Trip 074 - September 16, 2014 (Tuesday)

Mount Cheam Peak Trail Hike

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Distance From Vancouver (Grandview Hwy Entrance to Hwy 1 East) via Chilliwack Bench FSR:
About 127 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 ten kilometers later, and Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Road begins. Then, 16.8 km later, turn left onto Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR. It's then about 10 kilometers more on Chilliwack Chipmunk to the trailhead.

Distance From Vancouver (Grandview Hwy Entrance to Hwy 1 East) via Chilliwack Lake Road: About 137 kilometers: 90.5 km from Grandview Hwy entrance to Hwy 1 East to Exit 119 (Yale Rd / Vedder Rd) in Chilliwack. Then 5.5 km on Vedder Road to Chilliwack Lake Road. Then about 27 km on Chilliwack Lake Road to Chilliwack Foley FSR (turn left). Then 2 km to a 3-way intersection (Chilliwack Foley turns right, but you need to turn left onto Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR extension). Then, 1.8 km later, you are at the intersection of Chilliwack Chipmunk and Chilliwack Bench shown on photo #1 (except you would be arriving from the opposite side). It's then about 10 kilometers more on Chilliwack Chipmunk to the trailhead.

Liked: Once you get to the trailhead, the trail is fairly easy, with just a few strenuous stretches. The views are great both of the mountains and the sub-alpine terrain.

Of note: Unless you have a high-clearance short-wheelbase 4x4 vehicle, numerous deep water bars on Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR would cause at least minor damage to you ride. If you choose to hike Chipmunk FSR instead, it's going to be an extra 5 hours return up and down a fairly strenuous road. There is very little tree cover on Chipmunk FSR and the trail itself, requiring sun protection on sunny days. Despite a substantial distance from populated areas, the trail is quite popular. Hiking boots and poles are recommended. There were lots of overly friendly flies at the peak itself.

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 #69. The latest edition is available at Chapters.ca.

Related Website: Chilliwack District FSR Conditions.

Other Trips in Chilliwack Area: Ling Lake Trail Hike, Chilliwack Foley Forest Service Road, Chilliwack Bench Forest Service Road, Elk-Thurston Trail Hike, 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.

This turned out to be quite an adventure. The trail itself was great, but since we do not have a "high-clearance, short-wheelbase 4x4" (read "Jeep Wrangler or the like"), we decided to hike Chipmunk FSR to the trailhead. This, in turn, caused an outpouring of concern and offers of a ride from passing motorists (about eight vehicles passed us by), who apparently did not expect anyone hiking on Chipmunk. A few people, who we later met on the trail, came up to talk about us walking on that road. What's there to say - it's quite heart-warming to know that so many people are willing to give a ride to a complete stranger who does not appear to be in any distress. The wilderness brotherhood in action. God bless you all.

1. Alright, we start our trip report on Chilliwack Bench FSR where it meets Chilliwack Chipmunk, seen on the left side.


Chilliwack Bench FSR at Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR British Columbia Canada

2. Immediately after turning left, here's what you'll see. There is actually a sign stating "Cheam Peak Trail" (seen on the left side of the photo). There will be no more signs or any flagging tape until the trailhead, and there are several side roads, but follow the main road and you'll get to the trailhead.


Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR Start BC Canada

3. And just around the corner there is a great place for target shooting and for parking your vehicle, if you intend to save it from abuse.

4. The abuse comes from 20+ water bars which appear deceptively shallow, but, alas, a few of them are deep enough to cause problems, and all of them only get bigger and deeper with time. We have seen Jeep Wranglers handle them just fine (which by no means guarantees problem-free driving in the future on this obstacle-course road), yet, a Nissan pickup and a Jeep Cherokee hit the ground in our presence when climbing out of the water bars.


Chilliwack Chipmunk Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada

5. Aside from the fact that Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR is fairly steep, it is also mostly featureless, making for a boring hike. Even this bridge, which you will encounter about 1.5 hours after the start, has rather bland creek views.


Bridge Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR BC Canada

6. Fifteen minutes after the bridge, you are finally being rewarded with the first glimpses of Mount Lady. It is a gorgeous mountain, and is the highlight of the entire hike.


Mount Lady Mountain Seen From Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR BC Canada

7. This was an interesting encounter - an excavator working on Chipmunk FSR. This means that logging might take place here in the near future. If this would result in some/all of the water bars being fixed, that would be great news.


Chilliwack Chipmunk Forest Service Road BC Canada

8. Getting closer to the trailhead


Photo of Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR British Columbia Canada

9. Speaking of Mount Lady...


Mount Lady Seen From Chilliwack Chipmunk FSR BC Canada

10. A neat scene on the side of the road.


View on the Side of Chilliwack Chipmunk Forest Service Road BC Canada

Here is our video of Chilliwack-Chipmunk Forest Service Road:

A Complete List of Our Videos

11. Three hours and fifteen minutes after the start, we reached the parking lot, featuring all the vehicles which passed us by.


Cheam Peak Trail Parking Lot BC Canada

12. At the end of the lot, the actual Mount Cheam Peak trail begins.


Start of Mount Cheam Peak Trail BC Canada

13. There were a lot of butterflies around that area.


Picture of Butterfly Mount Cheam Peak Trail BC Canada

14. As you are hiking the trail, you are getting closer to Mount Lady.


Mount Lady Seen From Mount Cheam Peak Trail Province of BC Canada

15. Good view to the left.


View From Mount Cheam Peak Trail British Columbia Canada

16. An unexpected surprise - a small but picturesque Spoon Lake, which you will encounter 35 minutes after the parking lot.


Spoon Lake Mount Cheam Peak Trail BC Canada

17. Yeah, Spoon Lake it is.


Spoon Lake Mount Cheam Peak Trail British Columbia Canada

18. Meanwhile, the trail goes on.


Mount Cheam Peak Trail BC Canada

Our Trip Report Continues On Page 2.


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