Tag Archives: Chilliwack River

Mt Macfarlane, 1 Aug 2016

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.”

Upper Pierce Lake

Lindeman Lake, 16 Apr 2016

Andrew W. at Radium Flora Lindeman Lake:
“It was a last minute callout with some last minute changes due to snow.

First up: Radium Lake. One look at the snow level and that idea was quickly changed. Second up: Flora. We got 3/4 of the way there (after many a switchback) but then encountered deeper snow (2-3 ft or so) than expected so a return to base was the wisest course of action. Naturally, we were equipped to camp and camp we did. Lindeman Lake was relatively quiet and a refreshing night.

Pics on the Flickr pool as per usual.”

Chilliwack Lake

Greendrop Lake, 20 May 2015

Andy G. at Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes:
“Third time to Greendrop Lake, third time it rained on me 🙂 At least today it was only a sprinkle, with the main thunderstorm passing us by. Lindeman Lake looked stunning in bright sunshine, which meant it was baking hot out on the boulder fields. We were glad of the cloud cover on the return leg. Speaking of boulders, I was reminded again at how many boulder fields you cross on this hike – we came to the conclusion that beyond Lindeman Lake, the hike should be regarded as one giant boulder field with a few bits of forest in between!

The trail is in good condition and the water level is low so there are no issues at any of the creek crossings. As always, crossing Post Creek in the boulder fields requires good balance, and may be a bit tricky for less experienced hikers.

Lots of trillium blooming, a few fairyslipper orchids, hooker’s fairybells, wild ginger and streambank spring beauty. To my surprise, Queen’s cup leaves are already covering the forest floor in places, and it won’t be too long before they flower – I imagine that this time next month we’ll be seeing a lovely display. Devil’s Club is in leaf, the alder and cottonwood trees are at their aromatic peak. Varied thrushes aplenty, a red-headed sapsucker or two and I heard (but never saw) a couple of rufous hummingbirds. Lindeman Lake had a lone loon floating over on the far side.

This was the third of my ten-year anniversary hikes – it was the second hike I organized through Wanderung back in May 2005, and on that occasion it rained most of the way. (It rained quite a bit on my return in July 2012 too…) Thanks to Bob, Robert, and Nik for great company and an excellent day out.”

Lindeman Lake

Williams Ridge 15/08/11

Dan R. on Wiliams Ridge:
“Ronald and I were the only ones on the trail until the end of the day. From centre of Vancouver, less than a 2-hour drive both ways. I measured 32 km on my odometer to the trailhead from the turn onto the Chilliwack Lake road. Hike took 3 hours each way, not including breaks. Ridge is about halfway. Trail is less steep as you gain altitude. A few trees down, nothing major. Mild brush growing in, but it got me pretty wet (rained overnight). No snow or mud. No sign of bears. Lots of bugs, except at knoll. Trail peters out at first knoll. Recommend going at least to the 2nd/3rd treeless knoll. If you see the unmarked intersection on the steep part, go left. Unmarked intersection as you gain ridge, go right. Unmarked intersection further along ridge, go left.”

Williams Ridge 06/08/11

Hurrian on Williams Ridge:
“Three of us made it to Williams Ridge. 103 Hikes is a little incorrect about the trailhead. It caused us to look for the trailhead for two hours before the start of the hike. The start is around 30 km down Chilliwack Lake Road rather than the 34.5 it claims. Look for a sign that says “Wms Ridge Trail” that is visible from the road. It gets steep very quickly, ascending 1000 metres in about 3 km or so. After that you hit a ridge that has some stunning views of local mountains. Surprisingly there was very little snow on the trail. Only a bit in the final sections. Definitely recommended hike as long as it’s clear enough for a view. The descent is not as rough on the knees as it could be since much of the top section of the trail is padded with tree mulch.”

Flora Lake 02/07/11

Dennis on the Flora Lake trail:
“In my callout, I made a remark about “103 Hikes” time estimates being overly generous. Ironically, it took us the prescribed 10 hours to complete this loop. For some of our party, I’m guessing this hike turned out to be a lot tougher than they had anticipated. Our group of four hit the trail at approximately 11 am. The beginning is pretty straightforward as you follow the book’s (103 Hikes) description and the obvious trail markers. The trail is steep for a good 3 – 4 hours as it meanders along numerous switchbacks. But the payoff is worth it. As you climb, the views of the surrounding mountain ranges are immediate and abundant. The view of the Chilliwack lake below in particular is unsurpassed and truly picturesque. As we slowly approached the col, the trail brought us very near a small but pretty waterfall.

At this point, the steepness of the trail begins to relent and the snow makes its first appearance. By my estimate, our first sighting of snow was roughly at 1250 m. Although the grade of the trail eases, do not let this deceive you – our remaining hike in snow proved to be very cumbersome as we post holed many times. Snow levels were still high due to last winter’s heavy snowfall. This combined with the recent warming of the climate made for very soft, wet and unstable snow. In addition, there were no visible trail markers beyond this point. Following the book’s vague description, Dan, our most experience hiker, and I decided to ascend up the hill to where it meets the lowest point of the ridge. At the top, another dilemma – a fork in our “path”. The obvious choice was to head West towards Flora lake and the general direction of the loop. However, as some of you may know, the obvious route is not always the correct one. We decided to choose by process of elimination. I scurried up the “path” (more of a clearing really) heading East. Since this direction led nowhere, we headed West. Remember, there were no visible trail markers after the first appearance of snow. A GPS, compass and strong route finding abilities are recommended in these conditions.

Over the ridge and past the col the only direction is down. As the others cautiously trudged down the steep snow covered hillside, I quickly changed into my rain gear. My descent down the hill as a human crazy carpet began. No matter how old you get, sliding is always fun isn’t it? Naturally, the others wanted to give it a try. So there we were, the four of us Dan, Ulrike, Grace and myself sliding down the hill. At the lake we had snacks and took pictures. The lake was still mostly frozen and surrounded by snow. Beyond the lake, the trail really got tricky. The snow was so high, there was no obvious path or trail to follow. If you go and this is the case, stick to the book’s description. We did and we stayed west of the lake. Boulder fields anyone? Boulder field after boulder field we slowly began our descent down to Lindeman Lake post holing all the way. With no obvious path and trail markers and cairns hard to spot or completely covered in snow, the natural instinct is to head to lower ground and follow the river. Do not do this. Stick to the boulder fields, this is where the path is and what is described in the book. If you get lost at this point, there are five boulder fields immediately after the lake you must cross before the path becomes visible and clear of snow. We found this out the hard way and briefly got “lost” (though we were always headed in the right direction) for 20 minutes or so before returning to the boulder fields.

After this point, the trail is very straightforward and trail markers are abundant. You know what else is abundant? That’s right, more boulder fields. I counted over 12 boulder fields you must traverse through the course of this loop after Flora lake. The trail down the Lindeman side is beautiful and one that I have done many times. Many lakes, waterfalls and small river and creek crossings abound. We made it to the car utterly exhausted. Well, I wasn’t exhausted, just hungry really :). One last tip before I end this lengthy report. This is a long hike. Book time is 10 hours. Absolutely, positively bring a head lamp and always have at least crampons and sunglasses when travelling on snow. Food helps too. Thanks for the snacks Ulrike and Dan! Now all of you reading, go take a hike!”

Williams Peak 13/08/10

Andrew R. on Williams Peak:
“I was joined by Rebecca and Valerie on a gorgeous Friday for a hike up to Williams Peak overlooking the Chilliwack Valley. We got an early start and arrived at the well-marked trailhead at 9:30. The trail climbs steeply up to the top of Williams Ridge and then it is a easy (but long) walk along the treed ridge to a rocky knoll where we got out first clear view of the peak itself. We stopped at the knoll for a bit of lunch and to mull over the best route through the basin towards the peak. Luckily I had gotten advice not to descend into the basin but to continue up to the second knoll where we eventually spotted a cairn that told us we were heading in the right direction. Carefully following cairns and flagging, we traversed the side-slope on the left (north) side of the basin. This saved us having to lose and regain a lot of elevation – a huge help! (This route doesn’t seem to match with the route shown in Matt Gunn’s scrambles book. He seems to drop down into the basin.) Along the way Rebecca’s sharp eye spotted a momma and baby black bear moving quickly up the basin below us. It was her first bear sighting and an exciting spotting. We continued across the boulder field at the base of the peak (loudly, in case the bears were still in the area) and gained a rocky ramp that took us around to the scrambling gully on the south side of the peak. There seem to be a few options here, but all the routes seemed to converge on the main gully, which is STEEP. Some fun scrambling up this section. We reached the summit and enjoyed a good 45 minutes or so with fantastic views in all directions before reluctantly making our way down. We carefully retraced our route to find the flagging and the route around the side of the basin. At this point you are very glad not to have to descend into and climb back out of the basin! After gaining the ridge and having a last look back at the impressive peak we’d just descended from, it was a long dusty march back through the trees to the car. A long and tiring day, but the good company, fun scrambling, and great summit views made it totally worthwhile.”

Flora Lake 31/07/10

Carolyne at Flora Lake:
“Eight intrepid Wanderungers set off to do the Flora Lake Loop. We were a well matched group and talked for most of the almost 10 hour hike! This hike has diverse vegetation and gorgeous views of surrounding peaks and the Chilliwack Valley. An interesting ascent through hemlock forest gave way to a traverse around an alpine bowl complete with wildflowers and then up over a wide pass. We decided to do a short detour to Flora Peak with 6 of our 8 going to the top for a look around. Then we started to descend to Flora Lake. This was the start of many descents! We kept remarking that it didn’t feel like we’d gained so much elevation, but we had: 1160 m. The trail continued traversing the west slope above the lake, weaving among the Douglas fir. Then came the first of many, many rock slide traverses. I had a moment of inattention, fell… and we ended up with an unplanned break as I got my knee bandaged up. No permanent damage done and on we went eventually descending to Post Creek but not before we could see Greendrop Lake peaking through the trees. At Lindeman Lake two of our crew braved the cold water for short dips. We couldn’t see them go in, but we sure could heard them! After what felt like a pleasant stroll to the other end of the lake, we descended again to the trail head. The trail is well marked and maintained throughout, there’s just one tricky bit at Post Creek – don’t go over the log bridge with signs on it saying ‘Greendrop Lake’ and ‘Trans Canada path’, take the path going to the left. Dinner at the Jolly Miller completed our day with a return to Vancouver about 11pm. Everyone agreed it had been a great day.”

Williams Peak 30/08/09

Peter A. on Williams Peak:
“Hurrian, Siegfried, Nikita, Alex, Lana, Carol, Dave, Thomas and I successfully climbed the relentlessly steep Williams Ridge in 30 degree heat, braving wasp stings and enjoying a bounty of huckleberries and blueberries. Approx 1000 m elevation gain straight up: like the Grind, but higher and without steps. After another hour of hiking along the beautiful, rolling forested ridge, we ascended “the first knoll” for lunch, which sits across a rocky basin from Williams Peak. The trail from the parking lot to this point was clearly marked and well-maintained. Beyond were various routes for ascending the peak.

After lunch, six of us set off to summit the classically-shaped summit horn: the heat and blisters took their toll on three of our party. We followed Gunn’s route, beginning by descending steeply a lot of vertical into the large basin below the mountain to avoid cliffs. From there it was a long, hot ascending traverse across a number of boulder fields and ridges to reach the base of “the ramp”. Though steep and dusty, the trail up the ramp was clear and contained few loose rocks, providing easy access up and over the south ridge of the peak. A short traverse dropped us into a large, prominent gully that led straight up to the summit. Take time to note where you enter the gulley so you can easily find your exit and route back to the south ridge on your descent. The gully is very steep, but mostly grassy with lots of foot-holds. Since it was hot and dry, it was just a long grunt up: I wouldn’t want to do this up or down when it’s wet and slippery. It took us 1.5 hours to summit from the first knoll.

Views on top were hazy but spectacular. The Peak is surprisingly broad, although the drop-offs are super steep. On our descent, on top of the south ridge, poised to start our way down the ramp, we found a series of cairns leading off to the right. We followed these, which took us on a gentler descending traverse, keeping us higher above the basin and many (but not all) of the boulder fields. Cairns led us just below the cliffs of the second knoll, until we intersected with our original route directly below the first knoll, but much higher above the basin. Our return to the first knoll via this route took a little over 1 hour.

The long, descent to the parking lot was happily broken up by sessions of berry picking and eating. Round trip time was approx. 9 hours. The hike was physically demanding (no water sources from the ridge onwards), but the scrambling was technically easy. A great group and an outstanding hike.”


Radium Lake 29/08/09

Steve at Radium Lake:
“I was warned by a number of people that Radium Lake was more of a hop off point to other great destinations like Mt. Webb or MacDonald. It turns out they were right. Although the trail was pleasant, and extremely well marked, given the elevation gain and distance, it seemed to fly by. The lake itself was unimpressive and there were only peek-a-boo views of the surrounding peaks. However it looked like a great spot for a campsite/basecamp, and many varieties of berries were abundant.

The only potential obstacles on this trail was the numerous bridges, one reported to be out. I’ve seen bridges in far worse condition than this one though I could see where the “break” was. In our case, there was no problem crossing the bridge OR just crossing the stream below. I’m unsure why no one has repaired the bridge, it looks like an easy fix.

Good company though, minimal bugs, and this time we avoided that pub and opted for pizza instead afterwards. Next time, I plan for an overnighter at this destination and intend to check our the surrounding peaks.”