Mt. Thom Hike

I took my 2 youngest kids (5 and 9) up Mt. Thom, which should give you an indication of the difficulty.  Very easy, casual hike.  There are a few different ways to access the trail.  We parked our car on Sylvan Road, just off of Thom Creek Drive, and you can see a set up stairs heading up into the hill.  This is the second easiest location to start from.  If you travel into Ryder Lake and head to Churchill Parkway you can access the peak the quickest from that location.  If you want a bit more of a challenge than either start on Jinkerson Road and take the trail right beside Thom Creek Drive or even better, start at the bottom of Promontory on Teskey Way and Bailey Rd.

Mt. Thom has received a lot of attention over the past few years and has been turned into a really pretty hike.  It used to have a daunting set of stairs in the middle of the trail which has been taken out and replaced by a longer, less steep trail.  You can still walk up where the stairs used to be and I have a picture of that below, but its pretty slippery.  They also widened the trail, and brought in some rock retaining walls, which give it a bit of a pampered hike look, but with the amount of people on the trail, you will appreciate the extra space.

Overall the hike (from Sylvan) starts on a wide gravel path and quickly turns into a more narrow dirt path that goes up and down.  Unlike most hikes where you continue to go up the whole time, Mt. Thom has a lot of random elevation changes during the hike.  This makes the hike longer than it should, but it does give your legs a break and makes for an easier hike.  Most of the way up you will have some nice views of Chilliwack, especially in the winter when the trees haven’t filled in.  The final leg, heading along the ridge the views are gone until it opens up at the top.  There is a wooden fence and the trees are cleared away which give you a great view of Promontory, Chilliwack, Fraser River and Cultus Lake.  The day we were there, we saw a bunch of hawks and bald eagles flying around.

I took a couple pics from the Promontory store showing where the hike ends and how high you are going.  Overall, it’s a great local hike especially for less experienced hikers.


Abby Grind Hike

Took some pictures from the Abby Grind today AKA the Glen Ryder Trail on the way to Taggart Peak.  I stopped at the lookout which I highlighted in the first few pictures so you can see how high you actually get.  In the 3rd picture you can actually see some people at the lookout wearing white.  Picture 16 shows the spot from the lookout looking down.  It’s been a while since I’ve hiked and can’t really say what fitness level I’m currently at, but I found the hike pretty easy.  It’s slippery and a few sections are fairly steep but I think most people wouldn’t have too much trouble as long as they take their time.  Most websites I’ve looked at say it takes approx. 1 hour to climb.  I was up in 40 and that’s taking some breaks to snap some photos.

It’s an easy hike to find.  “Coming from the East on Highway #401 take No.3 Road exit, (Exit 104), and turn right onto No.3 Road and in a very short distance turn left onto North Parallel Road going west. Follow it to No.4 Road and turn right. Follow No.4 Road and turn right onto Lakemont Lodge Road. It will go over a bridge and go right heading east ward after the bridge and soon you will drive beside a school fence for the Gun Club on your left. Just past the end of the fence is a open pit. Park on the east side of it and the trail goes up that side of the pit.” Taken from ClubTread.com site.  Basically 10 minutes from Chilliwack.  Parking and finding the start of the trail is easy.  Picture 5 shows the start.

The trail for the most part has a steady incline with a bunch of small switchbacks.  No stairs and very little rocks makes it a bit slippery especially today because we have had a lot of rain over the past few days.  You will never get lost, very well marked and even has a 1/2 way tag which you will see in Picture 13 and 14.  Coming down I found I had to be a lot more careful…again slippery.

The lookout is great.  When I first got there it was really cloudy and I couldn’t see a thing but then the sun came out and I finally could see the valley.  Similar view you will get from Sumas Mountain.  Farms, highway, valley, mountains etc.  While I was hiking there must have been at least 25+ people on the hill.  It was never over crowded and hikers are always polite and will let you pass.  I find the Grouse Grind is the opposite…packed…and people never let you pass.

Overall I’d say it’s a good little hike.  My only complaint is I like to hike without earbuds in.  I enjoy the quiet, peaceful sounds of a hike.  Because the hill is right beside a gun range it’s not that peaceful 🙂  Wouldn’t stop me from going back but I think Chilliwack has better hikes and I won’t feel like I’m in the middle of a Los Angeles gun battle.