Finding wonder and joy in the city and in the mountains

Yesterday, British Columbia announced new restrictions intended to ease the spread of the Omicron variant. The closures of bars and nightclubs, prohibition on indoor organized gatherings like New Year’s Eve parties, and warnings to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada have thrown many people’s holiday plans (and life in general) into disarray. It’s frustrating and stressful, but I support these restrictions. During yet another COVID holiday, I want to share some recent local excursions that have filled me with wonder and joy.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , , , | 51 Comments

Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls hike, North Vancouver: A walk down skid road

We sunk in the mud, sloshed through countless creek beds and crept over slick rocks and roots. Sounds horrible, eh? Turns out I was totally jazzed by our Big Cedar-Kennedy Falls hike. Have I lost my mind? I hope not. I’d rather attribute my weird sense of fun to the fact that this is a really cool hike. Located in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley area, the hike’s main attractions are a giant, 600-year-old cedar tree and a gorgeous waterfall. But what intrigued me just as much are the many reminders of the area’s logging history that make this gnarly, beautiful hike feel like a walk back in time.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 58 Comments

Big views and fall colours on Mount Seymour—North Vancouver, B.C.

Mount Seymour is among my top hikes on Vancouver’s North Shore. Located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, it makes a great summer hike and a beautiful winter snowshoe excursion. But my favourite season is fall. Dazzling reds, oranges and golds accentuate the subalpine meadows and add pops of colour to the craggy peaks. My trusty hiking buddy Eva and I did the trek on a glorious day in late September. Join me for big views and fall splendour on Mount Seymour.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , , | 42 Comments

Exploring British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island on e-bikes

It was two firsts for us: visiting Salt Spring Island and riding electronic bikes. After 20+ years of living in Vancouver, Mike and I finally made it to Salt Spring Island. We love exploring places via bicycle and have been curious about trying e-bikes. Hilly Salt Spring Island, off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, is just the place to test them out. Bikes set on turbo boost, we cruised up those nasty hill and discovered Salt Spring Island’s charms, pain-free.

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Categories: Biking, British Columbia | Tags: , , , | 34 Comments

Hut-to-hut hiking in Wells Gray Provincial Park

There’s a real roof over my head, a cushy mattress to sleep on, hearty food, and I carry only a light-weight pack. Our 7-day hut-to-hut hike in British Columbia’s Wells Gray Provincial Park can’t be described as luxurious, but it’s a welcome upgrade from our usual backpacking trips. Under the guidance of Wells Gray Adventures, our group hiked through pristine alpine wilderness shaped by volcanoes and glaciers. At day’s end, we retreated to the rustic comfort of remote mountain huts.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , | 54 Comments

The Rockwall Trail: Kootenay National Park, British Columbia

The Rockwall Trail is one of the premier backpacking trails in the Canadian Rockies. Located in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park, adjacent to Banff National Park, the trail is named for the sheer limestone wall that is the hiker’s companion along much of the 55 km (34 mi) route. Three mountain passes with an elevation gain of 2600 m (8530 ft) and loss of 2250 m (7382 ft) test cardio and knee joints. But the dramatic scenery and gorgeous wildflowers are totally worth the effort. Our group had an outstanding time on this trail July 20-24.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 58 Comments

Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop: Berg Lake day hike

In my previous post, I wrote about our Berg Lake backpacking trip in British Columbia’s Mount Robson Provincial Park. This post features the Toboggan Falls-Hargreaves Lake loop, a day hike from Berg Lake that packs a huge punch over just 6.3 km (4 mi) and a manageable 348 m (1142 ft) elevation gain. From waterfalls that look like enormous waterslides to glacial lakes, lush forest and top-drawer mountain panoramas, this loop has astonishing variety and beauty. It’s hikeable in two hours but we spent over four hours exploring and photo-taking. I had a smile on my face the whole time.

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Categories: British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 65 Comments

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