Baden Powell Trail up Black Mountain

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Distance : 16km Return

Max Elevation : 1230m ( 4100′ )

Elevation Gain : 1196m (4000′ )

Time : 4-7 hours

The Baden Powell Trail is one of the best known trails in the Vancouver area. That said, very few people have ever hiked any of it. For me, the hardest part of doing this hike was finding the start. It isn’t that hard to find if you know where you are going though. Here is where you need to go.


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Once on the trail the hike starts off at a decent grade heading up towards the freeway/99. The path actually passes underneath the highway before moving north-east towards Cypress. The key to staying on the trail is to follow the orange BP signs the whole way up. The first half of the hike is a moderate incline through the forest. Around half way though you will pass an area with rocks stacked into a sort of tower. From this point on the hike becomes quite steep. Through switchbacks initially, there are many areas where using your hands are necessary for stability and the quads get quite a workout. The hardest section of the hike is around 4/5 of the way up. This is where there is a rock slide area that must be navigated. This is still well marked but the rocks are unstable and do not offer much protection. Be careful when navigating the rocks. After the rockfall area there is a little bit of trail left before an easy scramble to the peak. From the top the view is spectacular spanning 270 degrees from the sunshine coast to the eastern regions of the lower mainland.

This hike is very steep and will take a very fit hiker around 3 hrs to complete. Depending on fitness and conditions, this time could expand to more than 5hrs so bring water, food and some provisions. Overall though it is a very nice, forested hike with a very rewarding view at the peak. It should be noted as well that there is an easier route from cypress to the peak of Black Mountain. This route though is north facing and can be covered in snow well through the spring and into the summer.
 

7/9 The Challenge

8/9 The Challenge

7/9 The Enjoyability

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Black Mountain Panorama

  • Jim
    #1 written by Jim 3 years ago

    I have done this hike a few times. Including all the way -Whyte Lake to Cypress in December( snowshoes mandatory). In the winter the boulder field to the peak is buried in snow and quite treacherous so you need to go around and off trail( which is buried in snow anyway).
    Even in summer this is a potentially dangerous trail. You need to carry the 10 essentials. If you hike it on a weekday you are unlikely to see another soul past Whyte Lake. It’s part of the Knee Knacker so from time to time I have seen Kamakazee runners ( shorts, lightweight T shirts, and no preparedness other than a water bottle and cel phone) on the trail. That’s fine in an organized race-aid stations, volunteers, hundreds of other people around.Or even if you stay on the Whyte Lake Loop. But it’s dangerous when its just you and maybe a buddy to treat this trail like the Stanley Park sea wall or even the Grouse Grind.
    It is surreal beautiful however to be so close to a big city but for all intents and purposes alone in the wilderness. But please spare us yet another lecture on the 6 o’clock news from the NSR folks(heros btw) and hike prepared.

  • Jim
    #2 written by Jim 3 years ago

    I have done this hike a few times. Including all the way -Whyte Lake to Cypress in December( snowshoes mandatory). In the winter the boulder field to the peak is buried in snow and quite treacherous so you need to go around and off trail( which is buried in snow anyway).
    Even in summer this is a potentially dangerous trail. You need to carry the 10 essentials. If you hike it on a weekday you are unlikely to see another soul past Whyte Lake. It’s part of the Knee Knacker so from time to time I have seen Kamakazee runners ( shorts, lightweight T shirts, and no preparedness other than a water bottle and cel phone) on the trail. That’s fine in an organized race-aid stations, volunteers, hundreds of other people around.Or even if you stay on the Whyte Lake Loop. But it’s dangerous when its just you and maybe a buddy to treat this trail like the Stanley Park sea wall or even the Grouse Grind.
    It is surreal beautiful however to be so close to a big city but for all intents and purposes alone in the wilderness. But please spare us yet another lecture on the 6 o’clock news from the NSR folks(heros btw) and hike prepared.

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