Such a great day to get out and enjoy Elk, and apparently I wasn’t the only one with that idea as the trail was packed. Fun to see so many people out enjoying the excellent trails that Chilliwack has to offer. Click this link if you need directions on getting to the trail head. DIRECTIONS TO ELK It’s about a ten minute drive from the Bailey/Prest intersection. Easy to find, just park at the clearing on the left and look for the Elk Thurston Trail sign which is on the far right side of the parking area.
The trail for the most part is easy…and I saw a lot of people on the trail who had different levels of fitness. The info in the link above says it takes 4 hours which I think is pretty generous…I was up and down in 3 and that’s with a long relaxing stop at the top. Most of the trail is very basic hiking with some average grade and it really isn’t until the last 20 minutes or so that it gets a little more aggressive. As soon as you come out of the tree line you get a great view of the Chilliwack River Valley on your right. It actually surprises you how high you have climbed. From there it is another couple minutes to the first lookout. This spot gives you a great view of Cultus Lake and Chilliwack through to the Fraser River. Seems like a lot of people stop here but going up just a few minutes further is worth it. I took the narrow south side to the top which is pretty steep and wouldn’t recommend for everyone. There is a short patch that makes you feel like you are gonna fall off the side of the mountain 🙂 The trail to the right is the one most people take. Again coming out of the trees you get an even better view. This is the spot where a lot of people paraglide off of the mountain. Sort of a steep grassy area where they launch themselves over the edge.
If you are looking for a good workout and amazing views of the valley give Elk a try…you won’t be disappointed.