West Knob

May 19, 2021


North Shore Mountains, BC

Though unofficial, the name “West Knob” has been aptly given to the knob on the western slopes of Black Mountain in Cypress Provincial Park. If not because of the “Bagger Challenge” group on Facebook I would not have noticed this little knob and in fact, I really struggled to convince myself to call it a summit given the unofficial status of the name combined with the lack of prominence (20 m ish). However, since the publication of this hike at least a hundred local baggers had claimed this summit so I probably have to add it to the peak list even though I did not quite want to.

Holly messaged me the night before that she’s looking to get out but we both had work commitment in the evening and on top of that, Holly preferred to not leave Vancouver until 10 am. This really limited our options and the weather forecast also showed chances of thunderstorms. I gave her three choices – “West Knob”, “Mt. Underhill” and “Diez Vistas” and she picked the first. I agreed that with the time constraint this would be the smartest choice. There were two ways to start this hike and we picked the Whyte Lake Trail simply because the existing GPS track on peakbagger.com came from this way. The other option was to start from the bottom of Baden Powell Trail but I was too lazy to figure out the parking and etc. at the last minute. Holly and I agreed to meet at Whyte Lake trail-head at 10:30 am but coming from White Rock I had to plan at least 40 minutes of contingency because driving through the city in the morning on a weekday is never an easy fair. I ended up getting to the trail-head at 10 am.

“West Knob” hiking route via Whyte Lake. GPX DL

The start of this hike was by following a road but soon enough we picked up the trail entering the forest near Nelson Creek Canyon. This stretch of the hike to Whyte Lake had some beautiful west coast old growth scenery. We checked out Whyte Lake for a brief moment before resuming the hike. The section traversing the south shore of Whyte Lake had some long boardwalks.

The typical trail condition lower down near Nelson Canyon
Holly checking out Whyte Lake
Holly posing in front of Whyte Lake
Another photo of Holly and Whyte Lake. The weather had been better than expected.
The wetlands on the south side of Whyte Lake
We had some long sections of boardwalk

The trail then ascended the drainage of Whyte Creek for a couple hundred meters before taking a turn due east. This section of the trail merged onto Baden Powell Trail and was decently steep and rocky. We soon passed two Eagle Bluffs turn-offs onto the last section to gain West Knob. The viewpoint came in first and was not disappointing. The true summit required another short section of steep ascent but the trail at this point was well trodden and easy to follow. The true summit was unfortunately completely forested with no view.

There’s a nice outhouse on the west side of Whyte Lake
At this point we had joined Baden Powell Trail
Between 500 m and 600 m the trail was quite steep and rocky
Following signs to “Western Knoll” aka. “West Knob”…
I think this section of the forest had been logged as the trees aren’t old growth anymore
A steep grunt to the viewpoint
Looking at a BC Ferry doing its job. Southern Gulf Islands in the background
As much as the views towards Sunshine Coast and Mt. Elphinstone
Me at the lookout soaking in some views…
Holly and I at the “West Knob viewpoint”..
Me on the true summit of “West Knob”…
Holly tried to gain 1 extra meter of prominence and still with no view…

It had taken us 2 hours to get here so it was just that short hike we were looking forward to. On the descent I let Holly to set the pace and we got down in no time. We also opted to explore the north shore of Whyte Lake simply because we had extra time to kill. The weather had been mostly sunny on this hike (to our surprise) with the only shower came in near the end. When it showered on us we were still under sunshine so I had no idea how that happened. The drive back home was rather uneventful and I got back to White Rock at 3:30 pm.

Descending the upper sections of the trail
Checking out Whyte Lake again on the descent
Holly hiking back onto that long boardwalk section
This is looking up towards the upper slopes of Black Mountain
We still hadn’t finished the boardwalk
Back into Nelson Creek canyon
Holly posing for another photo with Nelson Creek behind
This picture sums up the rest of the hike-out