- Difficulty Intermediate
- Time 3.5 hours
- Round-Trip 9km
- Elevation Gain 260 meters
- Season May - October
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly Yes
The Vedder Ridge Trail travels along the west side of Cultus Lake to the top of Vedder Mountain, offering views to the east on a clear day. The majority of the route is forested and has gradual uphill and downhill sections until a short, steep section at the end of the trail, making this route on the easier side of "intermediate".
From the trailhead with the small wooden signs and the larger Vedder Ridge wooden sign, hike over the dirt mounds and follow the wide trail into the bush. The trail follows an old logging road briefly before veering right to where an old sign-in box and a notice about the trail cling to a tree. Now in the forest, follow the trail up a steep hill, continue along the route with the orange markers on the trees. The entire route is very well marked with these orange markers, so make sure to look up and watch for them to ensure you stay on the trail.
After a short steep section, the trail climbs at a much more gradual pace as it passes between two areas that have recently been logged. Continue to follow the trail as it veers to the left, following the ridge through the narrow forest band. Since the trail gradually climbs and occasional descends along the entire route, the total elevation gain for the trip will be much more.
After the trail climbs up a short hill with a switchback, continue for another 5 minutes or so and watch for a short trail on your right that heads off to a viewpoint about 15-metres from the trail. The viewpoint overlooks the Fraser Valley, across to Sumas Mountain and the farms in between.
Return to the trail as it descends and then passes by a muddy pond. Depending on the time of year, the pond might be dry during the later summer months. Walk up the wooden stairs at the far end and follow the trail as it passes over a rocky outcrop that once offered a viewpoint before the trees grew and blocked it.
The trail continues through much of the same forested scenery until it begins to descend, before reaching a small lake. There is not much of a view of the lake, so continue across the wooden boardwalks and follow the trail as it wraps around the other side.
After climbing a short hill, the trail arrives at a junction. Go left to follow the route to the top of Vedder Mountain (the trail to the right is known as the West Trail). After going left at the junction, the trail continues to climb, before veering left and climbing steeply over a wooden bridge and then up a steep slope with a rope assist. A bit further up and the trail has a second rope assist as it passes over some wooden steps.
After the second rope, the first viewpoint from Vedder Mountain can be seen to the left. Continue a bit further up to where there is a larger clearing on the left and a place to sit on the rocks with a stunning view looking to the east. The peak of Vedder Mountain is a short distance further up the trail but it is surrounded by trees and there is no view.
Once you have enjoyed the view, hike back down the trail, being careful through the sections with the ropes and returning to the trail and the junction. Make sure to go right at the junction, back along the Vedder Ridge Trail. Follow the trail as it passes the lake, the muddy pond by the wooden stairs, and the viewpoint. Eventually, the trail descends steeply to the wide path and only a short distance from here returns you to the trailhead.