At long last, my hiking adventures have continued! Together with my two favourite fit ladies, we decided to tackle the Halvor Lunden trail known as the Lindsay Lake Loop. We had originally planned to take on the ambitious Crown Mountain hike (in which you would have to complete the Grouse Grind before you even began the actual hike); however, various circumstances including car issues and time restraints meant that a closer hike would be more convenient.
We had been planning to tackle a Halvor Lunden trail ever since two of our friends, who were visiting from Germany, had summited Mount Beautiful earlier this year. Inspired by their descriptions of a beautiful hike, we decided to set off bright and early on a Friday morning. On a side note, Vancouver had been suffering from several weeks of extreme heat and drought; however, on the very morning on which we decided to hike, the weather decided to be cloudy and it even begin to rain! Nevertheless, we were somewhat grateful for the cooler weather that made it much easier to hike.
While the Dilly-Dally Loop and Swan Falls Loop are listed as 8-10 hour hikes, we decided to try the most popular, easiest Lindsay Lake Loop as we were newcomers to the area. Nevertheless, this hike is still listed as "difficult" and recommended for only fit and experienced hikers. This particular hike is 15 km long, takes around 6-8 hours to complete, and ascends up to an elevation of about 1100 m. While we were prepared for a long, terrible hike, we found that the first hour of hiking was the toughest and steepest portion; the rest of the hike was much more varied and pleasant. Therefore, we would rate it as being somewhere between an intermediate and difficult hike.
Located in Anmore, this hike begins a trailhead located near to the parking lot of Buntzen Lake. Since the park gates do not open until 8:00 am, you would have to park outside and walk all the way inside the long access road if you wish to begin before then. As we did not feeling like walking the extra distance, we waited until after 8:00 am in order to park and begin our journey. The first hour of the trail is somewhat similar to the Grouse Grind: steep and unforgiving. However, after you reach the first viewpoint at Polytrichum Lookout after the first hour, the trail becomes a bit more varied (but still contains a generous sprinkling of heart-poundingly tough sections).
We encountered a few moments in which we weren't entirely sure which direction we should be going; however, our trail leader Eva would soon get us on track with her handy map of the area and Google Maps. Along the way, we used our rest stops as an opportunity to take photos with our cameras and phones (as well as some snapchat photos and videos) of the misty mountains and forest that surrounded us.
Sadly, we would pass the best viewpoint of the hike, known as The Pulpit, with hardly a second glance as the mist was so impenetrable. Although the mist would clear later in the day, we would not pass this particular lookout point again as the loop descended by a different route. Finally, we reached Lindsay Lake and were greeted with this thick, white fog. According to Tia, it looked "like death." Personally, after recently watching so many seasons of the X-Files, it looked like the sort of place in which aliens lurked in order to abduct you.
By the time we had finished our snacks, however, the mist had cleared just enough for us to glimpse across the lake and see the shadowy forms of the trees over yonder.
We would pass several lakes with cute names such as Chickadee Lake, St. Mary's Lake, and Wren Lake. Slowly, we noticed the mist beginning to slowly fade away and provide us with a better view of the scenery. Frustratingly, the sky became very clear and sunny right around when we had finally reached the bottom of the mountain!
The first time we passed the Polytrichum lookout.
The second time we passed that same viewpoint-- much better!
My two companions were also obsessed with the wild blueberries we found growing everywhere along the trail. They seriously could not tear themselves away from the bushes (and from making moans of delight while eating them) until I firmly reminded them that we were losing time. I'm glad someone had a good head on her shoulders!
Our artist taking some reference nature shots for some future pieces. I absolutely adore spending time with these lovely ladies and the 7.5 hours we spent on this trail flew by while we chatted, hiked, and enjoyed nature. I have so many good memories from this particular hike; the way Eva would blow her whistle to scare away potential predators, Tia's morbid jokes, and, of course, the blueberry obsession. We also ended our hike as a hike should always be ended-- by eating something delicious. We ended up eating pie a la mode and brownies at a nearby local cafe. Heaven.
As always, I cannot wait for our next hike together (that will hopefully happen next weekend)!