Posted: September 21, 2016
Written by Michael Chang
There are several advantages to hiking in September, including cooler temperatures, less-crowded trails, no flies, and seeing the beauty of the fall colours. And you don’t have to go far from Vancouver to experience some of the bright orange, yellow, and red colours of trees as they shed their leaves.
Here are some suggestions:
Burnaby Mountain has several trails but it’s the area near the Horizons Restaurant where you can see the incredible changing colours as the leaves fall from the trees. The leaves on the trees along the paths in the area, known as Burnaby Mountain Park, become bright orange and red before falling off and blanketing the grass areas.
To access the area, it can be as simple as driving up the mountain, parking in the lot, and walking around the Burnaby Mountain Park area. If you want to get a workout in the process, starting from the Barnett Highway area, you can hike up the Velodrome Trail, which consists of more than 500 steps and ends near Horizons Restaurant. A longer hike can also be done from the Burnaby Mountain Trails along North Road, which takes you up a steep hill and over to the Horizons area.
The hike to Whyte Lake in West Vancouver is a scenic trail year-round but during the fall, the trees around the lake have a tinge of orange to them. If you’re feeling brave, take a swim in the lake but be warned that it’s cold!
To get to Whyte Lake, take the Caufield exit in West Vancouver, then turn left and go straight through a 4-way intersection, following Westport Road. Just after passing under the highway, turn right into the gravel parking lot.
The steep climb up Elk Mountain in Chilliwack is rewarded with an incredible view of the Fraser Valley. During September, the fall colours can be stunning after you pass the forested section and continue towards Thurston through the meadows.
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To get to Elk Mountain, drive east on Highway #1 and take Exit #123. Drive south on Prest Road then turn left onto Bailey Road. Veer to the right and head up Elk Valley road as it eventually turns to gravel. After driving about 2km along the gravel road, park at a clearing on the left side of the road.
One of the most scenic lakes near Chilliwack, Lindeman Lake also boasts scenic views during the fall season when the trees offer highlights of red, orange, and yellow.
The trailhead to Lindeman Lake is located near the Chilliwack Lake. Drive eastbound on Highway #1 to Chilliwack and take exit #119 and head south on Vedder Road. Continue through town and cross the Vedder River, then turn left on Chilliwack Lake Road.
A popular area to explore the fall colours is in Manning Provincial Park along Highway #3. There are plenty of trails to explore, including around the Lightning Lakes area and some of the alpine areas of the Skyline Trails where the vegetation has turned to bring colours for the final remaining days before the winter snowfall arrives.
Manning Park can be reached by driving east from Vancouver on Highway #1 and merging onto Highway #3 at Hope. Driving time from Vancouver is approximately 2-hours.
Where do you like to go hiking in the fall?