Can you feel the excitement? There are just two weeks left until the launch of 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia. The publication date for my debut hiking guidebook is May 26.
105 Hikes is an all-new, expanded follow-up to Mary and David Macaree’s venerable 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia. The B.C. Mountaineering Club and The Mountaineers of Seattle originally published 103 Hikes in 1973, and Jack Bryceland authored the sixth and last edition in 2008.
Offering a selection of trails in northern Washington, colour photographs and maps, kid-friendly options, and rainy-day recommendations, 105 Hikes is not an update of the previous guide; it’s a completely new book. The first edition introduces features such as an at-a-glance summary of all the hikes, a rating system for quality and difficulty, and shorter or longer options for many outings.
Last month, I unveiled 105 Hikes’ table of contents. To follow up, here’s a sampling of nine spectacular hikes featured in the guide, which is being published by Vancouver’s Greystone Books.
1. Cheam Peak
Cheam Peak is the formidable mountain that eastbound travellers on Trans-Canada Highway 1 in Chilliwack see towering over the Fraser Valley. On the southwest ridge, a well-worn track through the volcanic breccia leads to a wooden bench, then to the satisfying summit. (Hike 63)
2. The Flatiron
The Needle Peak Trail threads south into the woods, steepening as it weaves uphill amid Douglas fir and devil’s club. From the summit plateau, Illal Mountain, Jim Kelly Peak, and Coquihalla Mountain lie across the Coquihalla River to the southeast. (Hike 71)
3. Joffre Lakes
With the all-ages, international crowd and tourist-grade trail — made markedly easier in recent years — Joffre Lakes Provincial Park has the feel of a national park. A very early start is required to secure a legal parking spot and beat the hordes of day trippers. (Hike 48)
4. Mount Erskine
Mount Erskine is undoubtedly the most magical of Saltspring Island’s prominences. Discover charming little fairy doors and enchanting viewpoints popular with dragon flies. (Hike 90)
5. Watersprite Lake
In 2016, the BCMC built the new Watersprite Lake Trail and closed the old, deteriorating route. Hikers are rewarded with outstanding views of Mount Garibaldi, Mamquam Mountain, and Sky Pilot Mountain en route to the turquoise tarn. (Hike 23)
6. Panorama Ridge
Ascend switchbacks to dreamy Black Tusk Meadows in Garibaldi Provincial Park. At Panorama Ridge, enjoy the elevated perspective of Black Tusk Lake and Mimulus Lake, as well as outcrops of 100-million-year-old seabed strata, and ascend scree and snow to the viewpoint on top. (Hike 30)
7. Jocelyn Hill
Jocelyn Hill is the centrepiece of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. The best vantages come before the summit, when you break out of the trees and onto stunning mossy bluffs. (Hike 93)
8. Three Brothers Mountain
It’s no secret why hikers flock to the Heather Trail in E.C. Manning Provincial Park every July and August. At peak bloom, the subalpine meadows burst into a sea of red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, pink, and white. (Hike 79)
9. Skywalk North
High up, with glaciated Rainbow Mountain before you, cairns lead the way across rocky slopes and snow patches. The fun descent to spectacular Iceberg Lake is muddy and steep. (Hike 42)
On June 2, Mountain Equipment Co-operative (MEC) will host me for a book signing event at its flagship Vancouver store in the territories of the Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓il̓wətaʔɬ) First Nations. I’d love to see you there.