Vedder Peak (Vedder Mountain)

April 16, 2019


Cultus Lake / Chilliwack, BC

Vedder Peak is the highest summit on the long ridge of Vedder Mountain that runs from Chilliwack, B.C. all the way into the state of Washington. This is not a “sexy peak” by any measure as much of the hill is heavily wooded and the woods are mostly secondary growth thank to the heavy logging activities. There is however, a decently maintained trail that runs from a high parking lot (~600 m elevation) all the way to the summit. Those without a high clearance vehicle will need to park at the lower parking lot adding about 20 minutes of walk each way. I figured a peak like this could be easily done by my “morning exercise” routine even while taking a newbie hiker out.

This past Tuesday seemed like a good time as weather was calling for a mix of sun and clouds. This April had been very wet so I somehow got excited about this brief window. I had to be back to White Rock by 3:30 pm for work and eventually Kat and I decided on Vedder Peak. The highest summit she had done previously was Taggart Peak and that was below 800 m elevation so this would be her new personal record.

Vedder Peak hiking route. GPX DL

I had no issue driving my Tacoma all the way to the upper trail-head and that shaved 2 km of walking right off the bat. From the trail-head we followed an abandoned road for a short stretch before venturing into the woods. The trail was clearly marked and easy to follow. After a few switchbacks we got onto the broad “Vedder Ridge”. The elevation gain here was very gradual but we had to overcome a lot of up-and-downs in micro-terrain.

Hiking into the woods. This picture sets the tone.

As typical as it gets.

As you can see, there are many up-and-downs.

Another short descent

Going up now. There are a few sections with these.

Almost at the high point before descending to that pond.

After what seemed like a long haul we faced a short, but steep descent to a stagnant pond right underneath the actual summit. The final 100 m gain to the summit was steep at places and involved two short stretches of scrambling aided by fixed ropes. The scrambling was class 2 at max in dry conditions. The true summit offered next-to-nothing view.

Contouring around that pond.

This is the pond…

The pond is not very exciting…

Ascending the first fixed rope.

This is the second fixed rope.

Very limited views down into Columbia Valley

Me on the summit of Vedder Peak

We stayed there for no more than 20 minutes because of the time constraint. It had taken us 1.5 hours to reach the summit and we were expecting a similar time to descend. It turned out that the return hike was more fluent than expected. This is a hike that you need to find a way to enjoy watching trees, otherwise don’t bother…

After a short stay we had to start going down.

Kat carefully scrambling down the upper fixed rope.

Back to the typical forested descent now.

Hiking down that wooden staircases.

A very brief glimpse of Fraser Valley from one of the only few viewpoints

Typical, typical…

You gotta love trees…

Back to the trail-head.

It’s Taco time!

The engine was turned on and we even earned ourselves a bit of extra time to have a meal in the Yellow Barn Market Place near Abbosford before rushing back home for work. I got to work about 10 minutes late and that was fine.