Sumas Mountain is one of the most familiar mountains in the Fraser Valley. Located along the north side of the Trans Canada Highway between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, the Sumas Mountain Trail is also part of the Centennial Trail.
From the trailhead, make your way into the forest. The trail can be quite muddy in places, particularly in the spring or after a rainfall. The trail weaves its way through the forest until after 10 minutes where you make your way down into a ravine. The trail crosses a well-worn bridge. Enjoy the cool, fresh air the river brings as the majority of the trail will be uphill from this point forward.
Make your way up out of the ravine and ascend through the forest. Parts of the trail are very narrow from the overgrowth of plants and trees. The land comprising of Sumas Mountain is disputed as to what jurisdiction it belongs to as well as having a claim by the First Nations to land ownership. It's due to this dispute that the trail is not as actively maintained as many others.
After hiking for about an hour, you will reach a gravel road where a section of trees has been clear-cut on the left. This is an unfortunate view along the trail. Walk about 40 meters to the right along the road to where a sign points to the continuation of the trail on the left. Enter the forest again and continue ascending as you take in the fresh scents of the forest.
After 20 minutes, the trail levels slightly and continues alongside the mountain. Make sure to always check that you are following the orange markers as it is easy to become disoriented in the trees and lose the trail. Keep an eye open to your left as you may catch the occasional glimpse of the Fraser River below.
The trail continues gradually going uphill and crosses another creek. After hiking for 45 minutes or so, you arrive at the calm shores of Chadsey Lake. This beautiful lake is nestled in between thick Douglas Fir trees with Sumas Mountain towering in the background.
Walk around to the opposite side of the lake where a trail begins that climbs to the peak of Sumas Mountain. This trail can be steep, narrow, slippery, and sometimes poorly marked so use caution when climbing to the top. About 30 minutes up, a clearing offers a scenic view of the Fraser River and surrounding farms. Continue up the trail for another 30 minutes before reaching the peak. On a clear day you can see views of Mount Baker, Chiliwack, and the surrounding Fraser Valley region.
After taking in the views, begin your descent back downhill towards Chadsey Lake. Make sure to take the same trail that you used to arrive at the lake (western approach) then make your way back to the dirt road and eventually back to where you parked earlier in the day.
How to get to Sumas Mountain
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 1 hour 30 minutes
Sumas Mountain is located just east of Abbotsford and can either be hiked from the west or the east side of the mountain. To reach the trailhead of the western approach, take Highway #1 (Trans Canada Highway) east until you reach the town of Abbotsford. Take the Whatcom Road (Exit #95) turnoff and turn left, crossing over the highway overpass. Just after the overpass, make a right-hand turn onto North Parallel Road as it follows alongside the highway. After 2km, turn left onto Sumas Mountain Road. Continue along Sumas Mountain Road for 9km. For the last 0.5km, the road becomes gravel. After making a sharp right-hand corner that heads downhill, the road curves to the left. The trailhead is located in the outer part of this left curve where the gravel has been widened to give space for hikers to park their cars. Look closely for the coloured trail markers as they are easy to miss.
View a map of Driving directions to Sumas Mountain.
Dogs at Sumas Mountain
Dogs are allowed on Sumas Mountain but must be kept under control at all times. Please pick up after your dog and pack out all waste to be disposed of properly. There are no garbage facilities along the trails on Sumas Mountain.
Toilets at Sumas Mountain
There are no toilets along the Sumas Mountain Trail.
Other trails located in the Fraser Valley East region: