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.

Norris

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

Valerie

(click on photos to view larger)

Hiking – McKenzie and Douglas Lakes – 26 Sept 2018

Advertisements

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.

Les

(click on photos to view larger)

Kayaking – Gowlland Island and Harbour – 19 Sept 2018

Hiking – Maud Island- 3 Oct 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Maud Island
Date 3 Oct 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Sandra Burns
Contact Info sandraburns.ca@gmail.com or 3977.  Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.
Description Hike to Maud Island through varied forest and terrain.  We will do a loop passing over the shoulder of  Mt. Lolo, crossing the causeway to Maud Island, enjoying views of Seymour Narrows, and returning by the salt water lagoon. The currents in the Narrows will not be impressive at this time.   Allow 5 hours, including driving, for this walk of approximately 10km.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store for car pooling
Departure Time 9:30
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch, poles if you use them and gear for the weather.  We don’t usually do this trip in very poor weather.

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.

Sandra

(click on photos to view larger)

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.

Debbie

Thanks to Norris, Les and Diana for the photos.

(click on photos to view larger)

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

Hiking – McKenzie and Douglas Lakes – 26 Sept 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination McKenzie and Douglas Lakes
Date 26 Sept 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710.   Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.
Description McKenzie and Douglas Lakes in Strathcona Park are approached from logging roads off of the road to Mt. Washington.  The 6 km drive each way is rougher than the hiking.  The hike is quite short (about 6 km return) and goes through forest and meadows to two lakes.  This isn’t Helen Mackenzie Lake and this area is not busy.  We can hike further or add other destinations, if this goes quickly.
Meeting Place We will take the 8:00 Quadra ferry.  Rides to be arranged in advance.
Departure Time Drivers need to be early enough to get on the ferry
Difficulty
Easy
Costs Share gas and ferry costs
Trip limits Vehicles willing to drive the logging road may limit the number of participants
Dogs? Would need to be on a leash at all times
Notes: Bring lunch and appropriate clothing for altitude of 900 m.

Hiking – Eagle Ridge Loop – 12 Sept 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Eagle Ridge Loop
Date 12 Sept 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Sandra Burns
Contact Info 285-3977 or sandraburns.ca@gmail.com.  Please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip.
Description This hike will include the official trail to Eagle Ridge and an unmarked route descending the ridge and continuing on to the higher ridge to the north.  From there we will descend to the logging road and return to the vehicles. The descent from Eagle Ridge is very steep on mossy rocks.  There is no trail.  With the culvert out on Copperhead logging road, we will have to park at the creek and walk up.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot for car pooling.
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
The section up to Eagle Ridge is a maintained trail of moderate difficulty.  The descent from Eagle Ridge is challenging.  The segment to the next ridge and down to the logging road is on an  unmarked route through mostly open forest.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? Depends on the dog.  Would need to be completely controlled during the descent.
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather.