The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Chilliwack

July 24, 2018

Written by: Nicole van Zanten

When you plan for a weekend hike in Greater Vancouver Area, many residents and visitors to Vancouver will point to the North Shore mountains. They’re the most visible when arriving to the city via air, provide a handy compass direction for locals who navigate through town, and offer some majestic beauty that is easily accessible from the city.

Yet, traveling East down the Highway 1 provides hikers with equally beautiful trails to adventure through, with terrain that differs from the North Shore. Travelling down this direction leads us to the city of Chilliwack, the seventh largest city in British Columbia.

Chilliwack has traditionally been an agriculture community, though has altered over time as city-dwellers have opted for the beauty of the countryside. Located 100km from Vancouver, the city is a day trip away from the hustle and bustle and into an area rich with outdoor activities. Trails in this area have picked up in popularity over the last decade, though are still relatively untouched when compared to other well-used trails in the GVRD and Fraser Valley.

If you’re searching for new soft ground to adventure through, here are the 5 best hiking trails in Chilliwack.

Elk Mountain

A 7KM round-trip hike with an elevation gain of 800 meters, the top of Elk Mountain provides remarkable views of Chilliwack, Cultus Lake and the Fraser Valley area. Beginning with a wide trail that is smooth and not technical, the hike leads you over a wooden bridge, a gravel service road, steep climbs and into rootier scrambles with challenging footing It provides a little bit of everything, with a reward once you reach the top.

Note: July is toadlet season! Thousands of toadlets will be migrating across Elk Road during this month, so be sure to watch for detour signs along the way.

Elk Mountain

The view from Elk Mountain.

Teapot Hill

A relatively short, easy trail that can be fun for the whole family (just be prepared for two hours on your feet). The Teapot Hill Trail is 250 meters in elevation gain covering 5KM. It’s located right next to Cultus Lake, which could be part of a weekend adventure in the Fraser Valley area. Mixed terrain with one short, steep hill offer two distinct viewpoints, one viewing Cultus Lake and the other into United States.

Teapot Hill Trail

The Teapot Hill Trail

Mount Cheam

Mount Cheam is another spectacular hike in the Chilliwack area. With a round-trip distance of 9.5KM and an elevation gain of 700 meters, it too offers spectacular views of the Fraser Valley region. 360 views at the top make for plenty of Instagram-worthy photos – just be sure to wear dependable footing and carry plenty of water and food when embarking on this trail. It includes plenty of switchbacks and hikers need to take extreme caution when nearing the edge of some areas of this trail. Switchbacks cut into the mountainside, and is only advisable to hike from about July to October.

Note: Accessing this trail will require an off-road or 4×4 vehicle with high clearance. It’s not an easy route to get to, and should be done safely.

Mount Cheam

The top of Mount Cheam.

Seven Sisters Trail

The Seven Sisters Trail is similar to Teapot Hill, in that it is a relatively short, easy hike that can be fun for the family. This trail – Seven Sisters – is 3KM in distance and has an elevation gain of just 70. It’s another beautiful hike in the Cultus Lake area, leading to a grove of old douglas fir trees. Although this particular trail does not offer views like the others I have adventured through on this list, the sheer size and awe of these trees are sure to impress.

Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters Trail near Cultus Lake

Slesse Memorial Trail

The Slesse Memorial Trail was named to commemorate the Trans-Canada Airlines Flight 810, a flight that was en route from Vancouver to Calgary and sadly crashed in 1956. A memorial plaque and propellor are positioned on this trail, remembering those who passed.

Mount Slesse

The view of Mount Slesse from the memorial.

This trail is 12KM round-trip, taking approximately 6 hours as an intermediate hike. With plenty of climbing comes views from the peak – Propeller Cairn. This peak offers viewing points toward Mount Slesse, south into the United States and along the Coast Mountain range. It’s a worthwhile venture and a sure day trip from Vancouver.

Note: Accessing this trail will require an off-road or 4×4 vehicle with high clearance. It’s not an easy route to get to, and should be done safely.

Chilliwack offers many beautiful trails to explore, with varying levels of difficulty. From steep climbs to worthwhile viewpoints, this city in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia has plenty of adventure.

Nicole van Zanten

As a born and raised Vancouverite, Nicole grew up on the most popular of trails, exploring Greater Vancouver, Whistler and the Sunshine Coast on weekend hikes as a child. Her love of the outdoors led her to become a trail runner, recently completing her second 50KM ultra marathon in our own backyard of the North Shore mountains. You can spot her adventuring with her trail runners and dogs on warm, sunny days, finding the next best gem to share with Vancouver Trails.

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