On this sunny May weekend my hiking partner and I were looking for a high-energy, low alpine trek and decided to try the Campbell Lake trail. Otherwise known as the “Harrison Grind,” this trail was a strenuous and rewarding hike full of diversity.
About a half hour drive from Chilliwack into Harrison, we found a gravel parking lot at the start of the trailhead on the left hand side of Hot Springs Rd, just before Balsam Ave. (If you go too far and hit the Visitors Info Centre, they have a very helpful map to direct you.)
Starting up a gravel road to the new water reservoir, the trail leads into the forest along a rocky path that doubles as a stream. It was slippery here so I was glad to be wearing my vibram soled light hikers. Shortly after starting, we came to open sky and granite bluffs with hydro lines suspended above. The rocky trail soon turned into lush forest canopy and we followed a pine needle trail the rest of the way up.
Because it was early season we found ourselves bush whacking and climbing over freshly fallen trees. The bright orange trail markers were very helpful finding the way when the path got unclear. Working up a sweat, the fresh spring breeze was a welcomed relief.
After roughly two hours we reached the “helicopter pad” that offered a breath taking view of Harrison Lake under blue skies that was well worth the climb. Had we decided to continue on, it would have been another 45 minutes to Campbell Lake, but regretfully we were crunched for time. We took a short lunch break to revitalize, and then made our way back down the trail for a total round trip of about 3.5 hours.
I would recommend this trail for fit people looking for a quiet trail, as we only crossed paths with two other pairs of hikers. Make sure to bring a bottle of water and a snack because the strenuous hike definitely works up an appetite! Happy trails J
Submitted my Chelsea – MWO Staff