Have you looked up to the peak of Mt. Cheam and beyond and wondered if there are trails to those peaks and what it might be like to stand on top of such a mountain? As a general rule there is a trail to every one of the peaks in the area, it just comes down to how difficult it might be to get to the summit and how adventurous you are to navigate your way along a trail that might not have seen much use. That being said many of the hikes in the Chilliwack area are well maintained and range in difficulty from level-ground hour-long walks, to multiday trips, and everything in between.
If you are new to the area or just new to hiking than grabbing a free trail map that is put out by Tourism Chilliwack, or joining one of the hiking clubs can be a great way to get your foot out the door.
The most popular hikes are Elk Mountain, Mt. Cheam, Lindeman lake and Greendrop Lake and of course Mt. Thom and Teapot Hill (All listed in the hiking guide).
Elk Mountain is a Chilliwack favorite and is accessed above rider lake and is rated as a “difficult” hike due to the steep trail, however the hike to the summit can be done in a couple of hours and then it is easy hiking along the ridgeline stretching back towards Mt. Thurston to the East. This trail affords the hiker incredible views over the Chilliwack River Valley, the Fraser Valley and many of the peaks to the south such as Mt. Sleese and even Mt. Baker in Washington State.
If you are looking for something at the entry level than you don’t need to look any further than Lindeman lake. This trail is easily accessible right off of Chilliwack lake rd and is a short hike to a beautiful alpine lake. If you are feeling energetic once you get there you can continue past the lake to Greendrop Lake another hour up the trail.
For the more adventurous hikers, I have found few hikes anywhere in the world, which come close to comparing to the Mt. MacFarlane/ Pierce Lake trail. On this trail you will wind through huge old Douglas Fur groves, pass by two beautiful alpine lakes and achieve a summit that has spectacular views of surrounding snow and glacier capped peaks with sweeping valley’s below.
(Published as “Alive Outside” in The Chilliwack Progress – May 30th 2013)