Trip 067 - August 25, 2014 (Monday)

Elk-Thurston Hiking Trail

Near Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

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Distance From Vancouver (Grandview Hwy Entrance to Hwy 1 East):
About 110 km: 93.5 km from Grandview Hwy entrance to Hwy 1 East to Exit 123 (Prest Road) - turn right (South), then 5 km on Prest Rd and turn left on Bailey Rd, then 700 meters later at a split stay right on Elk View Road. Continue on Elk View Road until it ends 9.5 kilometers later, and Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Road begins. One kilometer after that you are at the parking area for the Elk-Thurston trailhead.

Liked: Numerous pleasant forest scenes, mountain views, and well-maintained trail.

Of note: The trail is popular. Remote highway noise for much of the trail. Remote gunfire for much of the trail. The trail is moderately difficult with several fairly steep sections. Hiking boots recommended. Hiking poles highly recommended. Elk View Road is winding and narrow.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 4 (Chilliwack) F5-G5. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (2008 edition): hike #64. The latest edition is available at Chapters.ca.

Other Trips in Chilliwack Area: Mount Cheam Peak Trail Hike, Ling Lake Trail Hike, Chilliwack Foley Forest Service Road, Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Road, Slesse Memorial Trail Hike, Downtown Chilliwack BC Visit, Chilliwack River Forest Service Road, Radium Lake Trail Hike, Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, Minter Gardens by Chilliwack BC, Town of Agassiz BC, Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park.


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Elk-Thurston trail leads to Elk Mountain followed by Thurston Mountain. In the process, you reach a good Fraser Valley observation point. It's a medium-difficulty trail, popular with the locals due to close proximity to Chilliwack. If the sun is out, try to start hiking as early in the day as possible, as by noon the sun is already shining in your eyes, making the mountain views look rather hazy.

1. To get to Elk-Thurston from Vancouver, you have several options, and this one is the most straightforward. Take Highway 1 East to Exit 123 (Prest Road). Here we are on Highway 1 East between Abbotsford and Chilliwack.


TransCanada Highway 1 East Between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

2. Take Exit 123 (Prest Road) and then turn right (South).


TransCanada Highway 1 British Columbia Exit 123 Prest Road

3. Drive on Prest Road for five kilometers until Bailey Road.


Prest Road Chilliwack BC Canada

4. After turning left onto Bailey Road, 700 meters later you would come to a split seen on the photo below, with Elk View Road on the right side. Stay right.


Elk View Road Start Chilliwack British Columbia Canada

5. After steadily gaining elevation for 9.5 kilometers on Elk View Road, you would come to its end where it meets Lookout Road. Continue straight onto Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Road.


Elk View Road at Lookout Road Chilliwack BC Canada

6. At the beginning of Chilliwack Bench FSR, there is a map showing where in Chilliwack you can fire your gun, and also a sign asking to report all poachers and polluters by calling 1-877-952-7277.


Chilliwack Bench FSR BC Canada

7. Chilliwack Bench is a fairly smooth FSR, with a speed limit of 40 km/h. It eventually connects with Chilliwack Lake Road via Chilliwack Foley FSR, so that's a second way of reaching Elk-Thurston trailhead.


Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Road BC Canada

8. One kilometer later, a parking area for Elk-Thurston trail. Elevation - 624 meters. This place is likely quite busy on weekends.


Parking for Elk-Thurston Hiking Trail at Chilliwack Bench FSR BC Canada

9. Chilliwack Bench FSR continues, but we start the hike with the beginning of the trail seen on the left side.


Chilliwack Bench FSR BC Canada at Elk-Thurston Trailhead

10. The first half of the trail is the steepest, but pleasant forest scenes make up for the sweat.


Elk-Thurston Trail BC Canada

11. In about forty minutes, you would reach this wide forest service road with an empty bulletin board. On the Backroads Map this road is shown as a convoluted dashed line, so, likely, it's not possible to drive up to this point, otherwise we'd likely see vehicles parked here. The continuation of the trail is seen on the left side.

12. After the road, the path becomes even wider and steeper.


Elk-Thurston Trail British Columbia Canada

13. About an hour after crossing the road, you would reach this tree, which signals the arrival of impressive views.


Photo of a View from Elk-Thurston Trail BC Canada

14. The first attraction is the view of Fraser Valley. Alas, smog made the viewing opportunity less than ideal.


Fraser Valley Seen From Elk-Thurston Trail BC Canada

15. We were more impressed by the rock outcropping at the viewing area.


Elk-Thurston Trail British Columbia Canada

16. Really nice rock. And tons of smog in the background.


Elk-Thurston Trail BC Canada

17. Though in the foreground the hills looked quite good.


View from Elk-Thurston Trail British Columbia Canada

Here is our video of the Fraser Valley as seen from Elk-Thurston trail.

A Complete List of Our Videos

18. And then there were two chipmunks begging for food. This guy eventually found a nut and left us alone.


Picture of Chipmunk Elk-Thurston Trail BC Canada

Our Trip Report Continues on Page 2.


<--- Second Trip to Squamish FSR Ashlu    Elk-Thurston Trail Page 2 --->


   

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