Trip Report – Morte Lake Mountain Bike Loop – 17 Oct 2018

Eight of us had a beautiful fall day for this hike through open forest, over panoramic bluffs,  and passing by lovely, calm lakes.  We were in shirt sleeves for this very scenic loop.  We started up the bike trail Morning Beer onto upper Deadfish, stopping to enjoy the view at Seven Sins.  We descended Nirvana to the hiking trail around Morte Lake and stopped for lunch at the east side Morte Lake viewpoint. We ascended the South Bluff trail and followed along Mud and Reed Lakes to the Walcan Road.  We crossed and hiked along Yellow Mud to Jack Rabbit, connecting back to the parking lot.  We enjoyed the great views and the fall foliage.  9.6 km; 4 hours.


Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Hiking – Morte Lake Bike Loop -17 Oct 2018


Trip Report – North Gowlland Harbour Bike Trail Loop – 10 Oct 2018

Seven hikers and Joey, the dog, enjoyed a three hour hike in the area north and west of North Gowlland Harbour Road. The weather was perfect – mostly sunny with a few clouds and pleasantly cool. Starting at the Cash Only trailhead, we made a grand loop following Backdoor to Silk Stockings where we passed an area recovering from past copper mining and enjoyed views south to Gowlland Harbour.   The lake on the east side of the trail reflected the changing fall colours. From there we dropped down to the Missing Links Road, then paralleled North Gowlland Harbour Road along Bite the Bullet. As we entered John Marlow’s woodlot on the east side of the road, we stopped on the bridge for Les’s pizza and marvelled at the large beaver dam built at the south end of the wetland. Sam’s Shorty trail behind the wetland brought us back to the vehicles. After much rain, the forest and mosses were bright green, punctuated by brilliant yellows of turning maples.  7.3 km.

Janis McLean

Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Hiking – North Gowlland Bike Trail Loop – 10 Oct 2018

Trip Report – Maud Island – 3 Oct 2018

Twelve hikers thoroughly enjoyed this classic hike through the forest to the bluffs overlooking Seymour Narrows. The big-leaf maples were in their beautiful fall bloom, the moss was brightly coloured after the rains, and the red Oregon Grape highlighted the floor of the forest, along with newly emerging fungi.

Nine hikers chose to go up to the bluffs at Mt. Lolo and three took the lower, more direct path to the viewpoint. Upon arrival at the Seymour Narrows viewpoint, we were all delighted by the sight of a couple of orcas frolicking, a porpoise, and sea lions enjoying some time in the kelp bed below.

Lunch and conversation was enjoyed by all then the return via the Saltwater Lagoon. 10.4 km; 4½ hours.


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Hiking – Maud Island – 3 Oct 2018

Trip Report – McKenzie and Douglas Lakes – 26 Sept 2018

Eight of us and a dog set out on a beautiful, crystal clear fall day to visit Douglas and McKenzie Lakes on the Forbidden Plateau in Strathcona Park.  The short way to get there involves an half hour, 6.3 km drive on a rough old logging road.  We made it and then walked 700 m into the park on a rough but easy trail through old growth trees and blueberries.

At this point it is necessary to cross the outlet stream from McKenzie Lake.  It turned out that the Lake level was a few inches higher than expected and the puddle jumping rocks were under water.  At this obstacle, five people and the dog decided to go up to Paradise Meadows, leaving three to continue to the Lakes as planned.

Having found a dry way across the creek using rocks and logs, we arrived at the sunny side of the stream, the path was found and the lakes were beautiful, the meadows were beautiful and the weather was beautiful.  So after lunch at McKenzie Lake, we explored the trail towards the main area of Paradise Meadows via Kwai and other Lakes.  The trail gains some elevation, follows a sequence of small lakes and was in unexpectedly good condition.  Now we want to come back and do the whole trail from Raven Lodge to the old ski area beyond Mt. Becher.  We saw a Western Toad, maybe a toadlet, grouse and a glimpse of sandhill cranes migrating south.  11.8 km, 5¼ hours.

The alternate group hiked the Battleship Lake – Helen MacKenzie Lake loop and said it was great.


Reporting from Paradise Meadows and beyond –   On a perfect fall day, we began with the intent of hiking to Douglas and MacKenzie Lakes, and enjoyed the drive and short hike in. Then, deciding to eschew the fun of wading across the high water in the creek in our bare feet, five of us, and one dog, decided to walk in Paradise Meadows instead. We had a lovely, brisk walk around the Battleship Loop with a brief lunch stop in the Meadows, alive with the vibrant fall colours. The views across the lakes were astounding. We enjoyed chatting with some of the overseas visitors we met on our perambulation.  10.5 km


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Hiking – McKenzie and Douglas Lakes – 26 Sept 2018

Trip Report – Gowlland Island and Harbour – 19 Sept 2018

Six people met at April Point Marina an hour after low tide to launch their kayaks. The weather was sunny and calm as we paddled through the narrow entrance into Gowlland Harbour. This is where we encountered the most current, but it was not that heavy. Once into the harbour we paddled between Mouse and Crow Islets. Then by Wren Islet and up the northeast side to the log dump. The clouds moved in as we headed for May Island for lunch. Just as we got there the heavens opened up and we all got soaked.

After lunch the weather turned back dry and we left for the opening between Steep and Gowlland Islands. The flood current here was not anywhere near the 4 knot max that the charts showed was occurring off Orange Point. We also found this the case for just off April Point so we slid on down to the next little bay. From there we returned to April Point Marina in another shower. All in all it was a great paddle.  12.7 km taking 3.75 hours.


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Kayaking – Gowlland Island and Harbour – 19 Sept 2018

Trip Report – Eagle Ridge and Beyond – 12 Sept 2018

After parking just where the culvert had been washed out on Copperhead logging road and walking the logging road, trail and route, five of us thoroughly enjoyed the company, weather, spectacular views and the very interesting hike to Eagle Ridge and beyond.   After pausing at the end of the Eagle Ridge trail for the views, we made the steep descent to the saddle between Eagle Ridge and the ridge to the north.  The route follows lovely, open, mossy bluffs.  We had lunch on the northern ridge and then wandered to the high point, exploring the views to the north and south.

We followed the long, open bluff down with a bit of bushwacking at the end to re-join the Copperhead logging road.  Just before reaching the vehicles, a short side trip was taken to the beaver pond below the Silk Stocking trail to inspect the progress the beavers had made on their new dam and check out the remains of the old one. It appears the beavers have been busy constructing a new, very beautiful dam to replace the one that was washed out last year in the rains.  5.0 km; 3¼ hours; 150m elevation gain.


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Hiking – Eagle Ridge and Beyond – 12 Sept 2018

Trip Report – Cathedral Lakes Prov Park – 6-10 Sept 2018

Five of us went to Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park in early September, in spite of two evacuations in August due to wildfires. When we arrived in Keremeos the back burn, right at the edge of town and close to the Cathedral Lakes access road, was very dramatic. Les went up a day early, checked into the Lodge, explored the four nearby lakes, and enjoyed the hot tub. The rest of us were driven up the steep, rough road to about 2,000m on Thursday morning. No one traveled in the famed unimog. Each day dawned fairly clear and then summer clouds developed around noon, which was consistently better than the forecast. The campground was nearly empty of people, but we saw Mountain Goats wandering through almost every morning.

After the four of us set up camp on Thursday on the edge of Quiniscoe Lake, we hiked around Scott Mountain on the Diamond Trail. This was a great introduction to the beautiful alpine meadows, the larch groves and open alpine ridges, on a relatively easy trail. Although the vast majority of the flowers were past, there were a few persisting into September. This was our smokiest afternoon. We had close encounters with Pica and Marmot on this hike. 8.9 km; 3½ hours; 300m total elevation gain.

The following day, Friday, was our most ambitious hike, starting out to the beautiful, alpine Glacier Lake and then hiking up steeply to the rim. Once on the rim there are great views, although it wasn’t completely clear, and the hiking is quite easy. We could see that there were forest fires everywhere around us, but not immediately threatening. There are great geological features along the rim: the Devil’s Wood Pile of columnar lava, the Stone City with weathered and decomposing granite, and the Giant Cleft, a narrow, vertical gap in the cliff face. After visiting these, we returned to the Stone City and descended to Ladyslipper Lake. The trail down is steep, and in some places unconsolidated. Nearer to the Lake the trail passes through great boulders and larches. Ladyslipper Lake is lovely and the visitors who were fishing found it easy to catch trout there.  14.6 km; 8¼ hours; 500m elevation gain (to 2,600m), but more much total gain with undulations on the rim.

On Saturday, we had a more gentle, but extremely beautiful hike to Goat Lake. We hiked down the switchbacks to Goat Creek and then followed the trail up to the Lake. The creek and the lush vegetation along it were lovely. Goat Lake is a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by larches, with a small beach fed by a gully of decomposed granite, and backed by the cliff wall of Grimface Mountain and the rim. We all had dinner in the Lodge Saturday evening. The food, company, and fire in the fireplace were all very congenial.  12.3 km; 5 hours; 450m total elevation gain.

On Sunday, Les and Diana paddled on Quiniscoe Lake in the morning and hiked the lake tour to Lake of the Woods, Pyramid Lake and Glacier Lake in the afternoon. The rest of us hiked up above the waterfalls which flows into Quiniscoe Lake and up the steep, unconsolidated route to the rim. From there it was an easy hike up to Quiniscoe Mountain (2551m). It was cool and breezy, but we were entertained by a Mountain Goat wandering by. We descended to Glacier Lake, where there were some photogenic deer, before continuing on and exploring Lake of the Woods.  11.2 km; 5¼ hours; 600m total elevation gain.

The weather became very cool and rainy toward evening and we once again retreated to the Lodge for Les’ excellent fire in the fireplace. It rained quite a bit overnight, but the forecast snow didn’t materialize (just a few flakes). In the morning, the sun came out, we broke camp with wet tents, and made the trip back down the rough road to Keremeos.

This is a spectacular area, with exceptional access to alpine scenery provided by the shuttle up the hill.  It’s sad to see the devastation that the Spruce Bark Beetle has caused in this forest, but the biodiversity in the alpine meadows is wonderful.   It would be lovely at a variety of seasons: earlier the flowers would be out and latter the larches would be golden.


Thanks to Norris, Les and Diana for the photos.

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Multi-day Hiking – Cathedral Lakes Prov Park – 6-10 Sept 2018