Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada
Distance: 9.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1400ft
Highest Point: 1824ft
Time: 4.5 hours
On this freezing, sunny morning, I set out to explore this highly acclaimed suburban trail in Metro Vancouver – my first completed hike in this region since early 1990’s. Unusual cold weather dumped about 2-3 inches of snow in the area and made it more interesting. It took me about 60 min. from Downtown to get to Buntzen Lake Park, location of the TH, and was further delayed when Park gate did not open until 11:30am due to icy road condition.
After a short skirting of Buntzen Lake’s south end, the trail plunge straight into dark forest and meander fiercely upwards to the ridge line. Trail’s mild elevation statistic is quite deceiving, its ups and downs are concentrated in the first 5 miles; therefore, It was a slugfest in the snow to get to the “10 views”, followed by treacherous descent afterwards. Because of the low elevation, the trail is entirely enveloped in forest.
Second 1/2 of the hike, a pleasant circuit around Buntzen Lake, was completely flat and made more interesting by bridge crossing and 2 beaches.
Rating: II-III, more demanding than expected, the views from above were great at first sight, but the mostly canopied trail got really mundane. The average lake section provided a needed variation.