Jeremy on Mt MacFarlane:
“Four brave souls ventured out towards Chilliwack Saturday September 3rd to climb Mount MacFarlane. The drive took to the trail head took less than two hours, and was completely paved, except for the last 200 metres. Easy with 2WD. The parking lot was pretty full upon arrival, with both day hikers and overnighters parked there. 1770 metres is a lot to ascend, and the trail gets to the point and starts ascending within the first 150 metres or so of the hike. It took us three hours to get to the first lake, with few stops to rest. About one hour in, there is a sharp right turn in the trail – if you are looking down, it is easy to miss! It’s up and up and up, through lush forest, across one boulder field and crossing one creek. It’s definitely a slog. The trail was mostly dry, with a little bit of muddy sections near the lake.
The first lake is beautiful, with Mount MacFarlane staring at you from the south end of the lake, and a waterfall cascading from the upper lake, down the face of the ridge visible from the lake’s edge. There are a few flat spots for camping at the north end of the lake, which is where we camped, but there were better spots at the south end of the lake, a further 10 minutes down the trail, and then a steep descent to the lake edge.
After passing flasks around the fire for a while, we all slept well, tired from hiking, even though we had only hiked 3 hours. Sunday morning, it was just a one hour hike up to the second lake. The trail is steep in sections, but not difficult technically. It was great to hike without all our camping gear! The upper lake was still 70% frozen. It was another 45 minutes up the snow free ridge to the top of the mountain – this portion involved a tiny bit of scrambling but it was mostly hiking. At the top, the views were incredible. We could even see Mt. Rainier to the south. We hiked back down to the first lake quickly, ate lunch, packed up, swam, and headed back to the car. It’s even more of a slog down – it’s relentless down and down and down. Hiking poles definitely helped! On our way down, we passed some hikers coming up who warned us that 4 out of the 6 cars parked overnight had been broken into. Fortunately, we were one of the two cars that remained intact. The drive back was quick with no traffic. Epsom salts baths were in order to soothe sore legs from the descent.”