Golden Ears Peak, Edge Peak, Evans Peak, Robie Reid, Alouette Lake, and more. After about an hour on the peak, we headed back down to reach the trail head 2.5 hours later. I would recommend this trail to anyone who likes to snowshoe in the spring, and also to those who like beautiful views from the summit.”
Ahmad at the West Canyon & Viking Trails:
“The roads were fine and accessible to the parking lots. There was also no parking meters so the parking was free this time. The Viking trail had a shallow layer of snow while West Canyon had some scattered snow patches. We met few people on the trail. The waterfalls were not in their full capacity yet. Thanks to Melanie who warned me about the road conditions.”