Posts about: Buntzen Lake Hikes

Lindsay Lake in February

 

A beautiful weekend was in the forecast and it didn’t disappoint ! It’s been over two months since I was up on Eagle Mountain and I needed to get my fix ! As we still have limited daylight right now, I wanted to stick with Lindsay Lake, rather than traversing the entire Eagle Mountain ridge.

Today’s stats were:

Distance : 12.9 km
Time: 6 hrs 50 mins (with breaks for pictures)
Min elevation: 102 m
Max elevation: 1,120 m
Elevation gain: 1,018

The route:

On a typical February day, this hike would be impossible to do without snowshoes. The only snow we found today was about 3 or 4 inches of hard pack at Lindsay Lake…

Snow at Lindsay lake

Today started off at 6 degrees and got up to 11, but it felt warm all day in my shorts (that’s not me above).

Here is a view from the premier viewpoint, named The Pulpit…

The Pulpit Viewpoint

The Pulpit is at 1,000 m above Buntzen Lake and is a 20 minute hike from the Lindsay Lake Junction.

We saw a number of people today and one unlucky girl who’s hiking boot came off her foot in a mud puddle !

Below are Siskin Lake and Chickadee Lake…

Siskin Lake

Chickadee Lake

Here is Lindsay Lake, with a thin layer of ice and some frost…

Icey Lindsay Lake

Here are a couple of trail pix…

Lindsay Lake Trail 2

Lindsay Lake Trail

I’ll end with a photo of the Buntzen Creek headwaters, located just north of El Paso Junction, at 800 m above Buntzen Lake…

Buntzen Creek headwaters

Overall the conditions were great. Warm enough all day with lots of sun. Very little snow and what was there was just a few inches of hardpack. There were many mud patches, but they were no problem.

★★★★★★★★★★★

Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.

Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.

For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.

★★★★★★★★★★★

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    Swan Falls Loop in the Snow

     

    I’ve been up Eagle Mountain a number of times this year, but this is the first time I went north past Lindsay Lake. We started at 8:45 am on Sunday, November 30th and when we were nearing Polytrichum Lookout, we saw a guy in short sleeves carrying a large rock on his way down. He said he goes to the falls (I assume Foy Falls) and back with the rock and that is part of his workout. It was -6 to -9 at that point.

    This was my first long hike in such cold weather. I started off with 3 merino wool shirts and a poly jacket – soon after the ascent, I was too warm and took off two shirts. The remainder of the hike was with one shirt and the jacket and I was fine. Anyways, we ventured on and as we passed El Paso Junction, we took the East Loop and made fresh tracks from there. The snow was about 3 to 6 inches, but up to 9 inches in places.

    Today’s Stats were:

    Total Distance: 16.2 km
    Elevation gain: 1104 m
    Total elevation gain: 1508 m
    Min elevation: 134 m
    Max elevation: 1238 m

    The route:



    Polytrichum Lookout

    Trail 2



    The lakes looked beautiful with their snow-covered icy surfaces.

    Lindsay Lake

    Chickadee Lake

    Wren Lake



    We reached Lindsay Lake Junction just after 11:00 am, still punching through fresh snow. We then headed north to Mt. Beautiful. The sign is pretty useless and has been so for a number of years.

    Lindsay Lake Junction

    Anyways, onward and upward… 30 mins later we went through Dead Tree Pass…

    Dead Tree Pass



    And at 11:45 am we reached Tangled Summit…

    Tangled summit

    The trails had been marked generally good since Lindsay Lake, but from here the trail markers were hard to find. We were at Tangled Summit and could see no trail markers.

    Keep in mind, I had two GPS devices preloaded with the route, so I always knew if we went off track.

    trail 3

    So, we took our best guesses as to where the trail was and kept checking with the GPS to ensure we were on track.

    After wasting some time find trail markers, we made it to Mt. Beautiful at 1:45 pm. As we were approaching Mt. Beautiful, we actually took a slight detour, but were parallel with the trail. At this point, I knew time was not on our side and I didn’t bother getting photos from Mt. Beautiful.



    We then kept travelling, looking for the elusive trail markers and we finally got to the top of the Swan Falls trail at 2:15 pm. Trail markers were great all the way down and we had no problems. Around the 350 m elevation mark, the time was 3:45 and I called the Warden’s office to tell them we would be coming down slightly after gate closing time and they left the gate open for us – Thanks to them !

    Well, we got to Power House road at 4:20 and walked back to the car in the moonlight.

    Moon at the end

    I can now see why there are so many rescues up there. If we didn’t have GPS, we would have been another news story! I can really appreciate the hard work that goes into high mountain rescues.

    Besides the GPS, the other thing that really made the hike easy, was Kahtoola microspikes – I highly highly recommend them !



    ★★★★★★★★★★★

    Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.

    Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.

    For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
    To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.

    ★★★★★★★★★★★

    Share and Enjoy

      Polytrichum Lookout vs. Grouse Grind

       

      Update: For an additional workout, I have added comparison stats at the bottom of this page for the round trip to El Paso Junction as well.

      Two very good and very different workouts.

      Here is the location of the Polytrichum lookout and El Paso Junction route…

      Polytrichum Lookout is located on the Halvor Lunden trail on Eagle Mountain. Its trail head is at the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area. Many people park in the overflow/equestrian parking lot; however, you can park in one of the three main parking lots, for a just a slightly longer hike.

      From the overflow/equestrian parking lot, there is 2.5 km hike and a 550 m elevation gain to get to Polytrichum Lookout. You will hike through a dense forest and cross some streams. At the lookout, you’ll be have this great view…

      Polytrichum Lookout

      The view looks northwest and the first little range you see is Buntzen Ridge – where the Diez Vistas Trail is located. The trail continues up Eagle Mountain, but for a quick workout, many people go to Polytrichum and turn back.

      Conversely, the Grouse Grind, which is located in North Vancouver is 2.9 km long and there is a 853 m elevation gain.

      Here are some differences:

      Polytrichum Lookout:

      • 33 km and 45 minutes driving from Downtown Vancouver
      • 10 km and 15 minutes driving from Coquitlam Centre
      • 2.5 km one way X 2 = 5 km total
      • 550 m elevation gain
      • Average Grade = 27.6%
      • Plenty of parking (only full on sunny summer weekends and holidays after 11 am)
      • Free Parking
      • Not busy
      • Open year round
      • Descent can be tough on the knees

      Grouse Grind:

      • 13 km and 20 minutes driving from Downtown Vancouver
      • 40 km and up to 1 hour driving from Coquitlam Centre
      • 2.9 km one way (most people take gondola down)
      • 853 m elevation gain
      • Average Grade = 31%
      • Parking lots are often busy and crowded
      • Parking is NOT free
      • It is often very crowded
      • Closes when trail is too icy or snow-covered – it is determined by Metro Vancouver
      • Mosquitoes can be bothersome at times
      • Most people pay to take gondola down, which is another thing you have to wait for
      • Can descend via the BCMC trail
      • Knees are spared from pain of descent if you take the gondola down
      • Nice restaurant at top

      One thing in common is that you’ll burn roughly the same amount of calories (assuming you take the gondola down for Grouse Grind). For me, both workouts burn between 1200 and 1300 calories.

      Polytrichum / El Paso Junction / Grouse Grind comparison stats:
      Polytrichum Lookout:
      • 2.5 km one way
      • 5 km return
      • 550 m elevation gain
      • Average Grade = 27.6%
      El Paso Junction:
      • 4 km one way
      • 8 km return
      • 800 m elevation gain
      • Average Grade = 23.0%
      Grouse Grind:
      • 2.9 km one way
      • 6 km return on BCMC
      • 853 m elevation gain
      • Average Grade = 31.0%

       

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        Eagle Bluff Viewpoint

        This post is for Eagle Bluff viewpoint hike near Buntzen Lake.
        For the Eagle Bluffs hike at Cypress Provincial Park, please go HERE.

        Today was a weird day. I had no intention of hiking in the morning and by the early afternoon I was getting the itch. I then figured I would do the Lakeview Trail. After I had a venti iced mocha, I decided to hike to Polytrichum Lookout. But on the way up I saw a small sign for a turnoff to ‘Eagle Bluff’, which I have never been. So I detoured off the main Halvor Lunden trail on my way to Eagle Bluff.

        The route…

        map

        Below are two views from the Eagle Bluff…

        view buntzen

        view south


        Today’s stats were:

        Return distance: 5 km
        Elevation gain: 250 m

        So, as you can see it isn’t a strenuous hike by any means, but the views are decent.

        Here is a view of the bluff taken from the east end of the Buntzen Lake Floating Bridge…

        27501274561_39e70ffb7d_o (Medium)

        Below are some trail photos…

        Trail to Eagle Bluff Lookout

        trail 3

        Trail to Eagle Bluff Lookout

        At the viewpoint I saw a old logging relic…

        logging relic

        And here’s the high point on the bluff…

        Rock at Eagle Bluff

        ★★★★★★★★★★★

        Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.

        Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.

        For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
        To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.

        ★★★★★★★★★★★

        Share and Enjoy

          Lakeview Trail on a Gorgeous Early Autumn Day

          I haven’t done the Lakeview Trail in a few months and I don’t know why !! Today was an incredible day – 28 September 2014 – Temp in the low 20’s and a sunny sky. The colours of Autumn are showing on the trees.



          Oh yeah, today was also the 5 Peaks event at Buntzen Lake with the 2 premier events being the Buntzen Lake Loop and Diez Vistas.  The Buntzen Lake winner’s time was 48:56 by Dave Cressman, while the Diez Vistas time was 1:27:46 by Herman Alagao.

          Anyways, getting back to today’s Lakeview Trail… The first photo is a great view from early on in the trail, where the trail crosses the hydro right-of-way…

          View

          The next photo is a traverse through the hydro right-of-way…

          Open area



          Here’s a small waterfall at Valentine Creek…

          Valentine Creek waterfall

          And here is the view from the north viewpoint…

          Lakeview Trail viewpoint

          Here’s another view from the north viewpoint showing the twin peaks and Swan Falls. The falls were sure roaring today…

          Twin peaks



          Finally, here’s a photo of the 5 Peaks awards ceremony wrapping up…

          5 Peaks

          ★★★★★★★★★★★

          Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.

          Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.

          For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
          To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.

          ★★★★★★★★★★★

          Share and Enjoy