May Long Weekend HikesMay 16, 2016
The upcoming May Long Weekend offers a good opportunity to get out and hit some hiking trails. While we’ve been experience plenty of sunshine as of late, many of the trails at the higher elevations still have plenty of snow on them. However, there are several great hiking trails which are accessible and snow-free.
Sea To Summit Trail
The Sea To Summit Trail takes you from the bottom to the top of the Sea To Sky Gondola in Squamish. The trail is 7.5km long with an elevation gain of 918 meters, however you only have to hike up the hill and can purchase a $10 ticket to take the Gondola back down. The hike itself has steep sections but it also has several points of interest, including passing next to the top of Shannon Falls and over a rocky ridge that offers a stunning view of Howe Sound on a sunny day. Enjoy a beer, food, and explore the views from the top of the Sea To Sky Gondola before heading back down.
A day-trip to Bowen Island can give you the sense that you went away on the weekend while not having to venture too far from the city. The hike to Mount Gardner begins after you make your way towards Killarney Lake. Follow the steep section uphill, through the maze of access roads and trails, with the Skid Trail being your best option. The view from the top looks out towards West Vancouver and the entrance of Howe Sound. After enjoying the view, head back down towards the lake and return to Snug Cove, grabbing a bite to eat before returning to the mainland by ferry.
Located in Chilliwack, Elk Mountain is a steep hike as you climb 800 meters in under 4km! On a sunny day, the view from the top can offer one of the Fraser Valley’s best views as you look towards the farms and houses below. Extend your hike through the meadows and head toward Mount Thurston before hiking back down the steep slope, back to the parking lot area.
Local Tip: If you’re looking for an after-hike treat, a popular spot is the Chilliwack Airport Coffee Shop where they are known for their huge selection of homemade pies.
Sendero Diez Vistas
The Diez Vistas trail in the Buntzen Lake area offers a slightly more challenging route as you hike up the mountain on the west side of the lake. The views are gorgeous as one overlooks the Buntzen Lake area and several others look out towards Indian Arm and across to the North Shore mountains. The route continues through a long forested section, gradually descending until you reach the north end of Buntzen Lake. Cross the suspension bridge to the quieter beach area, then return by following the trail along the east side of Buntzen back to the parking lot.
BCMC Trail or Grouse Grind
Staying close to home this long weekend? The BCMC Trail and Grouse Grind are both open and offer a good workout hike close to the city. Both trails begin from the area near the Grouse Mountain Skyride and end at the top near the chalet. Make sure to take adequate water and $10 to purchase a tram ticket for the ride back down.
Where are you hiking this May Long Weekend?