Seven hikers enjoyed what turned out to be a splendid day, after heavy rain the day and night before. The hike began via the South Chinese trailhead in the fog, following the low cloud almost to the top. Here the skies broke into sunshine at the large open east-facing bluff where the group had peekaboo views of the Coast Mountains. From there the weather continued to improve to full sunshine. After turning off the South Chinese Mountain trail, Beech’s trail follows a series of rock bluffs between fir and hemlock forested sections, with arguably the best views of any trail on the Island.
After lunch at the east viewpoint and a brief stop at the top, the group continued on a route only, descending the north side and dropping down to an old logging road. After about fifteen minutes on the road, we followed a convoluted route over another series of bluffs which brought us to the North Chinese Mountain trail. From here, it was a straightforward walk down the steep trail to the parking lot. Even though the sun was shining in the afternoon, extra care was taken on the steep bluff sections since the rock was very wet and slippery. The second half of this loop is not recommended unless hiking with someone who knows the route down the far side of Beech’s Mountain. 6.2 km; 340 elevation gain; total time four hours.
(click on photos to enlarge)