In August we went to British Columbia to explore some of the provincial parks and do some serious hiking and camping. Below I’ve included a bunch of pictures from our trip.
We flew to Vancouver without a plan, rented a car and chose to start near Squamish. We did research in the car on the beautiful drive up.
Happy to be back in Canada! We spent our first night at a walk-in campground called Cat Lake near Squamish.
Cat Lake at sunrise.
We then spent a couple of days in Garibaldi Park.
The hike from the trailhead to Garibaldi Lake is a pretty serious climb - about 1000m elevation over 8km.
The beautiful glacial lake Garibaldi.
The water was cold!
The landscape around Garibaldi Lake.
After a swim, we found a spot to camp at Taylor Meadows, a couple of kilometers away from the lake.
Filtering water at the campsite. This was a beautiful spot with a few different day hikes accessible from it. We wished we'd brought enough food to stay an extra night.
View of the Black Tusk from our campsite at sunset.
Got up at sunrise to climb the Black Tusk.
View of Garibaldi Lake on the way up.
This hike gets pretty steep and tricky near the end.
Scrambling to the top.
This is all loose volcanic rock and the easiest way down is to run!
Long hair don't care! We saw lots of wildflowers at lower elevations.
The trail back to the parking lot.
We met a woman at our campsite who insisted we had to do the Juan de Fuca trail on Vancouver Island while we were in BC. So, here we are that evening, packing and waiting for the ferry to the island.
The Juan de Fuca trail is a 47km long coastal through hike with a few trailheads spread out along it. We left our car at China Beach (Km 0) and took the shuttle to Parkinson Creek (Km 40). The shuttle left us about 4km from the trailhead at Parkinson.
We hiked back to our car over 3 days. 44km may not sound like a lot but this trail is super tricky and technical and very hilly in places so it can be slow going with a heavy pack.
The trail alternates between coastline, forest and beach.
One of many suspension bridges to test KP's fear of heights.
The west end of Sombrio Beach.
This part of the beach is impassable at high tide, so we found a little rock ledge to wait on.
Then we realized our tide tables were in the wrong time zone and we had a long wait ahead so we turned around and took the alternate path in the woods.
Another suspension bridge before reaching East Sombrio Beach, where we camped for the night.
We got here early in the afternoon so we had lots of time to hang out on the beach.
This sap got all over all of our camping gear!
At low tide there are tons of tide pools full of marine life that are fascinating to stare at.
Or cook for dinner.
Lots of mussels.
This hidden waterfall in a grotto was a welcome shower and maybe the coolest thing we saw on the trail. A five minute walk up a creek from our campsite and we had it to ourselves.
Spotted this little guy hanging out behind the tent.
Quick cup of coffee after a night of sleep.
Back on the trail. On this day we walked from Sombrio Beach to Bear Beach. For most of this 19km section you're either walking straight up or straight down. We heard there are 12 hills in total but one loses track quickly.
The terrain is constantly changing.
Clearing brush from the trail.
Cooling off under a small waterfall at Chin Beach.
One of the most impressive things about this trail are the many structures built by the trail crew. This is a staircase carved into a fallen tree.
Made it to Bear Beach for sunset.
The view from our campsite the next morning.
Another amazing structure. The entire length of this bridge is a tree.
The stump and the top of the tree are off to the side on either end.
The last bridge before making it back to our car.
We just couldn't get enough of Garibaldi Park so we went back for our last two nights- this time we set out to Cheakamus Lake. As we were hitting the trail close to sunset, it started to rain and thunder heavily and we were debating whether to turn back to our car.
In the end we left the decision up to a coin flip.
Good call! The sun came back out as we reached the Cheakamus Lake campsite.
The setting at Cheakamus Lake is incredible. It's only a 3km walk from the parking lot but there's almost nobody there. We stayed two nights at this spot.
Below is a video of dusk falling - also a behind the scenes of the shot above.
Filtering drinking water.
KP catching the first ray of sun in the morning. It was freezing!
We are coffee snobs even when camping.
We took a day hike up to Helm Creek and back (about 8.5 km each way). This is the bridge over Cheakamus River.
At Helm Creek there is a small campground, and a view of the Black Tusk from behind.
Even strangers hiking by were asking to take pictures of our tent.
Incredible Reed and Katie ! Just stunning ! I wish I was there with you two..
You called this “British Columbia”. I would call it
“The Glow-in-the-Dark Tent, Hippie-Haired Flowers, and the Long and Winding Road to the Perfect Silhouette.”
with a subtitle:
(Watch out for the Man with a Chainsaw)