The forecast for the BC Day Long Weekend is looking pretty good and this is a great time of year to hike some of the higher elevation mountains that are typically snow-covered well into July. Most trails are snow-free, with a few, like Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park, still having a bit of snow near the top.
There has been an increase in the number of rescues that local search and rescue organizations have been called out for this year, so it’s important to be prepared. Here are a few things to remember:
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.
- Pack the 10 Essentials, even on hikes in the North Shore Mountains. Having some of these items, like a flashlight, can be the different to making it back if something goes wrong.
- Wear proper hiking boots. Running shoes aren’t meant for the rugged trails and will not have adequate grip on trails with lots of roots or rock.
- Bring plenty of water and food. It’s hot this time of year and many creeks along the trails have dried up, so some areas have limited water sources.
Here’s some recommended hikes for the BC Day Long Weekend:
Elfin Lakes is one of the easier hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park as it begins from the Squamish area and climbs steadily for the first half beyond Red Heather Meadows. The trail follows a ridge with incredible views of the area, including Columnar Peak and the Tantalus Range. The two lakes are in a stunning setting but make sure to swim in the lake furthest from the ranger cabin as the other lake is for drinking water.
The hike to Wedgemount Lake is located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, just north of Whistler and it’s not for the weak. Although it’s just 7km one-way, it gains 1160 meters making it one of the steepest hikes in the region. The reward is a stunning view of the turquoise alpine lake with the glacier at the far end. After enjoying the scenery, take it easy hiking back down as the steepness will take its toll on your muscles.
The view from the top of Mount Cheam in Chilliwack is the best view in the Fraser Valley as you enjoy a 360-degree view of the region. Although this hike isn’t too challenging, the road to the trail is REALLY challenging and rough and requires a 4×4 with high clearance and not minding getting scratched up a bit. If you don’t have access to such a vehicle, Mt Waddington in Chilliwack has several planned hikes to Mount Cheam where they provide you with transportation.
The hike to the Lions following the The Lions Binkert Trail is also challenging but offers some incredible views of Howe Sound and as far away as the city of Vancouver. The trail has several steep sections and continues up and up, gaining 1280 meters. The challenge is worth it to see Vancouver’s most recognizable peaks up close.
Where are you planning to hike this BC Day Long Weekend?