Maria’s Guide to the Sunshine Coast Trail

The Sunshine Coast Trail has been on my bucket list for several years and I finally hiked it in its entirety this past summer. You can read my trail blogs starting with Part I, but I also wanted to create a guide to accompany those posts for anyone thinking of doing the trail. I think this is a great trail for thru hikers because while it is long (180km), it’s not life-altering long (like the PCT). But it is still long enough to require considerable advance planning, so here are some things I learned while planning the trek:

Experience/Fitness Level

The first question to ask yourself is whether you have the experience and ability to hike a trail this long. My longest trail prior to the SCT was 85km, but I’d hiked that distance on 3 separate occasions, so I felt confident that I could attempt 180km. Compared to other popular thru hikes in BC, I would say that the SCT is actually a bit easier (comparing to hikes like the West Coast Trail), but that it shouldn’t be underestimated. I was able to hike at a much faster pace on the SCT than other coastal trails I’ve done, but there is a lot of elevation gain throughout the course of the trail, so you definitely want to be used to climbing mountains before you attempt. However, there are lots of exit points on the trail if it becomes too challenging and the huts can make things more comfortable for newer hikers. That said, if you’ve never backpacked before, get some experience on shorter trails first, or plan to section hike part of the trail instead of the whole thing, because there is a big difference in difficulty when you have to carry all your gear with you, especially on a long trip with heavy quantities of food!

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The Trail

The Sunshine Coast Trail is 178km long on paper, but a bit longer in practice. There have been many re-routes and trail changes throughout the years, so while there’s 178 trail markers on the trail, they’re not all actually 1km apart from each other. I clocked 190km on my GPS when I did the trail. The most notable section is from Tin Hat to Lewis Lake, which is 2-3km longer than indicated, so prepare for slightly longer days than anticipated. In addition, I tracked a cumulative elevation gain of 7500 metres over the course of the trail, so be prepared for a lot of uphill (and downhill if you have bad knees like me).

The trail starts at the far north end of the Upper Sunshine Coast, known as Sarah Point. It’s approximately 50km down the Malaspina Peninsula to Powell River and then the trail meanders through the mountains for another 130km to the trail end at Saltery Bay. The half point of the trail is at Tin Hat Mountain, which is largely regarded as the best viewpoint on the entire trail. There are lots of access points along the trail, but the two easiest are in Powell River (km 50) and Lang Bay (km 150). If you’re section hiking, I’d plan to hike one of these 3 sections, and if you’re thru hiking, these make good resupply points (more on that later).

While you can hike the trail in either direction, the majority of people go from North to South. The trail is set up for people hiking this direction so the trail markers will all be in order. Sarah Point is considerably harder to access than Saltery Bay, so it’s recommended to start at Sarah Point so that you can walk on the ferry when you get to Saltery Bay at the end of your hike and not have to coordinate transportation. For more detailed information about the entire 178km trail, pick up a copy of Eagle Walz’s book, or check out the SCT website.

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Time of Year

Time of year can also play a large role in determining when to hike the trail. If you don’t like crowds, then you may want to avoid the summer months and hike in the Spring or Fall. Summer can also be extremely hot and a lot of the streams can run dry in August, making it more desirable to hike in the shoulder seasons. The benefit of hiking in the summer is that you’re likely to have the driest weather, so if you don’t like hiking in the rain, this might be the best option for you, though the heat can be exhausting.

The challenges with Spring hiking are that if you go too early, there may still be snow on parts of the trail and you’re more likely to encounter rain along the trek. Whereas in Fall, you won’t encounter snow unless you go really late, but the streams are more likely to be dry in early Fall and you’re more likely to get rained on in late Fall. I wanted to do the trail in June, but I ended up doing it in August (when it was very hot) and early September (when the streams were mostly dry). But I didn’t encounter crowds during either time.

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Getting There

Getting to the Sunshine Coast was probably the biggest challenge for me and was the most considerable cost of the trip. If you’re going with a group and have more than 1 car, it’s relatively easy, but if you’re alone or don’t have a car, it’s a bit more challenging. You’ll have to either drive or walk on two different ferries (Horseshoe Bay to Langdale and Earls Cove to Saltery Bay) and prepare to shell out $100+pp to take the shuttle to the trailhead. Saltery Bay and Powell River are accessible by transit, but the trailhead at Sarah Point requires 4WD to access. If you have 4WD, that’s great, if not, make a booking with the Sunshine Coast Shuttle. Here’s the options I’ve identified for getting to the trailhead:

  1. Drive yourself (1 car). Park your car at Earl’s Cove and walk on the ferry, then get the SCT shuttle from Saltery Bay to the Sarah Point Trailhead. If you want to drop off resupplies, then drive on the ferry instead and park at Saltery Bay once you’ve dropped the resupplies and catch the shuttle. Once you finish the trail at Saltery Bay, your car will be waiting for you!
  2. Drive yourself (2 cars). If you have a rugged 4WD with high clearance, you can park one car at Saltery Bay, drop off your resupplies, and drive your second car all the way to the trailhead. If not, drop off your resupplies and catch the shuttle from Powell River to the trailhead. Collect your car at Saltery Bay at the end of your hike and pick up the other car.
  3. Take transit. You can walk on both ferries and there is a connector shuttle that runs between the two ferries in the summer. It runs every day except Thursday, but it only goes once per day. Once you get the second ferry to Saltery Bay, you can get the shuttle to pick you up and transport you to the trailhead, or you can take the city bus to Powell River, drop off your resupply, and then get the shuttle to the trailhead. This was what I did on my first attempt.
  4. Fly. There are several airlines that fly direct to Powell River, but I recommend Harbour Air because it flies directly to the Shingle Mill Pub, which is one of the resupply locations. So you can drop off your resupply when you arrive and then arrange the shuttle to the trailhead. The downside is you can’t fly with fuel or bear spray, but you can purchase both from the shuttle company. This was what I did on my second attempt.

All of these options assume starting at Sarah Point. You can walk off the ferry at Saltery Bay and start from there, but it’s better to take the shuttle for drop off rather than coordinate a pick-up time when you might not know how fast you’ll be hiking. Unless you plan to camp at Sarah Point on your last night and get picked up in the morning.

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Itinerary

Once you’ve established you’re ready to attempt the trail, itinerary becomes an important consideration. You can hike the entire trail in one go, or you can make a couple of trips to complete in section hikes, or even day hikes if you’re ambitious and comfortable with trail running. I decided on one big thru-hike, but circumstance forced me to complete it as two section hikes. You want to be realistic about your abilities when deciding how many days to allot for the trip. Because it’s a long trail, there’s a tendency to want to do a lot of kilometres, but consider whether this will be enjoyable over an extended period of time. If you’re hiking solo, it may be easier to hike longer distances, but if you’re in a group, you will naturally need a slower pace. If you don’t have lightweight gear, also consider that packing 3-8 days of food will present a considerable challenge.

Campsite choice is also an important consideration in determining your itinerary. Are you flexible in where you camp? Are you comfortable staying at tent sites, or do you only want to stay in the huts? Either way, plan to bring a tent because the huts can fill up on summer weekends, though users are supposed to prioritize space in the huts for thru-hikers. Determining how many days you have available for the trip can help you determine your itinerary, just make sure to leave enough time for travel to and from the Sunshine Coast as getting to the trailheads can be somewhat tedious.

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Campsites

You don’t necessarily need to pick exactly where you’re going to camp in advance when you draft your itinerary, but it’s good to set some goals so that you can assess whether you’re ahead or behind your targeted pace while on trail. I decided on 10 nights on the trail and planned my itinerary around that. I generally had a target that I wanted to reach every second night and I was flexible on the opposite nights based on how I was feeling. I wanted to stay at Tin Hat Hut and Walt Hill Hut because I heard they were the most scenic, so I set goals for when I wanted to arrive at those locations. It’s also good to know if there’s any sites you want to avoid, so you can plan around that. For example, I really didn’t like Homestead Rec Site or Lewis Point Rec Site.

Definitely pick up a copy of the SCT guide when assessing where you want to stay. Some campsites are more rugged than others and they don’t all have bathrooms, water sources, or bear caches. Water sources are important because if you stay at a campsite without one, you will have to hike with extra water. Likewise, if you’re staying at sites without bear caches, you’ll need to put extra consideration into how you’ll protect your food. See below for more information on both of these items. Even if you plan to stay only in huts, I still recommend bringing a tent with you because the huts can fill up on popular summer weekends. However, if you’re hiking in the off season, generally you’ll be okay. I’m told the huts were extremely busy in 2021, but when I hiked the trail in 2022, they were virtually empty, both in August and September.

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Gear

Gear is a favourite topic of any hiker. You don’t need expensive gear to go backpacking – I hiked with cheap gear for years and did just fine. But prepare yourself for the weight of it. I’ve invested in some really lightweight gear over the years and it really paid off for me on this thru hike. I was able to hike longer and faster than if I was using cheaper, heavier gear. In some instances I sacrificed comfort for this (a smaller sleeping pad, only the essentials for clothing, a non-freestanding tent), but the comfort of the lighter pack was more than worth it for me.

Fortunately, the SCT is not an alpine hike, so generally you can get away with cooler gear. I always bring a lot of warm gear when I’m going to the alpine, but this wasn’t needed on the SCT, especially in the middle of summer and with the huts. Plus, if you’re doing the hike with a friend, you can share gear to lighten the load. A few things I would definitely still bring include trekking poles, bear spray, and all of the 10 essentials, especially an inreach (or satellite device) and a GPS (or a large power bank for your phone).

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Food

Food is one of my favourite topics when it comes to thru-hiking. Some people get really into calorie counting for a big hike, but I’ve personally never found this was accurate for me and resulted in carrying way more food then I needed. If you’ve done some practice hikes, they should give you a good idea of how much you will generally eat and then plan for slightly larger portions sizes or extra snacks since it’s a long hike. Personally I prefer to bring larger meals in lieu of extra snacks. Generally you will get hungrier the longer you hike, so plan for a bit extra towards the end of the trip. Always bring an extra day of food on a trip of this scale in case of emergency.

I’ve been getting really into dehydrating and I prepped my entire menu for 11 days using my dehydrator. You don’t need a dehydrator to do a multi-day trek, but it can significantly lighten your load. The average person carries 2lbs of food per day, but I was able to get my weight down to just over 1lb per day (12lbs for my 11 days on trail). The easiest way to shed weight is through dehydrated/freeze dried meals. I dehydrated my own, but you can also purchase them from a large suite of options at places like MEC, though these are often a little bulkier and very pricey. Before I got into dehydrating, my preference was to stock up on simple grocery store items like knorr sidekicks, of which there are lots of rice and pasta options, or easy dinners like ramen. The trick is finding some way to add protein. Tuna packets are a good option, but a little heavier than dehydrated proteins. Famous foods carries lots of freeze-dried options.

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Resupplies

Resupplies go hand in hand with food. If you’re fast, you can probably carry all your food from the start, though carrying so much food weight may slow you down. The two easiest resupply points are the Shingle Mill pub in Powell River and the general store in Lang Bay. Shingle Mill is right on the trail, but Lang Bay involves a 2.5km road walk each way. Because of this, I opted for just 1 resupply at the pub. I carried 4 days of food at the start and then picked up 7 days of food from the pub. Another option is to pre-arrange a drop-off from the SCT shuttle company at any point where the trail crosses a road, but this is a pricey option, so I didn’t meet anyone who utilized it. Both the pub and the general store will hold your resupplies free of charge.

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Other Considerations

Water Supply – No matter when you hike the trail, water supply requires constant thought. Not every campsite has a water source, so you may need to carry extra water with you if you plan to camp at one of these sites and you need to know where your last reliable source of water is before you get to the campsite. When I hiked in early August, the majority of streams were still flowing, but when I hiked in early September, almost every stream was dry. This meant that I had to get almost all my water from lakes and ponds, meaning I often had to carry extra water and that a water filter was extremely necessary to purify my water. Streams are a higher quality source of drinking water than lakes or ponds, so plan accordingly when choosing your water treatment system. At times I carried 4-5L of water with me depending on my campsite and last reliable water source – 5L of water weighs 11lbs, so it’s a significant addition to your pack!

Bear Caches – Not every campsite has a bear cache. Most of the huts have them (but not all) and most of the tenting sites don’t have them. Pending on location, it may be very difficult to create a bear hang, so it’s recommended to bring either a bear bin or bear bag on the trail. Everyone has different opinions on bins vs. bags. Personally, I think a bin is the safest option, though I opted for the bear bag for weight reasons. It’s almost impossible for a bear to walk off with your bear bin, but it can walk off or crush your food with a bear bag, so I still tied mine to a tree even though it’s made of kevlar and supposedly bear proof. It was never tested.

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Hiking Skywalk North

Last week I said Tricouni Meadows might be my favourite hike of the season… then I did Skywalk North and now I can’t decide! After such a successful hike at Tricouni, I was enthusiastic to try another day hike. This time we decided on the Skywalk North Trail in Whistler – it doesn’t require any off-roading, but is a much longer trail with much more elevation gain.

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I’ve heard of the Iceberg Lake hike, which is quite popular, but I hadn’t heard much about the Skywalk trails, which I found in the 105 Hikes book by Stephen Hui. There’s a ton of hiking trails in the area and many mountain bike paths – the Skywalk trails consist of 2 loops with a shared middle section. The South Trail leaves from Alpine Way and the North Trail leaves from Mountain View Drive (both in Whistler). The South Trail is a bit shorter, but if you want to visit Iceberg Lake, they’re both probably about the same length because it’s a branch to visit the lake on the South Trail, whereas the North Trail goes right past it.

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So both trails are ~20km including the lake, though we tracked 22km on GPS, and over 1000m in elevation gain, so it is definitely a big hike and you should give yourself enough time to complete it. We started just before 10am and didn’t finish until just after 7pm. For the most part it’s not a very technical hike and it has a lot of flat sections, but this just means it does a lot of gain in a short distance, so it is steep.

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On VancouverTrails, it says it’s 7.5km to the lake, but my GPS tracked 9km and 900m of elevation gain, but I didn’t find this part of the trail difficult at all. The trail starts with a steep climb, then flattens as you walk through the trees along the river and past some waterfalls. Then you climb again up to the meadows where you meet the junction for the Skywalk South Trail. There’s an outhouse and a gorgeous view up to the glacier. It’s another 1km to the lake, which is the most technical part of the hike. You have to hike up through the boulder field to the base of the glacier. This was one of my favourite parts of the hike though because there were lots of wildflowers growing around the streams coming down from the glacier and it was very scenic!

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It took us about 3 hours to get up to Iceberg Lake. We barely saw anyone on the hike up to the meadows and once we left the lake, but it was fairly busy from the meadows to the lake. It was strangely cold on the day we visited though. Vancouver had been nursing a steady heatwave since mid July, but on the weekend we went, we got a brief cold spell and we had to layer up with fleeces and windbreakers at the lake. But not before I went for a swim!

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I pride myself on almost always going for a swim, no matter how cold the water is and this was no exception. I knew I was going to get cold fast once I stopped moving and my sweat cooled, so I stripped down to my swimsuit immediately. It was definitely some of the coldest water I’ve been in and I didn’t stay in for more than a minute. By the time I crawled out my body was already starting to go numb, but it was cool to briefly swim with all the bergy bits – that was a first for me!

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We hung out at the lake for a bit before continuing on. If you’re doing the South trail, you’ll have to hike back to the meadows, but the North trail climbs up over the pass on the right side of the mountain to continue into the sub-alpine. Unless you’re doing the shortest route (up and back on the Iceberg Lake Trail), I’d really recommend Skywalk North (though I haven’t done the South Trail yet). The hike up the pass was my favourite part of the whole hike because you get to look down on the lake and the glacier, which is a cooler vantage point than looking up on it.

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Once you get to the top of the pass, the trail flattens out again and you spend a lot of time hiking through meadow after meadow. We stopped at the top for a bit of a photoshoot and then took our time hiking down. What I liked about the North trail is that you get to spend a lot more time in the sub-alpine than if you just did the Iceberg Lake trail. There’s a great view looking out towards Whistler-Blackcomb, Wedgemount, and Pemberton and the alpine meadows were all in bloom with yellow arnica, purple lupins, white sitka valeria, and pink mountain heather. Plus by doing a loop you get to experience all new terrain!

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This part of the hike did take us a bit longer than anticipated. The down side to Berg Lake is that you eat your lunch when you haven’t done half of the trail, so it does make for a long afternoon. We hit Screaming Cat Lake around 4pm, which is a large lake before you start the downhill. I decided to go for a swim again and I was thrilled because Screaming Cat is not a glacial lake and is much warmer, so you can actually go for an enjoyable swim. It was still pretty cold, but once you got in, it was actually warmer in the water than out of it and we stayed in for a while, with both Lien and Brandon joining me.

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The rest of the hike was pretty painful for me. It’s been a while since I’ve done so much elevation gain in one day and my knees were starting to bother me. After Cat Lake you have to do about 850m of downhill, which gets progressively steeper. It’s still a very nice hike – the trees aren’t tightly packed, so the forest had a very sunny feeling, but my knees were both killing me. I got slower and slower and pretty much crawled down the last 2km. We added a bit more distance to take the less steep routes where possible to save my knees. Even still, it was just after 7pm when we exited the trail, which I thought was pretty good all things considered!

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We drove back to Squamish and had a delicious meal before heading back to Vancouver. I don’t think I got home until 11pm, so it was a very long day, but I really loved the hike! It’s a lot of work, but high reward and a lot of time spent in the alpine! Definitely recommend for those long summer days. Though I’d be wary of going on a really hot day – a lot of the hike is exposed and it’s a lot of climbing to do with no shade.

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Hiking Tricouni Meadows

This might be my favourite hike of the year to date! I’ve been doing more exploring around the Squamish River area in the past few years and have had Tricouni Meadows on my radar for a while. I was keen to visit it as an overnight, but have almost exclusively done overnight trips this year and needed a break, so we opted to do it as a day hike instead. I was a little bit disappointed to have limited time to explore the area, but excited to get a taste because it is incredibly scenic!

The most important thing to be aware of with Tricouni Meadows is access. There’s a lot of mixed information about the forestry road on the internet, so definitely come prepared with the right vehicle if you want to drive the whole way to the trailhead. Conditions can vary year by year as well, so take this information with a grain of salt and check more recent sources if you’re doing this hike beyond 2022.

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Tricouni Meadows is located off Branch 200, off Squamish Valley Road. Squamish Valley Road is easily accessible and you drive past the bridge, the High Falls Creek Trailhead, and the hydroelectric facility, taking the right fork onto Branch 200. This is where things get variable. I’m no expert on vehicles, but Brandon is very knowledgeable and his assessment was that the road is in relatively good condition at this point. You don’t really need 4WD, but you may want a bit of extra clearance and good tires. SUV’s can likely handle it, but even the early part of the road isn’t in very good condition for cars. There was a station wagon stopped less a 1km in when we drove it that ended up turning around.

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The first 2 switchbacks are quite steep, but the condition of the road doesn’t require 4WD. Once you get up the switchbacks, the road really isn’t that bad for the first 7km. But if you want to get past the creek at km 7, you definitely need the proper set-up. There is a huge wash-out with a very steep and narrow dip in the road. Since it’s only 3km to the trailhead from here, most people had opted to park along the road and walk the rest of it. There were a lot of big trucks like the Ford F-150, that while they had high clearance, are very long and couldn’t do the washout without grounding out on the back.

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Brandon drives a Toyota 4-Runner – he sized up the washout for a few minutes and decided he could do it. Brandon loves off-roading and I did think he could probably do it, but I’m much more cautious and was nervous about this approach. He gave it a go, to much nervous yelling and swearing on my part, but was able to get down and out of it. He did ground out right on the back of his rear bumper, but there were no large rocks and so he didn’t get any damage. I think the shrubs actually did more damage to the vehicle as the road is very narrow and they were constantly scraping along the doors.

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In any case, the road still isn’t too bad after the washout until the last kilometre or so. It becomes very rocky after that and 4WD is definitely needed for the last portion of the road. But Brandon was thrilled when we finally made it to the parking lot to find we were only the 3rd car that had made it up there… and they were all 4-Runners! We’re pretty early in the day and when we exited the trail there were a lot more vehicles: 5 4-Runners, 2 Tacomas, and 2 Jeeps. So my recommendation would be to just park at the wash-out unless you are experienced. Honestly, driving up is barely any faster from this point, but it does conserve your energy.

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So with that out of the way, let’s talk about the actual hike, because it’s a really good one! There are two trails heading up along either side of high falls creek to Tricouni Meadows. They share one trailhead, but branch from each other almost immediately. The trail on the right (east side) is the original trail, which follows directly along the creek. This trail is known for being extremely muddy, which is why I suspect the second trail was developed. The second trail branches left (west side) and crosses the creek to ascend up to the meadows through the boulder field. It’s a slightly longer trail, but will take more than slightly more time because you go through the boulder field almost the entire hike.

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We opted to take the boulder field trail up and didn’t regret it. It’s a bit more technical, but it also has beautiful views of the mountains. There were still some wildflowers in bloom and we took our time since it was quite hot. The downside is, there’s very little shade and it is steep towards the end, so just take your time. It took us between 90-120 minutes to get up to the first lake.

I definitely recommend bringing 2 hiking poles for this hike because there are a lot of stream crossings. I managed not to get my feet wet by staying nimble, and Brandon kept his feet dry despite walking through the water because his boots are extremely waterproof, but Lien did get wet feet on some of the crossings. The first crossing when you start the hike is a bit tricky depending on water level, and then we crossed back over when we got to Pendant Lake, though this was an easier crossing.

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There are several lakes dispersed throughout the meadows. You can hike Pendant Lake, Spearpoint Lake, and Reflection Lake on your way up to Tricouni Peak, or Pendant Lake and Tricouni Lake on your way to Seagram Lake (requires wayfinding). We didn’t have much of a plan when we went up and stopped immediately at Pendant Lake to go for a swim and have lunch. Pendant Lake was probably my favourite of the 3, it has a beautiful little island in the middle and is shaped like a heart from above. The water was quite cold, but that didn’t stop me and Lien from taking a dip. Pendant also had a ton of wildflowers growing along the shore of the lake, which made it incredibly scenic!

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From there you hike up about 50m in elevation to get to Spearpoint Lake. This is the smallest lake, but has several flat areas to pitch a tent (something that’s mostly missing from Pendant Lake). We decided to save our swim in Spearpoint for later and continue up to Reflection Lake. Brandon floated around the idea of going all the way to the peak, but I didn’t really think we had time, so we decided to just start with Reflection Lake.

It’s another 100m in elevation gain to Reflection Lake, but the trail is infinitely more challenging. There’s not really a marked trail at this point and you pretty much just scramble up over the boulder field. There’s a beautiful waterfall, but it is very steep and not obvious where the trail is. Before the waterfall, you need to cross to the right side of the river and follow the landslide up to a cairn. This was by far the sketchiest part of the trail as it’s very steep and there’s a lot of run-out. I almost gave up and turned around, but decided to push on.

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Once you get up over the waterfall, there’s another boulder field, but it’s much easier to navigate and we soon made it to the lake. There are several creek crossings in between though, which is why I say to make sure to bring poles. There weren’t many campers when we arrived, but a lot showed up after us. Some set up at Spearpoint Lake and a lot were continuing up to Reflection Lake. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of flat spots anywhere really, so I recommend coming early and being prepared to get creative. Personally, I wouldn’t hike my big pack up to Reflection Lake.

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We abandoned the idea of going to the peak and instead chilled at the lake while watching other hikers start up over the scree. Despite the scramble up to the lake, I would say the view from Reflection Lake is worth it. You can see all the way to the peak from there – it’s very exposed alpine scree and boulder field. I’m not super keen on going all the way to the peak now that I’ve seen it, because there is limited trail and it’s mostly a technical scramble, but I could probably be convinced (likely by Brandon) to return and attempt it on an overnight trip (camping at one of the lower lakes). Instead, we had some more snacks and went for a swim in Reflection Lake, which is definitely the coldest of the three.

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There were a lot of mosquitoes when we visited, so be prepared for that. Brandon invested in a thermacell after we got eaten alive at Assiniboine last year and I have to say that it is worth every penny! We never go anywhere without it now and it made hanging out at the lake much more enjoyable. Brandon has the rechargeable one, which I think is the most effective, but I have the backpacking version (which uses isobutane) and also really like it – honestly you can’t go wrong with either!

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Of course, hiking back down was more nerve-wracking than the hike up, though more straightforward in terms of route finding. We stopped at Spearpoint Lake this time to go for our last swim of the day. Me and Lien swam in all 3 lakes, but Brandon just dipped in at Spearpoint. They’re all cold, but Spearpoint is the smallest and therefore slightly less cold than the other two. At this point there were A LOT of people exploring the area and the campsites, which were totally empty when we arrived, were completely filled up. We weren’t particularly early (starting the hike just before 11am), but it makes a big difference in getting a good site, so I recommend going earlier rather than later. There are no facilities though, so come prepared to dig catholes and I strongly recommend a bear can or bear bag as there are no good trees to make a cache.

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I’m definitely keen to return and spend a few days in the area, there’s a lot to explore! I’d like to visit Tricouni Lake and Seagram Lake, but it was too much for 1 day hike. It was around 5pm when we left Pendant Lake and we decided to take the muddy branch back to the car in hopes of saving some time.

The trail starts off pretty well and it’s definitely faster than descending through the boulder field. There are several mud pits along the way, but they were relatively dry and easy enough to walk over, so I didn’t get too muddy. Overall, the first 2 thirds weren’t too bad, but the last third was definitely a sloppy mess. I was ankle and calf deep in a few places, so I can only imagine how muddy it would be in the wet season (it was mid August when we went). I would only attempt the muddy trail in the height of dry season – otherwise stick to the boulder field. That said, it’s definitely faster and it only took us an hour to get back to the car.

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All in all, I loved this hike! It’s not the easiest to visit because of access and it has smaller crowds than a lot of popular hikes, but there were definitely more people there than I was expecting, so I think it’s growing in popularity. In addition to the mud, there are a lot of stream crossings, so I’ll probably stick to this one during the dry season, but I can’t wait to go back again!

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