Hiking: Eagle Bluffs (Vancouver, CA)

The Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend was also host to ringing in another anniversary of being born. As most of you might guess, autumn weather in the Pacific North West is fickle at best. We got lucky this weekend as the mother nature put on a spectacular show of clear blue skies and cool crisp temperatures. Without further ado, come join me in some mountain top celebrations.


Eagle Bluffs

Eagle Bluffs is on the western face of Black Mountain, accessed from the base of Cypress Mountain Ski Resort. The bluffs overlook Eagle Harbour and across to downtown Vancouver (and even out to Vancouver Island on a clear day like today). This trail is not accessible via public transport, however it is very dog friendly.

20171005_125216.jpg
Mmmm, so dog friendly.

The trail is open from July – October, and is an 8 km round trip that should take you roughly 4 hours going at a casual pace. The elevation gain is 350 metres, most of which is accomplished at the very beginning as you scale the switchbacks that border the ski runs on Black Mountain.

Eagle Bluffs map.JPG


So where do I start?

The trail is accessed at the base of the Eagle Chairlift, which you find as you walk past the main lodge keeping it to your left. You enter the trees on a clearly marked trail, which very quickly brings you to a junction. Take it to the right to access Yew Lake, to the left to begin making your way up the mountainside. We opted to go left immediately, leaving Yew Lake for another time.

The trail is clearly marked as you follow signs for the Black Mountain route. You hit the aforementioned switchbacks rather quickly, and it’s time to get those legs pumping. As you gain elevation, take a moment to look back out across the mountain ranges as you catch your breath.

20171005_122028.jpg
Looking back to Mount Strachan Ski area.

Once you reach the top you will find a lake on your left, go right at the junction and follow signs for Cabin Lake. I suggest leveraging Google Maps from time to time as this was the simplest way to orientate yourself when deciding where to turn at each junction or sign post. If it was a nice sunny day like the day we had it, I highly recommend taking a dip in Cabin Lake to wash away the strain of the previous mountain climb (or just a good excuse to get into your underwear outdoors).

Once you’ve dried off, head back the way you came and veer right on the timber walkway. There’s a view point not too far along that offers an incredible view of Bowen Island and the Two Lions in the opposite direction.

20171005_131140.jpg
Standing atop the viewpoint looking west to Bowen Island just beyond the trees, Vancouver Island just visible to the top left.

After recovering that stolen breath, make your descent into the foliage.

Again follow all signposts for Eagle Bluffs, watch out for the mud, and keep Google Maps handy. You’ll pass lakes, bogs, walk on timber walkways, and be hidden beneath the canopy as you make your descent.

20171005_132103.jpg

20171005_133942.jpg
As always, keep an eye on the orange trail markers

As mentioned on Vancouver Trails, as you descend into the forest and find yourself wondering when it will end, you eventually get to a clearing and the vista is breathtaking.

20171005_140348.jpg
The edge of Eagle Bluff, Eagle Harbour in the centre, downtown Vancouver out of frame to the left and Vancouver Island in the background.
20171005_135601.jpg
Bowen Island just above the treeline, Vancouver Island silhouetted in the background.

To be honest, on a day like this, the photos do not do the view justice. It was a 270 degree viewpoint that was simply incredible. As this was the day of my birth, what better way to celebrate in Canada than a few hearty swigs of Fireball.

After feeling a little light-headed it was time to return the same way we came. After around half an hour to 40 minutes, you come to a junction, which we took to the right to take us to the Cypress downhill ski area. You’ll pass by another small lake on your right and after a little bit, emerge at the top of the downhill area. Follow the bare ski run to the base and there you have it.


That’s a wrap

Despite the incredible weather, there were only a few groups on the trail and some guy rolling out of the bush while taking a dip at Cabin Lake. I guess it was late season for this hike, and I can’t recommend it enough in good clear weather.

In all it took around 3 and half hours, including a break for a swim and quite some time taking in the views.

Hope you guys enjoyed the journey and hopefully you can all get up here yourselves!


Be sure to check outΒ Vancouver TrailsΒ if you live in the area to get the low down on all the best hikes in south-west British Columbia.

Don’t forget to like, comment, share, follow and sign up for my blog via email if any of this relates (or at the very least interesting!). Would love to hear your thoughts. You can find more words and pictures in theΒ social mediaΒ links to the right and in the menu above.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s