Tag Archives: Powell River

Sunshine Coast Trail, 30 Aug 2015

Stephen H. on the Sunshine Coast Trail:
“Nine days into our 10-day, 178-kilometre journey on the Sunshine Coast Trail, I ran out of toilet paper. But there was no way I could hold it until the next outhouse at Rainy Day Lake, so a corner of the Powell River recreation map was sacrificed for the cause.

While the SCT isn’t as difficult as the North Coast Trail, which took me six days to backpack in August, it offers its own special set of challenges. Traversing the Upper Sunshine Coast from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay, the SCT offers no beach hiking, climbs up and over a few mountains, and covers three times as much distance as the NCT.

It’s largely a forest trail — one that visits old-growth groves, clear-cuts, and everything in between. Eleven huts provide shelter along the way, so hikers can plan to spend all but two nights under their roofs. Hotels in Powell River, which is a good place to resupply, often profit from one of the remaining nights, while the other typically involves tent camping near Lois Lake.

Lund Water Taxi provided transportation to the trailhead at Sarah Point. Travelling north to south, we camped at Plummer Creek; slept in a motel in Powell River (and enjoyed an excellent dinner at Costa del Sol restaurant); stayed in the huts at Anthony Island, Fiddlehead Landing, Tin Hat Mountain, Elk Lake, and Walt Hill; tented at Stanley Creek; and spent our final night in the Rainy Day Lake hut. Most of the huts are open-air affairs, but a few are winterized and feature pellet stoves for heat.

Although our thru-hike lasted 10 days — the original plan was 11 days, but August’s big windstorm delayed our water taxi — I recommend 12 days of hiking plus one travel day on the front. If a more leisurely pace is preferable, you could take as long as 14 days.

We found the best views on Manzanita Bluffs, Scout Mountain, Tin Hat Mountain, and Walt Hill. Mount Troubridge is the highest point on the SCT, but its treed summit was foggy during our visit.

All in all, hiking the SCT from end to end was an experience I will never forget. Thanks so much to Jason and Svetlana for joining me on this trek.

See photos from the trip here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shui/sets/72157658135544789”

Sunshine Coast Trail, 17 May 2014

Darcy B. on the Sunshine Coast Trail:
“Six of us hiked the north section of the Sunshine Coast Trail for three days, around 15 kilometres per day. Our group included John, Dennis, Teresa, Edith, Susanna and Darcy. We had warm weather, blue skies and big white cumulous clouds. We parked our cars at the end of the trail at Powell River. Taxis brought us to the boat docks of Lund. After tasty snacks from Nancy’s Bakery, we launched off in a water taxi. Passing the Ragged Islands, we lingered at one spot as a pod of orcas swam by. At Sarah Point, the taxi pilot held the boat with a rope by a rock ledge while we unloaded gear. The start of the trail was elusive. It heads up left and inland, not right and along the shore. Once on the trail, it was well marked the whole way.

The trail was dry and springy, comfortable to hike on. A plethora of spring wildflowers were in bloom. The trail led up and down high hills with viewpoints on bluffs overlooking Desolation Sound. Later the trail overlooked the Pacific and Savary Island. Wednesday Lake was surprisingly warm and many of us stayed in the water up to fifteen minutes. There are low cliffs to dive from. The last two kilometres to Manzanita Hut were the most difficult ascent of the three days. Manzanita Hut sits on a bluff with an expansive ocean view. The location only has one tent pad. Both huts we stayed at had firepits and plenty of cut firewood. John donated his hatchet for future use at Manzanita. The two huts we stayed at have an open ventilation design. Mosquito netting is required to sleep in the huts unpestered.

The trail from Manzanita to Rieveley’s Pond Hut had a couple of long climbs and descents then levels off to pass through open woods with ferns, moss and occasional giant firs. A young bear and big mama were glimpsed running through the forest. Also seen were snakes, frogs, Steller’s jay, red-headed woodpecker, shrew, hummingbirds and several mosquitos. Reiveley’s Pond has an old rickety dock to swim from. The pond is shallow but don’t stand up. The pond bottom is silty mud that you will sink in up to your thighs. A couple of us found out the hard way. There is more space for tents at Rieveley’s Pond Hut.

The third day was the easiest hike. The trail followed several creeks and waterfalls. Sliammon Lake was pristine and warm to swim in. The trail wove through chest high ferns, around several small ponds. At Little Sliammon Lake there is a dock with a canoe and paddles. This lake is pretty and also warm and swimmable. The final stretch of trail ascends to cross a sunny exposed ridge overlooking Powell River. The trail conveniently emerges at Shinglemill Pub. Refreshments were welcome thirst quenchers. The trip was much enjoyed and we all felt luck shone us throughout this 2014 May long weekend.”