Andy G. on Elk Mountain:
“Talk about a great day out – the views were expansive, the flower display was amazing (over 40 types of flower identified!), and the pie at Chilliwack airport a very welcome treat. Estafan, Julianna, and Michelle joined me (and we later bumped into Shawn near the first viewpoint) for a spectacular day of hiking on Elk. We even made it up to the viewless peak of Thurston, whose only saving grace was a patch of tiny glacier lilies!
A little bit of mud (no doubt from last Saturday’s rain), but the trail is otherwise in good condition and as steep as ever. No snow before the cairn on Elk, and only a couple of patches on the way to Thurston. There’s a new (to me) outhouse about 50 m up the trail. Best of all, I think the flower show will only get better over the next few weeks.”
Bob H. on Elk-Thurston:
“Back to Chilliwack for another classic hike. Today was the first day of a ‘heat wave’, so I thought it would be good to get out before the temps were supposed to rise on the weekend. It’s also nice to do this hike on Friday and beat the masses. On the way up, our group of 3 only saw one other hiker – a fast pregnant woman! She kicked our butts up there. We would eventually meet more people on the traverse back. There are amazing views of the Fraser Valley, the Chilliwack River Valley, Slesse Creek Valley and many local mountains. Temps were mid 20s in the alpine environment, but dipped to a more refreshing temperature in the forest. As there are long stretches in the sun, we did get plenty of sun. The alpine flowers were in bloom and the colours (red, orange, blue, violet, white, yellow) were amazing. We returned to a hot car and the temperature was high 20s.”
Ben V. on Elk Mountain:
“Four hikers set out at 10:00 in a medium density fog on yet another unseasonably warm winter day. The trail up to the 1200 m mark was clear without a trace of snow. The last portion to the ridge top was spotted with frozen snow in the forest and slushy snow in the open areas. The ridge top was similar, with snow depth gradually increasing as we progressed. We stopped for lunch at 12:45 on an open bump with a large cairn. There we were rewarded with a few views when the clouds broke briefly and revealed the surrounding peaks that had been hidden all day. We went a bit further to the next highest point to enjoy some of the nice deep snow we were finally upon, and then turned back. We faced some very slippery slopes on way down that added a bit of final adventure to our day.”
Steve on Elk Mountain:
“Pros: Wildflowers! Minimal bugs. No snow. Views of the valley.
Cons: Crowds. People with dogs.
Don’t let the crowds and dogs fool you, this trail is challenging and steep in sections, though not nearly as bad as 103 Hikes would lead you to believe. It takes more like 6 hours, not 7. Make no mistake about it, July is the time to do this trail due to wildflowers, though I’ve also heard it is a great Fall destination also. Many fields had 6 or 7 types of flowers (and colours) in one eye-shot.
We really pushed the speed on the way up, but I suggest slowing down, and taking in the views. The trailhead can be accessed very easily with only maybe 0.5 km of the access road being gravel. We were behind a convoy of 7 cars from the Korean hiking club of Vancouver.
Seven of us did this Chilliwack trail on what turned out to be a sunny day and followed up with a trip to some fruit and corn stands in the area. I’m still trying to figure out why we didn’t use the drive-thru at the corn place instead of getting out!”
Beth on Elk-Thurston:
“Astrid, Bahman, LJ, Geoff and I hiked Elk-Thurston Mountain on Sunday. It started with a pleasant hike through the forest which lead us to a ridge walk from Elk to Thurston. Along the ridge the meadows were beautiful, in bloom with Indian paintbrush, lupine, tiger lilies, glacier lilies and more! We had great views of surrounding peaks of the Chilliwack area and the Cascades, though Mt. Baker was hiding under clouds. This is a great hike! The trail was virtually snow-free and in good condition, with only the occasional small snow patch at the top which did not cause any difficulty. We could see that there was more snow on the north-facing side of the mountain. The day was topped off with a drive over the new Golden Ears bridge (very bumpy, yet majestic), and a bite to eat.”