Sunday, July 28, 2013

Skyline Trail, Manning Park

In the middle of last week I had a day free of appointments and so I went out for the day with Mojo to make the most of the good weather.  We headed to the far end of the Fraser Valley into Manning Park, quite a drive for the day out but a very scenic one and new territory for us to walk in.

The trail begins from the parking lot bright and open in a low meadow and flat easy walking.


A few colourful flowers dot the landscape including these striking subalpine daisies.


Shortly before the 1km marker the trail starts winding its way up through the forest which is predominately made up of lodgepole pine which doesn’t have a large canopy like the forests on the coast so allows lots of sun through.


Mojo soon finds a great drinking spot, it’s thirsty work walking uphill on these hot summer days !


After another 3kms or so of steady but not too steep climbing we reach the first of the meadows, full of colourful wildflowers blooming.


Mojo in the meadows


Looking back at the trail we’ve come up along


Wildflowers, with a bee about to make a landing.


Mojo is on his best behaviour and stays on trail at all times, there are several notices saying how sensitive and vulnerable the wildflower meadows are and they aren’t up to people walking over them, so you must stick to the path.


After a short further distance the views really started opening up



We reach a clearing providing good views to the West.  The peaks here from left to right are Snowcamp Mountain, Lone Goat and Red Mountain.


Panorama of the views to the West from the trail.

Snowcamp and Lone Goat with Hozomeen peeking out behind.


Red Mountain and the miles of protected parkland beyond


A further half kilometre or so and we reach an excellent viewpoint allowing 180 degree views from the East, South and West.  Here the peaks from left to right are Frosty Mountain, Scimitar Knoll and then Hozomeen on the right. Down in the valley you can just see the beginning of Thunder Lake.


Video of the panorama from this viewpoint.

Hozomeen Mountain, which is actually in the North Cascades National Park in Washington. A couple of trails connect the two parks although technically it’s illegal to walk across the boundary between the two as there isn’t a formal border crossing.


Frosty Mountain


Zoomed in on Hozomeen


Thunder Lake


Finally a view of Frosty Mountain on the right and Windy Joe on the left


The last half kilometre or so of the trail has been on a quite narrow ledge with a sharp, exposed drop off to the side which I am really uncomfortable with.  Knowing we would have to retrace our steps, plus with the timing being right we decided to stop at this viewpoint for lunch.  Lunch, was quite extravagant being left-over smoked salmon and cream cheese in a bagel.  Wonderful !

However, as we turned around we saw a sign which hadn’t been posted towards us on the way up, warning of grizzlies in the area.  Not sure we’d had hung around so long wafting aromas of smoked salmon had we seen it on the way up !  Oh well Mojo kept me safe !

It was a nice walk but my height issues at the end took the edge off of it for me.  There are plenty of other sub-alpine trails in this park which we will no doubt explore much more in the future.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Diez Vistas Trail

This week in the continued good weather I walked the Diez Vistas Trail near Buntzen Lake with Mojo.

The last time I walked here a couple of years ago it had clouded up and the views were not so great, today however it remained mostly sunny.

We cross the far Southern end of Buntzen Lake on the floating bridge before starting the steep ascent up the Diez Vistas Trail.


After a lengthy slog through the forest we get to the first lookout with views of Bedwell Bay.


A short distance further we reach the main viewpoint which provides panoramic views across Indian Arm and Metro Vancouver.  North Vancouver is the stretch of land just across the water and Downtown is in the far-right in the distance.


Mojo takes in the view too.

Mojo on Diez Vistas Trail lookout

The far end of this peninsula reaching into Indian Arm with the island on the end is Jug Island Beach (and Jug Island) where we have walked a few times before. The cove on the opposite side of the water with the marina is Deep Cove.


Further along the ridge we get views to the North up Indian Arm


The trail gradually drops down at the far end of the ridge and brings us beyond the North end of Buntzen Lake.  Views here across McCombe Lake as we walk back towards North Beach of Buntzen.


Then we get our first glimpse again of Buntzen Lake. 


We stopped for lunch at the North Beach where Mojo cooled off and swam before walking back along the East trail via the Dog Beach to the car.  It was lovely at Buntzen but being school holidays and a warm sunny July day the trails around the lake and beaches were all very busy so no worth stopping for snaps.