Tag Archives: Fraser Valley

Raven Bluffs, 19 Mar 2017

Chris N. at Raven Bluffs:
“Raven Bluffs Trail is on the SW flank of Nicomen Mt near Dewdney in the Fraser Valley. Being south and west facing and at a low elevation, it makes a good early season warm-up hike. The trail directions I have found for it aren’t very good though. Firstly, instead of parking outside the Inch Creek Fish Hatchery, I would suggest driving across the railway tracks on Hawkins Pickle Rd and park at the yellow gate on the south side of the tracks and 100 m short of Norrish Creek. This eliminates 2 acts of trespass but you still have to cross the railway tracks after crossing to the east side of the road bridge on foot. The route you want is marked by infrequent red and white diamond reflectors. Walk north about 850 m along the edge of the river and around a marsh ignoring branches to the left. At a small pile of rocks, take a right fork and gain a small bench. At the foot of a steep slope, there is another fork at another pile of rocks. Again, go right and start climbing a relatively steep trail. You will pass a few bluffs – 1, 2 and 4 are signed. 1 is viewless, 2 is on a steep slope, 3 is large, 4 is small and easily missed. At 320 m, you will encounter a fork (the left branch may be obscured a bit). If you do the loop, this is where you return. Continue right another 200 m for a large, un-numbered viewpoint (bluff 5). After this point, the trail becomes a bit more difficult to follow due to downed trees and branches. The trail soon becomes an old overgrown road. After a few hundred metres, you will come to a fork – take the left road. More road walking takes you to another junction. Take the left branch and climb slowly. Ignore a right branch and the road eventually ends at the final viewpoint (also used as a launch point for paragliders). The trail continues on the left side of the viewpoint and descends steeply. This quickly returns you to the 320-m fork. The road portion of the trail is largely wet, obstacled and viewless. A better variant would be to go to bluff 5 and then return to the 320-m fork and use that to access the paragliding launch bluff.”

Deroche Mountain, 31 Jan 2016

Colleen C. on Deroche Mountain:
“Four snowshoers
Eight cookies
Fifty-four waterbars
Two lakes
Wait, how many waterbars?!

Yes, that’s right FIFTY-FOUR waterbars on this hike! I’ve never seen so many or some so deep on a relatively short stretch of logging road – and as a born and raised BCer, I’ve seen a lot of waterbars in my life.

I’d been warned about these so-called “monster waterbars” but brushed it off as an exaggeration by folks who perhaps didn’t have much experience about how BC deactivates its logging roads. Well, crow eaten. And let me tell you that’s tough for a crow admiring vegetarian.

That said, I perversely found it great fun, both climbing through them and counting them on the way back. We didn’t make the summit so I’ll be re-visiting this area soon. If anyone happens to go before I can get back, let me know your waterbar count (in my astoundedness maybe I miscounted one or two). Though I’d recommend waiting for a bit more snow or a rather a lot less.

The snow conditions may have made some more tricky than usual, but for this I defined a “waterbar” as a distinct, steep down & up all along the length of the Hanson Creek road. Some were natural creek washouts,
rather than dug out by a mad excavator operator futilely but energetically trying to dig a tunnel to China, but not many.

Mt St Benedict, 22 Mar 2015

Colleen C. on Mt St Benedict:
“While the weather wasn’t as clear as I’d hoped, we still had glimpses of the surrounding mountains, including Judge Howay and Robbie Reid which alone would be worth the hike in my book.

After just a couple of minutes driving on gravel we parked the cars by the locked gate. The first hour is uphill on logging roads, but there are nice views and a lovely waterfall to enjoy. After reaching the trail proper (eccentrically marked with an old pan atop of some lashed together branches – can’t miss it) there is pleasant forest, a couple of small but beautiful lakes, a steep section, and then a gentle climb to the summit itself. We had a lazy lunch with plenty of tea and cookies and then made our way back the way we came.

The hike seemed easier than the stats implied (1000 m elevation gain, 15 km), but that could have been due to the pleasant terrain and great company. Special thanks to our two drivers and Katherine who gallantly took the cramped middle seat.”

Mt St Benedict 05/02/11

Ben on Mt St Benedict:
“We stayed dry but we have no views to report from this trip. The clouds that hung on the ridge in the morning did not break for us. This hike has potential as a nice winter alternative to the popular North Shore standards. It is accessible in any vehicle and the trail is easy to follow. If you go anytime soon, be prepared to lug your snowshoes up a few hundred metres before finding any snow however. There is also a section of logging road/stream bed to expect. The turn-off of the trail from the road is marked by an old pan, and is pretty easy to spot. We put on our showshoes around McKay Lake and picked our own trail up the ridge. The snow beyond the lake was crusty. Atop the ridge we headed south towards the summit, seeing occasional markers along the way.”

Sumas Mtn 13/03/10

Steve on Sumas Mountain:
“Five of us headed out to Abbotsford on what was expected to be a very rainy day. However, the weather held out for all but the first few minutes and the last of the journey. We did the West trail which turned out to to be the right move as the East appears to no longer be usable due to blasting (for what purpose I do not know). Snow was hit at 550 metres but could be walked on all of the way to the top.

For those considering hiking this trail it is listed as a 6.5 hr hike but due to a range in hiking speeds within our group and snow it took us almost 8. Though on paper it seems as if the final destination is the peak with the large radio tower, the two highlights really are the East lookout, and Chadsey Lake. I believe this trip might be best used as a shady Summer trip on a hot day with a swim in the lake, but for views, you can do better by driving a bit further and exploring the many options in Chilliwack.

A good time was had by all.”

Bear Mountain 26/10/08

Sandra on Bear Mountain:
“Four of us hiked Bear Mountain and basically had the whole trail to ourselves. Got a good view of Harrison Lake and black flies and made a detour to Bear Lake. As expected, parts of the trail were not well maintained and we had to climb over/duck under fallen trees/debris, push through overgrown brush, etc. but nothing we couldn’t handle. It was a long climb up but we were eventually rewarded with amazing views of the Fraser Valley and Cheam mountain range though it was windy at the lookout. On the way down, the light was just right so that the colour of the leaves were simply brilliant.”