Views from Kettle Valley/Myra Canyon, Kelowna BC
After the farm, I took the bus back to Kelowna and flew to Vancouver, where I met up with a friend to do some camping and hiking. We stayed in Alice Lake Provincial Park (which was impeccably well kept), and hiked the Stawamus Chief trail as well as Garibaldi Lake. Both hikes were well worth the strenuous effort, boasting awesome scenery at the summit. The "Chief", which is supposedly the second largest granite monolith in the world, was a shorter but more strenuous hike, involving scrambling over steep boulders, chains, ladders, and steep stairs. The trail up to the first peak was fairly populated with tourists, but that thinned out considerably as we hiked to the second and third peaks. We found a lesser used route down from the summit, which took us through a pretty neat fir forest.
View of the Puget Sound area from the 1st peak of Stawamus ChiefOn the second day, we hiked up to Garibaldi lake. This hike was considerably longer, but other than the first few hours of leg-burning switchbacks, not as difficult as the Chief. We passed only a few other hikers, which made for a peaceful experience! The trail was still snow covered near the summit, and the scenery at the top was breathtaking- a glacier-fed, turquoise lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks. We had planned to do another big hike on the third day, but our bodies were protesting from the previous days' efforts, so we took in some sights around Vancouver instead, hiking around Lynn Canyon, Stanley Park, and UBC. We also drove out to see Whistler, the site of the 2010 Olympic nordic events. The next morning it was off to Montreal, and then home to Kingston via train.
Lookout point on the way up to Garibaldi Lake
Garibaldi Lake, BC
I'm head over heels in love with BC- for some reason Vancouver, despite being a big city, doesn't elicit in me the same gross gut reaction that other big cities do. I also love how people there seem to universally embrace an active, outdoor lifestyle. The Squamish area was stunning, and I would love to go back and do more hiking there in the future! I'm glad to be back home, if only for a few days before leaving for New Brunswick (just for fun I made a map of the whole trip).