Andy G. on the Great Garibaldi Glacier Lily Hunt:
“Glacier lilies! A familiar refrain to the ears of those who know me. It was a pleasure to introduce two Wanderung and Garibaldi Lake first-timers to those cheery yellow flowers. As expected, they were a little past their peak but we did see a few nice patches. We wandered up beyond Outhouse Junction, following the trail towards Black Tusk for a km or so where we found the best flower displays. Then we headed down to the lake to cool off our feet. The most surprising discovery of the trip was the water level in the lake: I’ve never seen it so low. Rubble Creek wasn’t flowing out of the lake at all, with nothing but old trees visible.
The trail is in excellent shape, if a little dusty right now. No snow and almost no mud. The campgrounds look to be snow-free. We encountered the crew working on upgrading the trail and rested awhile to chat with them. Bugs are mostly not a problem except at Taylor Meadows campground, where the bug rating was upgraded to irritating. I was hoping to see a bear, as that would have made for bear sightings on my last 3 callouts, but it was not to be. (I did the same trip a few days later and we saw a lone black bear grazing the meadows between Taylor Meadows and Outhouse Junction.)
Full flower update is on Live Trails and photos are on Flickr.
Many thanks to Jackie and Aaron for indulging my obsession and keeping me company on a long day of hiking.”
Su-Laine on Cheam Peak:
“With alpine flowers in full bloom and a winding trail through the meadows that gives ever-changing views of nearby mountains and valleys, Cheam was one of the most rewarding day hikes I’ve done yet.
The consensus was that it wasn’t all without adversity though: the infamous 4×4 road access, swarms of flies of various shapes and sizes that morphed into citronella-immune mosquitoes at higher elevations, and an approaching thunderstorm all made the day more exciting.
For Cheam, people don’t ask about trail conditions as much as road conditions. We were in an SUV and had no particular difficulty, but it was a challenging drive with some ‘don’t look down’ sections, and the last 11 km of logging road took us nearly an hour each way. Total driving time from Brentwood Mall in Burnaby was 3 hours each way. The parking lot was full of SUVs and 4×4 trucks; we’d heard that it’s possible to drive up in a 2WD car if you’re willing to wreck it, and to our amazement we did see one midsized car there. I still can’t understand how it got up there. The Chilliwack forecast was for a possible thundershower in the late afternoon, but we started to hear thunder at around 1:30 pm and the electricity in the air was making people’s hair stand up. I literally ran the last few minutes to the summit, snapped a few pictures, and got off it as quickly as possible. The descent was very pleasant though, with alternating sunshine and cooling clouds and drizzle. We were happy to be on Highway 1 on the way home when the full storm hit.”
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!”