Mary Hill

May 11, 2022


Coquitlam, BC

Believe it or not the pimple of Mary Hill in Port Coquitlam actually has an official name so this counts as a legitimate summit in my book even though it does not even have 100 m elevation let along 100 m prominence. There are a few more officially-named bumps in Metro Vancouver including Burnaby Mtn., Capitol Hill and Little Mountain but this one is significantly more dumpster-ish. The entire hill including the summit is occupied by residential areas. The very summit (with a spot height of 85 m on BC Basemap) is literally in someone’s backyard. I hadn’t even noticed this “summit” until recently as the name wasn’t very obvious on the topographic maps. I eventually discovered this “treasure” on the peakbagger app and immediately decided to cross if off the list.

Kat happened to have most of the day available and my work somehow would not start until 5:30 pm so this seemed like a perfect plan. For once we didn’t even need to rush. This is a “peak” that we could have driven to the summit but I decided against that as part of the reason of going there was to exercise. We left White Rock at 8:30 am and firstly made a detour to Richmond and then proceeded towards Coquitlam. I got to drive Kat’s fancy vehicle this time and the driving experience was awesome. There are reasons why this brand costs a couple times more than my Toyotas… We made to the base of Mary Hill at around 10 am. Immediately after turning onto Citadel Drive at the bottom of Mary Hill I pulled over and parked. We could have driven further, but I wanted to hike the entire elevation profile, if possible..

Mary Hill loop walk. GPX DL

We had driven through periods of rain from Richmond to Coquitlam and that contradicted the “a mix of sun and clouds” weather forecast. The rain magically stopped when we parked, but came back quite heavily in less than 10 minutes after starting the hike, or the “urban stroll”. Kat was worrying that I didn’t dress properly for the weather but I needed not take her warning seriously. We proceeded onwards nonetheless and in short time the rain stopped. We then turned onto Confederation Drive passing an elementary school and then turned onto a smaller driveway where the true summit seemed to locate. I had to consult with the peakbagger app to determine where exactly was the highest point. The high point locates on the far side of this driveway in someone’s backyard. I sneaked in and tagged the high point by ascending some staircases. Kat followed me but didn’t go as far as I did but I considered that as “good enough” nonetheless.

Kat starting the hike on Citadel Drive
The sky was moody but we noticed some better colours
The sun came out for the first time… This picture sums up the ascent…
We walked passed an elementary school…
This is the correct way to detour from the main road towards the summit…
I’m not sure what are those flowers but they seemed cool
Me pointing out the hidden sneak way to the true summit…
To tag the true summit we had to ascend as high as we could…
Me on the summit of Mary Hill, my 3rd lowest peak to date…

On the “descent” we opted to explore a different route. One can tell that my sense of direction is terrible in the urban areas as I needed to check the GPS multiple times to not disorient ourselves. A few forks later we entered Coutts Park and walked straight through it back to pavement. We stopped frequently to take pictures of the abundant flowers in the area. Our round trip time was exactly 1 hour covering over 3 km distance.

The weather had fully cleared up by the time we started the descent
Kat walking back across the uppermost road from the summit
I was surprised there was still cherry blossoms
The cherry blossom season was definitely at the tailing end though.
Found some tulips…
More about the flower scenery. This “hike” actually turned out more than expected
A view of Port Mann Bridge from partway down the hill…
Entering Coutts Park..
Exiting the Coutts Park, looking towards taller buildings in either Coquitlam or Burnaby

We then drove into downtown Coquitlam for a higher-quality Korean BBQ lunch and that was great. I was starting to get quite hungry for not having breakfast nor bringing any food for the “hike”. We still had time to kill so drove back to Coquitlam River and spent another hour walking to the Coquitlam/Fraser confluence and exploring the trails in that zone. The weather had fully cleared so we actually got some nice views. We eventually got back to White Rock at 3 pm. I napped for almost 2 hours before showing up at work, and eventually finished the day at 10:40 pm.

We found some quiet trails alongside Coquitlam River
Coquitlam River
A family of gooses welcomed us at Coquitlam/Fraser confluence
The family of gooses on Fraser River
One last photo of the gooses
We then walked north for at least 20 minutes before turning back towards the car
Looking towards Coquitlam Mountain and Burke Ridge in the far distance
The end of the trip… Time to go back to White Rock…