Looking for a great workout on a rainy day? Well this would would make your behind quite firm while building your cardio.
Drive down as far as 24th Ave in White Rock will go and your stair master await you. At about 200 stairs, it's a free workout that offers many rewards. The views are spectacular, the sea air refreshing and the crashing waves take your worries away. For your cool down, a stroll on the beach...You choose the times you go up and down but to do this a couple of times a week, in no time weight will fall off and you'll be fit as a fiddle. Happy & safe stair climbing!
Trail Key: M~2~DF~KF~V~RH~RT~R~PT
2014~This is a great trail to keep yourself in shape and perfect on a rainy day. You have two choices...you can have two cars: one parks at Mount Seymour Parkway & Mount Seymour Road, strip mall called, Park Gate (3 hr parking limit) while the other drives and park's at Quarry Rock parking lot in Deep Cove...or you can leave your car at either lot and make it an in-out trail which would be 16 km's and about 600 meters elevation gain. I will explain it from Quarry Rock to Park Gate Mall.
Your hike starts at Quarry Rock in Deep Cove. It is 8 km's/300 meters elevation gain. Follow the trail up to the Quarry Rock lookout. This part of the trail is a little climb at times and is rooty with some stairs and a few stairs otherwise it's an easy hike. Once you have had a nice break at the Quarry Rock lookout follow the short trail behind QR which takes you to a logging road & another lookout on your right but keep going straight to a sign post that says, Indian River Drive. Follow the stairs up. The trail is in some old growth forest and quite quiet as you wander along. There's some big rocks and some roots but it's a nice easy trail. You'll come to some bridges and mini waterfalls. Soon the trail comes to a road, cross it as it picks up on the other side. After awhile the trail comes to a T, go left and soon left again. Eventually you'll come out onto Mount Seymour Road. There's a pit toilet here and a small parking area. The trail picks up again on the other side. This part of the trail is groomed and there are a few mountain bikers riding along. It's a little more busier. It takes you out onto Mount Seymour Road again. Walk down the road and you'll see the parking lot on your right. Now you'll need to drive back and pick up the car that got you to the Quarry Rock trail head. However, first stop in Bean Around the World and have a yummy muffin and coffee. Scaredy Cat says unless you fool around at the lookout you won't loose any of your nine lives. Happy & safe trails...
Not long ago I discovered one thousand and one steps near the beach. I had to go and check it out.
Nestled at the bottom of 15A and off of 126A in White Rock is a staircase made for me. Time to build my cardio and get myself stronger for the up coming ss'ing season. A whiff of sea air and views to die for makes this cardio and the drive worth it. It took about five minutes to complete the the staircase. Hmmm I thought, there's no way I just hopped down 1001 stairs. So I counted on the way up...228 and with an elevation of: Total Gain: 282 ft. Total Loss: 230 ft. It's still a great workout! Especially if you do it several times. I met a gentlemen, a past hiker, who did it 25 times a day...in his younger years! Well today, still with weakened lungs from bronchitis, once up and down was enough. I added the path which took me to a tunnel and under the train tracks onto a cobbled covered beach. The view was majestic! Sometimes there are marine life sunbathing on the rocks. I wasn't lucky to witness them today however, it's truly beautiful down there.
You'll have to park off of 15A as there is no parking on this road. Keep in mind the stairs are locked at dusk and possibly slick on rainy days. Happy & safe stair climbing.
Directions: From Canada…Take the Mission border crossing and cross the border. Turn left after the border on highway 542. There’s one fork in the road (Starvin’ Sam’s grocery store is on the right and a gas station/store on the left), stay straight/left as going right takes you to Black Mountain Ranch and Bellingham. Go through Falls Lake and stop at the Glacier Public Service to buy your $5.00 US day parking pass or $30.00 US for the year. Turn left on Twin lakes Road. Follow it up the sometimes bumpy one lane road to the top where the trail head begins. There’s one stinky toilet free pit toilet in the parking lot. This is also the same trail head to Tommy Hoi. Tommy Hoi branches off part way up and it’s marked.
Trail Key: M~2~RH~CC~LC~V~SC~DF & KF (not at the summit)
2014~Your path starts in the forested area for a short time. It pops into the open and as it switchbacks up the mountain. There’s one tricky creek crossing. It’s small but steep and slippery. Take your time here and decide where to put your foot as you hop over.
After this you’re back in the forest. The grade is quite easy as it climbs in a beautiful wooded sanctuary. You’ll come to a few easier creek crossings & two log crossings that were once blow-down. They’re now a convenient sawed step. The first one is a little tricky, especially if you’re short or lack balance. With a friend’s hand easily crossed. The second one has two steps and a knob to grab onto. Left-right and hand on the knob…I thank the person who came up with that idea.
Now the trail pops into the open as it gains elevation steeply. It’s not a scary trail. The views are stunning. Soon you’ll come into the col, where there is a bigger creek crossing. Here someone kind or mother~nature has placed stepping stones to cross. There is lots of snow and ice here on a cold November day. Trying to get up this skinny trail was avoided and we decided to climb on the snow caves to by-pass the ice. I would recommend MICROspikes.
The grade is a little easy in this part as it wraps around the mountain. You'll cross a few more little creeks. Just as you near the last stretch and see Baker in her full beauty was my turn around point on this day. I was moments from the summit. If you made it to here it is a beautiful hike even without the fall colours or new life in the spring. If you go all the way to the summit it is 13 km’s/1200 ft elevation. If you decide to summit Yellow Aster Butte, keep in mind there’s lots of exposure and scrambling. If you have a fear of heights going to where the last stretch is completely doable with ease. Scaredy Cat says you could loose one of your nine lives on parts of the trail. Happy & safe trails.
Today I met an angel without wings. An earthbound angel. One who helped me through my greatest fear. I'm pretty sure without her, I may still be up top of Elk Mountain's first lookout, wondering how with shaky legs to take that first step.
I now understand why the fear of coming down Elk Mountain has stopped me from going. The fearful path on the way up to the first lookout is my most hated trail. Steep, pebbly, exposed, slippery and nothing to hang onto. Not going up but coming down takes over my every thought and so I turn around at the sight of, the fear....I suppose one would wonder why I would attempt it on a frost covered day. Well I can only say I was so tired of this trail defeating me. I was so tired of letting my friends down. Mostly, I want to get over this fear that controls me, I just knew I had to go up and see why I was so terrified. Now I know...It is one trail that will take time for me to truly be able to walk it with ease and comfort. And for me, that's OK.
My goal today was to get to the first lookout and a bonus would be to the true summit of Elk, the cairn and Thurston. It was my third attempt! I was not giving up today....I forced myself into my greatest fear! I did it, I made it to the first lookout! The trail was wet, frosty, slippery and snow covered so I made a call to come up again in 2015, on a dry day, to complete the true summit. I will return.
Now I have to tell you about the angel I met today. It brings tears to my eyes to tell you about her. She was so amazing...I knew her for about 5 minutes and she offered to go down with me. I just want to back up a little and tell you that I'm not overly religious in a church way but I do believe in good and a higher power. On the way up, I asked God to keep me safe and get me down. Well I believe he sent me this angel. She held my hand and talked me down my greatest fear. Who does that with such grace and patience. She even carried my pack so I would have better balance. I feel blessed that I met her and so overly grateful. I'm not even sure I thanked her. We hugged at the bottom and I held back my tears. I just felt so overwhelmed with joy to make it to my goal and to meet such a caring person. I truly met an angel!
Of course my hiking party would have been patient with me as well, leading me to safety. They had decided to go onto Thurston and I knew if I stayed at the first lookout, waiting, my spaghetti legs would have only gotten more limp and possibly frozen with fear.
I really love hiking and being in nature. I have grown a lot since I first started this journey. I just try to not think of what lies ahead and get through the parts that I am not comfortable with, one step at a time. This is a long journey but a worthwhile one. This past few months I have grown the most. I blog to inspire you and to say I am afraid but if I can do it, so can you.
Lori aka Scaredy Cat
I work for Surrey School District as an Education Assistant. In my free time I enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, going off-road, dragon boating, writing & hanging with my huskies.