Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hiking the Hope Lookout

This post starts at the top with the unobstructed vista of Hope, B.C. from the Lookout. It is quite a view - the reward for the 1 and a half hour hike to the top. 

Hope BC © Stephen Mullock

It is possible to get to the lookout a lot faster.  In fact, there is a statute near the parking lot indicating trail runner speeds between 23 and 29 minutes.  I am impressed - this trail although only 2.4 kilometres in length has an average grade of 19.2% and an elevation gain of 480 metres.  The conditioning of these trail running athletes must be remarkable. I would rate this trail as being of medium difficulty.  Here is a site for hiking and travel directions to the parking lot and trail head.

The group I am with however have ages in the 50s and 60s and so we are taking our time enjoying the forest with frequent breaks for water and rest. I am wearing good hiking shoes and carry poles, water and a lunch to enjoy at the top.

The trail is well maintained and a number of benches are provided for the weary.  I manage to find them all.

Pika © Stephen Mullock

As we near the lookout I hear a "whistling" from the scree above and see this little guy in amongst the rocks. Known as the "whistling hare" this small mammal, a Pika, had been sending a high pitched warning call out to other Pikas - humans are near.  A very shy creature, I was pleased to get a few photographs before it dove back into the rocks and was gone. 

As we returned I was reminded of the force of nature. This picture shows a recent windfall the tree roots splayed upward with ferns and earth still hanging from it.

Close proximity to coastal forests such as this one near Hope, B.C. is just one of many benefits of eastern Fraser Valley living.  If you are planning on hiking please be prepared, and remember to "pack out" whatever you "pack in". Happy trails.

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