Hiking season is upon us! My new guidebook, Destination Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, will help you make the most of summer.
Destination Hikes describes 55 hiking trips within weekend range of Vancouver, B.C. — including select trails in northern Washington (see the table of contents). These trails visit towering waterfalls, ancient forest giants, colourful wildflower meadows, sparkling swimming holes, and exhilarating viewpoints. Inside the book, you’ll find detailed trail descriptions, colour photographs, topographic maps, and points of interest.
Here are eight enchanting hikes featured in my new guide — published by Greystone Books.
Important reminders: Please respect pandemic-related travel restrictions and advisories. Check current conditions, take the 10 essentials, leave a trip plan with a responsible person, and make sure to leave no trace.
1. Echo Lake
The Echo Lake Trail is a bonafide adventure, which requires crossing the powerful Squamish River to access the trailhead (see trail updates). Paralleling Monmouth Creek all the way up to the cirque lake, the rough and wickedly steep route visits a succession of sublime waterfalls noted for thrilling canyoneering descents. (Hike 8)
2. Gott Peak
From the stony summit of Gott Peak, the Joffre Group, Cayoosh Mountain, and Mount Marriott are lambent beacons on the western skyline. To get there and back entails a delightful ridge walk on the edge of Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park. (Hike 19)
3. Mount Benson
Hustle it up Mount Benson — Nanaimo’s answer to the Grouse Grind — and then, without the luxury of an aerial tramway, hike back down. Along with the remains of a fire lookout, the mountaintop prize is panoramic views of the Vancouver Island Ranges, Gulf Islands, Salish Sea, and Coast Mountains. (Hike 46)
4. Mount Elphinstone
As the Queen of Surrey sails from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, Mount Elphinstone rises behind the approaching ferry terminal. A hike on the Mount Elphinstone Summit Trail is a very agreeable affair, featuring old-growth trees, a waterfall, and grand views of the Tantalus Range and Howe Sound. (Hike 41)
5. Mount Galiano
A hike to the highest knoll on Galiano Island begins with a delightful ferry ride to Sturdies Bay. Our itinerary also includes stops at a swimming beach and a Japanese Canadian historic site. (Hike 43)
6. Punch Bowl Pass
Tracing ancient Indigenous pathways, the Whatcom Trail and Dewdney Trail materialized in the mid-1800s as a result of the Fraser Canyon and Rock Creek gold rushes. Today, the pleasant hike to Punch Bowl Pass traverses sections of both historical trails in E.C. Manning Provincial Park. (Hike 37)
7. South Needle
To scale the South Needle, one must travel up the valley of the Seymour River to the base of the mountain. A visit to this relatively remote peak may beckon experienced hikers with its promise of solitude, big trees, and panoramic views. (Hike 2)
8. Statlu Lake
As a destination, Statlu Lake has much to offer hikers: colossal conifers, wondrous waterfalls, majestic mountains, and superb swimming. The price of admission: a lengthy approach on logging roads, an overgrown trail, and no shortage of deadfall. (Hike 24)
On July 7, you’re invited to my outdoor book signing in East Vancouver.
If you plan to attend, please let me know by RSVPing on Facebook.