Hiking is a popular recreational pastimes, as a get-away from the hustle and bustle of urban living, while enjoying the beauty and wildlife of nature. Hiking season runs mid-May until October, thorough the snow-free season. Of course, with unpredictable weather, trails may be closed anytime during the season. The provincial or national park wardens will inform you of any closures or cautions.
Day hike, where you expect to return home before evening, doesn't require as much equipment as an overnight hike. You should wear a good pair of hiking boots (sturdy running shoes will do), and clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions. Because weather conditions can change quickly in the outdoors, it is safer to overdress, in layers, than to be under-dressed. For a day hike bring water, food, sunscreen, a map, a compass, a rain coat, knife, matches, and of a hiking buddy.
For an overnight hike, you'll also need a tent, food bags, a change of underwear and socks, and standard camping supplies. Check with your hiking partner to prevent packing duplicate gear, to minimize gear weight.
Hiking can be done almost anywhere, but the best scenery and terrain is in the provincial and national parks. These parks provide marked and mapped trails to avoid getting lost.
Spanning the 30 kilometers from the Transportation-Canada Highway to Chilliwack Lake is a range of mountains boating some of North America's roughest, most spectacular terrain, with 200 metre high jagged peaks rising above the valley floors. Mount Slesse (Salish for "fang") is probably the most famous, and is ranked among the top 50 toughest technical rock-climbing ascents in North America, with its 900-meter east face.
Chilliwack's mountains offer diverse scenic and recreational uses, with great year-round conditions. The most popular hikes include Elk Mountain, Greendrop, Mount Cheam, and Lindeman, Pierce and Radium lakes, and Tea Pot Hill. Ambitious hikers and climbers can head to Slesse Meadows and up into the headwaters of Depot Creek where glaciers cover the towering peaks. In winter, the hiking trails around Chilliwack Lake even lend themselves to cross-country skiing.
Chilliwack is one of North America's top spots for mountain paragliding, with 14 brilliant mountaintop takeoff spots ranging from 250 metres to 2,100 metres in height, each suitable for different wind conditions. Flights can last up to an hour before descending to the valley floor.
In Harrison Hot Springs, join the Vancouver and Fraser Valley Hang Gliding Association (604-854-5950) on a weekend afternoon from April to October at Mount Woodside.
Rotary Nature Trail (Hope).Trail head & parking off of Wardle Street, where the Coquihalla River joins the Fraser River. An easy 20 minute stroll features a chainsaw carved arch and follows along the shore of the Coquihalla River. In the fall, spawning salmon can be seen fighting the river current as they return to local streams.
Here are details on a number of trails in and araound the Fraser Valley:
Chilliwack | Hope | Manning Park