Elk Mountain, Chilliwack BC
(See more Elk Mountain photos below)
Distance: 8km return. Elevation gain: 800m
Description: Elk Mountain has an easily accessible trailhead, alpine meadows and an excellent view of the entire Fraser Valley and surrounding mountains -- with a strenuous uphill climb near the top that's well worth the effort.
The trail begins and remains in the forest for the first hour, with a friendly uphill grade. After the hour mark you'll hit the good steep stuff. You'll reach the first major lookout on Elk mountain in somewhere between 1.5 to 2 hours. Rest there and enjoy the view of the Fraser Valley, but don't quit yet. The real reward for all of your hard work is about another 10 minutes up the trail where you'll see breathtaking views of Mount Slessee, Border Peaks, Chilliwack River, and surrounding mountains. You'll think you're somewhere near Banff or Jasper.
Be sure to stay on the trail as the alpine meadows are delicate. Leave time in your schedule to hang out on the top for at least 30 minutes. In fact, if you hiked fast and didn't stop you could do this complete hike in 3.5 hours -- but we recommend giving yourself 2.5 hours to get to the top, 1 hour up top, and 2 hours down -- for a total of 5.5 hours.
This is a suitable hike for someone who's fairly fit. Bring food, more water than you think you'll need, and something long-sleeved as it's windy and can be cold up top. Hiking Elk in the Spring often includes seeing snow at the top, so bring appropriate hiking boots and gaitors if you've got them. A classic Chilliwack hike with great rewards.
Directions: Highway 1 Exit 123 (Prest Road) south 4km to Bailey Rd., turn left and go 1km to the bottom of the hill turning right and uphill on Elk View Rd. Stay on this road for 8km. The pavement will end and the road will continue for 2km as the Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Rd. The gravel pit/parking lot is on the left, with the trailhead to its right.
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