Trip 003 - July 28, 2009 (Tuesday)
Howe Sound Crest South Trail
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Near West Vancouver BC
Liked: Views of Howe Sound, views of The Lions, relative solitude on a weekday.
Of note: Dangerous trail with numerous opportunities to get hurt, hiking boots and poles highly recommended, countless flies, no shade at the parking lot. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are highly recommended to protect against vegetation and the flies. Also, carry a good bug spray or wear a head net (at least) to keep the flies from nibbling on your skin.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 11 (North Vancouver) B4.
103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (2008 edition): hike #37.
Related Website: Cypress Provincial Park - BC Parks.
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To get to the trailhead, drive West on Highway 1 and take Exit 8 near West Vancouver. Fifteen kilometers later you would reach the Cypress Mountain parking lot.
Howe Sound Crest South trail begins at the top Cypress Mountain parking lot, and ends about 28 km later by Porteau Cove, where the trail is called Howe Sound Crest North. It was quite hot, about 26-28 degrees in the shade, and the 1.5 litres of water had to be stretched very carefully. This side of Howe Sound Crest trail is not as steep as the Northern part, but it is substantially more treacherous due to the trail being covered pretty much all the way with rocks and tree roots. We went flying twice, sprained an ankle, injured a toe, and came close to tumbling many more times precisely because of that. To complicate the matters, some seemingly solidly planted rocks are loose, so when you step on them, they move and cause you to lose balance. The ground was dry, but, still, it was quite a challenge to walk. To dare taking on this trail when the ground and the rocks are wet would be asking for trouble.
Watch out for switchbacks, as they happen fairly regularly, and, if you are not paying attention to the orange markers, you may end up getting lost.
Your reward is seeing Horseshoe Bay and Howe Sound from above. And The Lions look closer and more impressive than from Vancouver. Our trip today went just a bit further than the end of improved trail.
1. The sign to the trail near the upper parking lot of Cypress Provincial Park.
Other Trips in West Vancouver Area:
ihikebc.com Trip 003 - Howe Sound Crest South Trail Page 1 of 2