October 11, 2015
This Thanksgiving long weekend has been quite rainy in the BC coast, but upon examining the weather models it seemed like there’s a brief window on Sunday between two storm systems. It’s still going to be cloudy, but at least the chance of precipitation was minimal. I figured it might actually be a good day to take my mom out for a hike. I had a few options in mind, but eventually decided on Elk – Thurston trail. This easy-to-access trail traverses two named summits at or below treeline and is one of the most popular by Chilliwack Valley. Elk Mountain is the first one and though geologically insignificant it does offer some good views of the Fraser Valley.
Elk View Road is narrow and very windy but does dispatch a good amount of elevation gain (the trail-head elevation is more than 600 m). The trail was easy to follow. It crossed one logging road at some point and after that it took a sharp turn climber’s right following the spine of the ridge up. After roughly 3 km it steepened significantly and after a few hours work we arrived at an opening area. Shortly after it’s the summit of Elk Mountain.
There’s nothing special about this peak. The view was partially obscured by the trees but we were also lucky to have some blue skies (given the forecast we weren’t quite expecting that). Looking ahead the ridge appeared fairly long and we soon turned our attention to the next objective – Mount Thurston.