Trip 214 - June 3, 2021 (Thursday)
Mount Thom Lookout Loop Trail Hike
in Chilliwack British Columbia
Liked: Chilliwack/Fraser Valley/Mountains view from the main viewpoint and two other viewpoints, a rather short and easy loop trail, shade in the forest, very few bugs.
Of Note: Continuous ruckus in the forest caused by numerous ravens, the viewpoints are getting overgrown, numerous intersecting trails are somewhat confusing, horses are possible in the park.
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (5th edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 4 (Chilliwack) D5.
Related Website: Mount Thom Park Lookout Loop Trail - City of Chilliwack Official Website.
Mount Thom is a neat park located within Chilliwack city limits, yet with relatively few visitors, as it is somewhat out of the way. There are numerous intersecting trails, which, on occasion, created a slight confusion as to which way to go, but, eventually, we figured things out. There are trail markers at key intersections, which make things easier. Also there are several parking lots at various park entrances, and we have used Churchill Parkway entrance to hike a short (less than 2 km) Lookout Loop Trail, which leads to a very fine viewpoint overlooking Chilliwack, Fraser Valley, and the surrounding mountains.
1. We are Eastbound on Highway 1 in Chilliwack, approaching Exit 123 Prest Road. Zero your odometer at the exit to follow our mileage markers until the trailhead.
2-3. Upon exiting Highway 1, proceed to the end of the off-ramp and turn right onto Prest Road South.
4-5. At 1.0 km, there is a roundabout. Take Exit 2 and continue on Prest Road South.
6. Driving on Prest Road in Chilliwack.
7. At the next roundabout, take the exit to Bailey Road East.
8. At 5.2 km, take Elk View Road on the right side.
9. At 6.9 km, turn right from Elk View Road onto Ryder Lake Road. A blue sign with an arrow indicates that Mt. Thom Park is in that direction. Going straight at this intersection would eventually lead to Elk-Thurston Trail.
10. At 8.8 km, Ryder Lake Road turns left, but we keep going straight on what is now Extrom Road.
11. At 9.8 km, turn right from Extrom Road onto Forester Road.
12. At 10.8 km, turn right from Forester Road onto Churchill Parkway.
13-14. At 11.1 km from Exit 123 of Highway 1, arrive at Mt. Thom Churchill Parkway parking lot on the right side. Coordinates: N 49⁰06.137' W 121⁰54.425'. Elevation: 401 meters. A picnic table and a pit toilet are available.
15. Here is a map of Mt. Thom trails. We have indicated our parking lot with a red square, and the lookout point with a blue square.
16. Mount Thom Lookout Loop Trailhead.
17. The trail begins.
18. Within 65 meters, the first trail split. Keep to the left all the time, and you'll get to the lookout.
19. A neat stump at 190 meters.
20-21. The next split arrives at 210 meters. Stay left.
22. At 290 meters, there is a T-junction. Turn left.
23. Mount Thom Lookout Loop Trail is a pleasant, easy-to-moderately difficult hike. The ground is quite smooth. Many birds live in the forest and make all kinds of pleasant sounds. They also eat bugs, so the bugs are hiding, not biting. Alas, a big group of ravens like Mount Thom too, so they hang out in the area and make all kinds of harsh noises.
24. At 590 meters from the trailhead, make yet another left turn.
25. A neat tree at 680 meters.
26-27. At 900 meters, we are at the Mount Thom Summit and Lookout. Coordinates: N 49⁰06.240' W 121⁰54.760'. Elevation: 474 meters (73 meters elevation gain from the trailhead for an average grade of 8%).
28. The view of the city of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley, and the surrounding mountains is very fine, except the thick plants just behind the fence are growing up and are starting to obstruct the view. We had to stand on the lower cross-bar of the fence to take this photograph.
29. Zoomed view of the city of Chilliwack.
30. A butterfly was hanging out by the lookout.
Here our video of the views from this location.
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Then, you can return the same way you came, or continue on the trail, which makes a loop and passes by two more viewpoints shortly after the first one. These other viewpoints also have benches, but the view is even more obstructed, especially at the third one. It takes another kilometer of hiking to complete the loop and return to Churchill Parkway trailhead. Mount Thom Lookout Loop Trail is short and pleasant, despite the noisy crows, and leads to a fine viewpoint. Recommended.
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