After a night at Jones Lake, we had grand plans of climbing Chipmunk Peak in Chiliwack. However, given the incredible early-morning views at Jones Lake we changed our plans to have a much more chilled day and decided instead to explore Elk Mountain. And what a back up plan it proved to be!
It’s only a short distance into the very beginning of the Cascade Mountains, it provides incredible views of the Fraser Valley with the Coast Mountains beginning on the other side of the valley.
We started a little after 11 with the sun getting high in the sky and a beautiful looking forecast.
The trail starts fairly flat with only a gradual incline making it somewhat runnable.
However, it’s not long before it begins to get a little more steep and the trail zig-zags through the trees as you ascend the ridge towards the first peak, Elk Mountain.
You’re not in the trees for all that long before you emerge on top of the ridge and beginning being rewarded with the first views over the Fraser Valley and Mount Baker.
A very short while thereafter, you’re on the top of grassy knoll that is Elk Mountain. Not much of an alpine summit by any means, but still a worthwhile peak to bag.
After the summit of Elk Mountain, the trail continues to Mount Thurston. Another peak further along the valley. The journey along the ridge continue in the trees for a short while, before opening up to beautiful alpine meadows.
The trail becomes increasingly well-worn and coupled with the gradual incline, it makes for some amazingly scenic trail running. What follows is an unnecessary number of photos of the same view, simply because of how amazing it is. Enjoy.