Yesterday a few members of the MWO team went up Knight Peak to gather some information on the conditions this summer. We hope this collection of photos and notes will be helpful if you are taking on the Quest for 10 this year!
Please note that Knight Peak is considered a scramble, and route finding skills are required to successfully complete this hike. It is an easy scramble with no exposure, and is generally just hiking without a marked trail. Please take all precautions before taking on this hike, like researching the area, bringing a map with you, and leaving a trip plan with a friend. This is a very fun hike and a great introduction to the world of scrambling!
The trailhead is accessed from the ‘Airplane Creek FSR’. From Chilliwack Lake Road, turn left onto the ‘Chilliwack-Foley Lake FSR’. After a couple minutes, instead of turning left towards Mt. Cheam, take a right onto the ‘Foley Creek FSR’. Shortly after you will take a left onto ‘Airplane Creek FSR’ which will lead you to the trailhead. Part way up the road there is an unsigned fork, stay right here. You will see a post on your right for ‘Baby Munday Trail’ and an obvious pull-out for parking. Like many roads in the Chilliwack River Valley, a high-clearance vehicle with 4WD is recommended. Some hikers will choose to walk or bike Airplane Creek FSR if they are uncomfortable driving.
The first couple kilometers fly by! For about 30 minutes you will be hiking an on old deactivated road, and there is a reasonable amount of flagging tape along the way. The trail is quite overgrown and you may feel as though you have lost the trail at times. Keep your head up for orange flagging tape if this happens. Enjoy these first few kilometers as a warm up for what is ahead…
The trail will begin to make its way downhill and you will encounter a small creek. There are a few logs across the creek that you can cross over. On the other side of the creek, the sufferfest begins.
The ‘Baby Munday Trail’ is well-known as being steep. And I mean STEEP. The best advice we can give is to go slow and steady and take it one step at a time. Flagging tape and markers will guide you as you make your way through the forest up into the alpine.
Eventually the trees open up and the mountains stand proudly in front of you. Take a moment here to enjoy the view (and catch your breath).
The trail continues through the sub-alpine and meadows filled with alpine flowers. It’s still steep, but I find it’s easier to endure when the views are this good!
Eventually you will notice that the trail begins to disappear. This is where the route finding begins! You will want to head northwest into the basin between Knight and Baby Munday.
You’ll hike through talus slopes and some patches of snow.
Once you reach the basin of Knight and Baby Munday continue up towards Knight Peak. We chose to head up through the larger snow patch that will be directly in front of you. It is a mixture of snow and talus slopes until you reach the final summit push.
Once you reach the ridge on Knight Peak it is an easy ‘scramble’ to the summit. There are great views of Mt. Cheam and Lady Peak, the Fraser Valley, and the other end of the Cheam Range (Baby Munday, Stewart, Welch) and other notable Chilliwack River Valley peaks like Mt. Slesse. Oh, and also Mt. Baker. I guess you could say the views are amazing!
We found a great spot for lunch and took some time to soak it all in.
As usual, the descent is almost always faster. Especially when you can boot ski down a snow field! As you make your way back down, be mindful about the route you are choosing. It’s not very obvious where you join back onto the Baby Munday Trail so keep your head up!
While descending the Baby Munday Trail, be cautious with your steps. The trail is very steep and loose in dry weather. Trekking poles were a lifesaver on the descent!
All in all, we had a great day on Knight Peak. A fabulous hike that involves a bit of route finding and easy scrambling, combined with amazing views and good company.
Here are a couple stats to help with planning
Elevation Gain: 1355m
Ascent time: 3.5 – 4.5 hours from vehicle (we took 4 hours at a moderate pace)
Note, there are no water sources on the trail other than a couple trickling creeks. Pack lots of water, at least 3 liters.
If you have any questions, pop by Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors and we’d be happy to grab a map and share some of our experience with you. Happy hiking!
Emma, Joe, honorary staff Jared, and trail dog Sophie