Eugene Y. on Mt Macfarlane
“Three of us embarked on a trip to the beautiful alpine lakes at Mt Macfarlane. The trail was in a fairly good condition, although some portions were really steep and required some care. Hiking poles are strongly advised, especially when passing above the first lake. It took us about 4.5 hours to reach Upper Pierce Lake. As some of us felt really tired, we decided not to proceed further and took a long break at the beach. Some of us went to explore the area at the ridge right above the lake in order to catch views of the surrounding mountains: Crossover Peaks, Slesse Mountain, Illusion Peaks, Mt Rexford, etc. There was very little snow in the area, just patches here and there, however, the trail toward the peak has some steep scrambling sections and can be quite slippery.
On the way down we briefly stopped at the first lake and some of us took a swim. It took us about 2 hours to get from Lower Pierce Lake back to the parking lot.
Overall, this was a fairly demanding hike for a day. It would be interesting to revisit the area on an overnight trip in order to appreciate the true beauty of the lake in early morning hours.”
Peter on Mt Macfarlane:
“Lucy, Kevin, Luke, Pavel, Sebastian, Irina, Nikita, Katherine, Hurrian, Jeff and I had an outstanding trip summiting Mount Macfarlane on July 28. The morning drive to Chilliwack was not promising, as we went through fog and cloud. However, 5 km past Chilliwack, we emerged into sunny, clear skies that stayed with us the whole day. We set out on the trail shortly after 10am, and set a fast pace as we climbed steadily to Pierce Lake. The trail is well-marked, filled with switch backs, a boulder field, creek crossings and undulating forest. We emerged onto a steep clearing (created by avalanches), thick with bushes and wildflowers. 20 meters below was the large and enticing Pierce Lake, and cool views of the surrounding mountains and Mt Macfarlane. We pushed onwards, navigating some muddy sections through Pierce Meadows, and soon saw the spectacular falls running down the 100m headwall that creates the upper lake. The trail approaches the headwall by running up a cleft in a set of forested cliffs. Well-placed, sturdy ropes and strong roots help the hiker scale this section. We emerged from this cleft and faced a steep gully of loose small-medium sized boulders. Stay to the right of the boulder field and hike along the forested border. Flagging tape can be found intermittently on low-lying bushes. Near the top of the field, avoid the flagged trail that branches left and crosses the boulders (to Mount Pierce?). Stay on the flagged trail that veers right and climbs over a steep shoulder of the forest. We popped out onto a beautiful, slightly-inclined, heather-filled plateau just below the waterfall. The trail stays left of the waterfall, mounts the headwall and greets you with a beautiful alpine lake sitting high in the mountain cirque. The water is cobalt blue, aquamarine and crystal clear: like a tropical paradise. A few perfect camping spots to be had. After a short break, we pushed on up the well-marked, steep trail that follows a ridge to the top of Mt. Macfarlane (minimal exposure, but more difficult if conditions are wet). We reached the summit in 4.5 hours! Spectacular weather and views, and hard to leave. Retracing our steps, we spent more time at the upper lake, carefully descended the steep boulder field, and had an amazing swim in Pierce Lake led by Kevin and Lucy. The day was capped off with a celebratory ‘feeding and watering’ at a local pub. Fantastic hike and fantastic people!”