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A beautiful place in the heart of lower mainland. The trail goes through lush green forest and several beautiful streams, that ends at a small and quite lake. We hiked on November 16, a sunny Friday, surprisingly it wasn’t busy at all; met only one other couple in the whole trip, carrying bear bells was a good idea. The distance from the Trail head to the lake View Point, shown on my app was 6.5 km, so it is more than 13 km two way. Same is Elevation Gain: As trail goes up and down the hill several times to cross the streams, you should add at least 100 m extra to what it shows the elevation gain on the map. The slops are not so steep, that makes the climbing easy snd pleasant. I will suggest using waterproof hiking shoes and poles, as you will face few puddles and wet slippery places on the trail.
To find the Trail on google, search Sumas Mountain Trail Head. Coming from Vancouver at Highway 1, exit at exit 95 and turn left on Whatcom Rd, and quickly after crossing highway bridge turn right on N Parallel Rd. after two and a half km turn left to Sumas Mountain Rd. And stay on Upper Sumas Mountain Rd. The winding road will run about 9.5 km and then turns into a gravel road. That is where the trail head is. After coming down about 100 m on gravel road you will see a wooden pole on the right side of the road with very small (6 inch) green signs, showing bear, dog on leash etc. The gravel road is wide enough at that point to find a road side parking..

The area between the first set of stairs and the summit is in poor condition creating difficulties on the descent. Avoid in icy conditions unless you have good micro spikes.

Great hike. 2 hours 40 minutes round trip. Fairly easy except near the top when there’s snow on the ground. Gets a little slippery and would recommend something to put on your boots for grip.

9 days ago

Definitely a tough trail. A steep climb most of the way with a bit of scrambling at the top. It took us a little over 2 hours each way. Beautiful views on a clear day.

13 days ago

Did this hike with my dad today and ventured on past Chadsey to the East lookout. Such an amazingly dense forest to wander through! The light shining through the forest and fog looked magical. I will share some pictures from today too.

Do this hike ATLEAST once!

For an easy trail it's great. We moved incredibly slow and it took 1.5 hrs total. The hidden beach is well worth it.

22 days ago

Great hike! Once you head up the gravel road to the left you will see a sign saying Hoover lake trail. It was really well marked! Beautiful lake so peaceful! Recommend!

24 days ago

Yup, it's hard. Like another reviewer said, the climb is relentless. There is some climbing over rocks in spots and the trail can be a bit tricky to locate when you're going up. But the views from the top make it all worthwhile.

I reached Pierce Lake in 2.5 hours (it's at 6 km). For a really beautiful view of that lake, continue just beyond it. The forest clears and it's picture worthy. I reached the upper lake in 3.5 hours (it's at 8.1 km). The summit is roughly 40 minutes from here but unfortunately, I couldn't go all the way up, as I ran out of time and water. But I don't feel like I got gyped - the views are absolutely breathtaking from here!!

On the way down, I had refill my water bottle. There's a clear, fast-moving stream about 3.5 km in from the trailhead. Good to know if anyone else finds themselves in that situation.

All total, my GPS said it was 16.7 km round trip in less than 5 hours (not including stops). This is a challenging hike, for sure, but I would do it again.

The actual trailhead is just over 5 km from the main road. Like a previous reviewer said, you will definitely need a high clearance 4x4 with good tires to reach the actual trailhead. You won't make it in a car! I was able to drive my 4x4 to within 0.8 km of the trailhead but then I walked the rest of the way (call it added elevation gain).

The forest trail is single track and somewhat narrow in spots at the beginning. It's damp along the river which could be slippery for some. The newly constructed bridge is about 0.4 km in. From there, the climb is moderate and the trail does get a tad overgrown in spots. The first real nice, obstruction-free view is about 2.6 km up.

The Mount Slesse Commemorative Site Memorial is around 4 km up. The view is incredible. While there, I could hear rocks falling from the mountain across the way. Sadly, I was not able to summit this climb today due to time constraints. From where I parked 0.8 km from the trailhead to 4.3 km up and back down (a total of 10.3 km), it took me just over 2 hours not counting picture breaks. I'm planning to do this hike again with more time so I can reach the propeller memorial at the top.

On the way out, I encountered a dog with a radio collar in the process of trailing a cougar (I spoke to his owner further down the road). Just another excellent reminder that you are never fully alone out there. Be prepared!!

26 days ago

Top section is steep and very slippery. If you are afraid of height, you might find this section very challenging at times - more so on your way back. Hiking poles help. I suggest an early start, it gets really busy in the afternoons.

Hiked it twice. First time was on a rainy morning. Second time was on a hot sunny day. The second time around, with the heat and exposure, the hike felt so much harder. If hiking it in the summer, make sure to have plenty of water.

We did this in just under two hours, not a fast pace either. The trail down from east canyon to lower falls is a scramble. Not recommended for dogs or very young kids

Can you bike this trail

27 days ago

Have done this hike a couple of times over the summer - love it! Quite the workout near the very top and loose gravel makes it bit tricky coming down. The view is beautiful! Make sure to pack lots of water for you and your four legged friends!

amazing hike, amazing, views very steep and hard hike bit worth seeing upper pirce lake and scrambling up to macfarlene

What a beautiful day to hike Elk. first time and I will hike Elk again and can't wait to snowshoes Elk.

28 days ago

Easy to miss the trail entrance. But the trail is good and fits me very well.

A friend and I just did this hike today, on October 20th, 2018. Great day for it this year, as the weather was perfect, around 15 degrees for our high, clear sky, zero wind and no snow at all at the propeller cairn currently.

Once you turn off of Chilliwack Lake Road, the trail head is a good 5+ KM up what becomes a pretty narrow gravel road which is quite washed out in several places, not just the last KM. High clearance 4WD vehicle with strong tires needed. That being said, in regards to some other reviews, I would say beware of stopping too soon to walk when you first encounter signs of the road looking rough, you may be adding 4KM or more to your hike on foot.

When you reach the trailhead area, Look for a wooden post sign with the trail name on it vertically, it is slightly in the trees to the right of the gravel road when driving up, there are also some pieces of pink and orange marking tape tied in the tree. Bridge to cross the river safely is intact. Trail is quite relaxing/easy in places and QUITE steep in others, mostly the last 1 KM or so to the propeller is the toughest. We also encountered some slippery sections with a lot of mud in this last KM. The hike was 6 hours total for us with 1 hour of stopping included.

Other suggestions: Bring layers/ a change of shirt if hiking on a day with higher degrees weather. We were sweating in the sun exposed parts of the trail and then cooling off quickly in the shaded.

Cheers and have a great, safe hike!

29 days ago

Hiked this trail Oct.20th. Elk View road was closed leading to the trailhead. Not sure of when it will be re opened but we found a way to get there from the back roads. This hike was unreal!!! Amazing views highly recommend!

Awesome trail but as a 68 year old, a little out of shape, I wouldn’t say it was any easy trail as stated here. I just took breaks and wished I had better grip on my shoes.

1 month ago

Tough trail, not well marked and poorly maintained. Did this trail twice, once in winter and again on September 4, 2018. View was ok. Would not do it again. Most of the trail was a scramble, or it appeared as such. Treacherous in some sections so be careful. You will at one point on the trail need to pull yourself up with ropes. Passes close to the edge so caution is advised alone this trail. Took 8 hours to complete with 45 minutes for lunch at the top. I had to use some ropes of my own for the decent as it was quite STEEP. Would not recommend for kids and pets. Only view is at the top which is lovely but not worth the effort. This is not just a hike and definitely not “a walk in the park”.

1 month ago

a steep grind. First time I've done this hike and had a view

1 month ago

Total beginners
Took us 4:30h to climb and 2:30h to descent
2 passages with ropes at 94% grade.
This is just 25% grade non stop minimum, and half of it was more than 50% grade.
View was stunning!! Absolutely Worth it.

1 month ago

hard but such a beautiful hike.

YOU WILL NEED 4X4 to get to the trail head. Did this hike on September 30th with my 2011 Jeep Patriot and I was super sketched out driving it up to this trail head. Got stuck once but managed to get out. If you don't have 4X4 park farther down the trail before it starts looking like a rock slide, and hike up (honestly wouldn't be a long trek and it will save you a lot of anxiety lol).

Besides the rough start, this hike is incredible!! There are many openings along the way that show you gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Steady incline for the first 4km to the memorial plaque, and then another STEEP 1km to the propeller! So worth it though! Also - if you're taller than 5'0 beware of low hanging branches, my back is killing me from having to duck under things every 5 minutes. Round trip it took 5-6 hours for us to do this hike, but that was at a slow pace. Well worth the drive up :)

1 month ago

It starts with 3km uphill on a gravel service road. It does get a little tiring. a few "are we there yets?" from the adults and some "im hungry!" from the young kids. But finally you're at the Hoover Lake trail opening. The 0.7km forest trail is more our style and the kids were happy again. Cool old log roads and lots of woodsy terrain. This forest is full of mushrooms, all shapes and colors. The final descent takes you to the lake opening. Tons of logs on the water and a few fish in there too. A trail goes around the side of the lake, didn't look into how far it goes. Total hike time was about 3hrs.

1 month ago

One of the best due to ease and convenience of location, grade, and rewarding view.

Stunning view of the valley! Love the hike up; however, your knees pay on the way down.

1 month ago

Used pay parking along Harrison Lake, though with some searching you can get free parking in the area. Numerous lookouts along the trail for good views of the lake. Pretty scenery. Trail opens to a sandy beach, which is unfortunately littered with garbage from people using the area. There was a sign that said Whippoorwill Trail though I think it's one and the same as this. If you stay to the right where the trails branch at that sign, you'll loop onto it on the way back. There's a very large cross with writing on it past the sandy beach area. We completed this relatively quickly.

The hike was fairly mellow until the last 1km where it got decently steep. The memorial plaque was around 1h 10 min up the trail and then another 1hr to the top of the hike with the Propeller of the plain crash. It was cool to see the memorial but I was disappointed that you can’t hike to the top of the peak.
It took 2hr 10min up and 1hr 20min down at a fast walking pace.

2 months ago

Commenced hike yesterday 10 am or so. Went behind the tank and were about 20 minutes up the trail when we commenced heating growling from what seemed like a mountain lion of sorts. Spoke loudly, held our ground but with each movement and sound of our bear bell the growing got more significant. Decided to call it a hike and retreated slowly down while making lots of noise. Would be cautious of area and definitely not do solo.

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