Bob H. at Elfin Lakes:
“Today was a gorgeous early Autumn day for a hike. Elfin Lakes is in Garibaldi Provincial Park, located just north of the town of Squamish. The first 6 km of the hike are uphill, 4.5 km of which are on a forest service road. There is a small section where the trail is more rugged and muddy, but then it starts again as a wide established trail. As you continue, the views get spectacular; you see Mount Garibaldi and the surrounding peaks. At the Elfin Lakes campsite (also known as the Diamond Head Area), there are two lakes, one for drinking water and one for swimming; there is also a ranger’s hut, a camper’s hut, a small dining building, tent pads and picnic tables. We made it to the lakes in 2 hours 20 mins, but didn’t have any prior plans for additional exploration, so we headed towards Opal Cone, which is about 6.5 km from the lakes. After crossing the new bridge over Ring Creek, the valley to Opal Cone is mostly a rugged rock landscape and today it was quite warm with the sun beating down. We ended up about 1.5 km and 300 m elevation short of Opal Cone – we had to turn back due to the early sunset – so close!!! Will have to plan this next year! We did a distance of 30 km today with 1500 m elevation gain in 8 hours.
Blog here… http://www.buntzenlake.ca/elfin-lakes/
Eugene Y. on Skyline Ridge:
“This ridge is easily accessible from the Sea-to-Sky Gondola, however, we wanted to hike up all the way from the parking lot. The Sea-to-Summit trail was mildly crowded on this fine Labour Day, nevertheless, once we turned to the Shannon Basin trail, the crowd vanished.
The initial portion of the Skyline ridge trail is not too inspiring, as it follows a logging road for the first 2.5 km. Thankfully, the trail becomes really enjoyable once it leaves the road. It took us under 4 hours to get from the parking lot to the end of the “official” trail (~1200 m elevation), and then we proceeded for another hour through a pleasant forest along a less-marked trail till we finally reached a plateau at the junction of the Skyline and Goat Ridges. Now it was picture time!
On the way back, it took us about 2.5 hours to hike down to the Summit Plaza. That left us plenty of time for a quick beer on the deck before taking the gondola down.
Some stats: elevation gain ~1600 m, total distance: ~23 km.
Overall, the Skyline Ridge is a wonderful destination for a day hike. The trail is gentle with practically no scramble, and the views are truly magnificent.”
Eugene Y. at Tricouni Meadows East:
“The Chance Creek FSR was in a pretty good condition and reasonably well marked with red bands at all the major intersections. With an OpenStreetMap, we had no difficulties navigating the road. My Protege easily made it to the 8.4 km mark (1050 m elevation). TJ drove his Outback for another 500 m. We walked the remaining 2 km of the road all the way to the trailhead.
The trail was in a very good condition and mostly dry. After a 30 min walk through a pleasant forest we reached the blooming meadows about 800 m south of a large glacier-fed lake at the head of the High Falls Creek (1500 m elevation). At this point we split, as some of us went directly to the lake, while others ventured to explore the ridge on the east side of the lake.
Our route to the ridge involved some light bushwhacking, crossing a boulder field, and climbing a dry stream bed. Finally we reached a narrow plateau (1700 m elevation) that offered superb views of Tricouni, Garibaldi, and the surrounding areas. As we were running out of time, we decided against proceeding further along the ridge.
Once we descended to the lake, we joined the rest of the group for a pleasant swim. The lake itself proved to be a bit too cold, however, the large tarn on the east side was truly enjoyable.”
Nancy L. at Alice Lake:
“A fabulous group of hikers enjoyed a hike in the Alice Lake area last Sunday. The weather was perfect, not too hot & not too cold. We visited 4 lakes and also climbed up Debeck Hill to see the view. It was a lovely outing shared with a great bunch of people.”
Audrey at Elfin Lakes:
“I did a last minute callout on a Thursday when the weather forecast announced 4 days of amazing sunshine – indeed, the sun was out the whole time! I also found out about the shelter at Elfin Lakes and thought a weekday outside the summer seemed just perfect to enjoy such a popular spot. Elfin Lakes can be done in a day, but you would miss the best part: the sunset from the deck of the shelter, and the lovely chat with very nice people around your evening dinner 🙂
Stan and I started going up at about 1.30 pm Friday and reached Red Heather after 1h 30m, with snow from halfway. It took us 3 more hours on an amazing ridge with 360° views, to get to Elfin Lakes (which were of course, frozen!) Snowshoes were definitely required from Red Heather to Elfin Lakes because of the new, deep layer of snow that had fallen the week before. We saw many people the next day going up without them, but it was way easier and faster with them!
This was an amazing hike, with great views, a really slow way up (600 m in 11 km) and the shelter has everything you need: bunkbeds, stoves and even electricity (+ an outside pit toilet). Wow! It’s really worth the scramble in the snow! The landscape up there is gorgeous, especially with all the snow.
On Saturday, we took some time to explore the trails going further (unlike the winter trail to Elfin Lakes, which is very well marked and easy to find, trails going further are unmarked), but going further would require to spend one more day up there (especially with all the snow). It took us 3h 30m to go back and we ended the trip with a visit to Howe Sound Brewery in Squamish, yum!
What a fantastic trip, and also my first callout, thanks again for all the help through Facebook!”
Andy G. at the Chief:
“Today’s hike celebrated ten years since I first hiked the Chief, almost to the day. Eddie joined me on a day when even the weather conditions closely matched those of a decade ago, if cloudier with the summits of the Sky Pilot group and Garibaldi shrouded in cloud all day.
The trail is dry and snow- and ice-free and was an absolute pleasure to hike today. It was also delightfully quiet, as we met only a small number of hikers. As we reached Second Peak, a lone hiker was practicing yoga on First Peak and had the space to themselves. It wasn’t long before their peace and quiet was disturbed by a dozen or so hikers and dogs.
So what’s changed in a decade? The trail has been upgraded and re-routed in a few places; the Sea-to-Sky gondola has been realized (which had just been proposed in its original Chief-topping form in 2005); the Woodfibre Mill has closed, improving the view; and the number of people attempting this hike has gone way up.
What hasn’t changed is that the views are awesome, the trail is steep (!), the chains and ladders are fun, the grouse are sounding their booming calls and the descent between Second and Third peaks is a mess of roots and rocks.
Salmonberry is out in full bloom but not much else. Watch out for the chipmunks – their begging and scrounging skills are second to none.”
Stephen H. on Mount Crumpit:
“Last month’s trip to Crumpit Woods in Squamish called for a follow-up. Christine, Donna, Jaime, and Sherron joined me for a delightful loop that visited Mount Crumpit, Five Point Hill, and three other hilltops in the woods. With so many mountain bike trails in the area, it’s easy to get off course. Fortunately, a map and GPS kept us from getting lost. We had the place to ourselves (except for the occasional sound of dirt bikes) and enjoyed plenty of views of the Chief. After hiking the Woodpecker trail, we even saw one of those too.”
Stephen H. in Crumpit Woods:
“Apparently, I should have labelled this callout as “exploratory”. Matt, Mary, and Saeed set off with me to ascend the Seven Summits of Crumpit. After getting the help of a Squamish local to find the Smoke Bluffs summit, we decided to bypass the majority of the hilltops on the agenda and make a beeline for the tallest, Mount Crumpit. After a few hours of navigating the maze of mountain bike trails in this interesting area, it was clear we wouldn’t make our objective and return before sundown. So we looped back on the Summer’s Eve trail, making our trip the One Summit of Crumpit. Watch out for my Mount Crumpit callout in the future.”
Stephen H. at Levette Lake:
“Fred, Gabriela, Seth, and I lucked out as the forecasted rain didn’t materialize on this hike. And what an enjoyable little fall hike it was. We took the Copperbush, Silver Summit, Skyline, and Fraser-Burrard trails, stopping for lunch at Levette Lake in the middle. As the clouds cleared, we feasted on Tantalus Range views as Fred recounted his adventures on Mount Fairweather and other treacherous peaks. An old Douglas-fir provided the final highlight as we neared the car.”
Steve v. at Seed Peak:
“After a failed attempt last year, I learned from my mistakes and Andy, Pete, Janice, and Danielle joined me for a successful peak bag on a balmy October day.
With more confidence in our GPS tracks and an early start, we were able to guide our driver, Danielle, to the trailhead without issue. She made quick work of the obstacles and a high clearance 4×4 was required.
The trail itself has 4 distinct phases: a clearcut and wooded trailhead, a rolling ridge-like ascent, a barren rocky section with tarns, scree and glacier, and the peak view area (also a ridge). The thing about this trail is that all parts are extremely scenic (especially in fall). In fact, I would consider none of this trail to be the usual “chore” section that exists in most BC hikes.
Wayfinding was needed, but not much, and the drive is very long so do your homework, but I’d rank this as one of the top 10 in the 103 Hikes book (though know the stats under-represent the elevation gain and distance).”