Cypress Mountain

May 3, 2021


Coquitlam, BC

There are three officially-named “Cypresses” in SW BC – Cypress Provincial Park in West Vancouver, Cypress Peak in Whistler and Cypress Mountain in Coquitlam and they are absolutely not related. Thankfully their names are not exactly the same so I don’t have to add brackets to distinguish them. Cypress Mountain is the southernmost forested bump on the long and wooded Eagle Ridge. With only 20 m of clean prominence and absolutely no view from the summit this peak clearly falls into that category of “dumpster diving”. What makes this “peak” slightly more attractive than some other dumpsters is the lack of bushwhacking. There are well-established trails (more used for biking than hiking) although to tag the true summit one still needs to bushwhack, albeit only for 20 vertical meters.

After a series of 300 m ish summits Kat wanted to hike something slightly taller and I suggested Cypress Mountain. It’s one of those easily-attainable summits in Fraser Valley as a before-work exercise that still does not require an early start. The drive is only 50 minutes from White Rock so we left home at 9:30 am. There are multiple trails to get started on the lower mountain and we picked the one that seemed to make the most sense, starting from near Eagle Mountain Park. While driving towards the park we found out that most spur roads were gated so we just parked at where everyone else had parked. This was a little bit lower than anticipated.

Cypress Mountain hiking route. GPX DL

From the parking lot we easily picked up a well-used trail that directed us into the mature forest. A short while later we popped out onto what seemed like a private (gated) road but the trail continued on the other side. Beyond this road the trail did some long rising traverses out towards climber’s right and that brought us to another road at 500 m elevation. This road was unpaved. The rest of the ascent to within 20 vertical meters from the summit was all by plodding up this road. The condition of the road deteriorated past the “south view” junction that the hike turned out to become mostly rock-hopping on rubbles.

The first road crossing
Kat noticed these flowers so I took a photo of them..
It’s very obvious that these trails were for mountain biking
We gained elevation quickly..
As usual I love short-cutting so we took a lesser defined path here..
Onto the long and boring road walking now…
Kat’s starting to learn that I like to short-cut on every possible oppourtunity
There were at least a dozen small creeks to hop across
The road’s becoming narrower the higher we went

When the road wrapped around to the north side of the summit we started to encounter patchy snow and the snow was not very supportive. None of us brought gaitors unfortunately. At some point I made the call to bail into the forest shooting straight towards the summit and that involved one false summit with minor bushwhacking. The summit was as expected, completely covered in trees with no view to speak of whatsoever. It had also started to raining (as expected) but none of us cared given the lack of views.

We were surprised to hit patches of snow on the north side of the summit
Bushwhacking to gain the last 20 meters
There was one false summit to traverse up and over and some confusing micro-terrain
Me on the summit of Cypress Mountain

On the descent I led a route traversing a little higher than the old road to avoid the patchy snow so that our feet could stay dry. This worked out perfectly but added a bit of bushwhacking. The rest of the descent was rather uneventful. The light drizzle had turned into raining when we finished the hike but again, none of us cared. We had brought rain jackets and it’s good to put them in use anyway. Our round trip time was just under 3.5 hours.

Starting the descent now
Bushwhacking was as bad as this picture illustrates.
Taking short-cuts as always… A bit slippery thank to the rain…
Rain jacket was definitely a good call
As much as the descent on the trail went
This was the end of the hike..