I have changed this trip from St. Marks Summit to Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs. With the snowpack we have currently the St. Marks Summit route is no longer safe as there are a few areas along that route where there is a danger of avalanches. This Black Mountain route is a bit shorter and less elevation gain but still a good workout on snow shoes. If we get a clear day we will have an amazing view at Eagle Bluffs. This trip is still up Cypress and leaves from almost the same place as the St Marks Summit trip.
We will go the Raven Pub at Cypress following the trip! :)
Hike description from vancouvertrails.com
Region: The North Shore
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 350 meters
Public Transit: No
Approx. 45 minutes from Vancouver
Located on the rocky slopes above Eagle Harbour in West Vancouver lies a spectacular view from Eagle Bluffs. Most hikers access Eagle Bluffs from the downhill ski area of Cypress Mountain as this route passes some other great scenery, including Cabin Lake and Black Mountain.
From the parking lot of the downhill ski area, walk towards the wooden sign board that has a map of the trails around the Cypress Mountain area. A new trail to Black Mountain was built in 2004 and more recently has had some changes made to the route. It is this trail we will follow to reach Eagle Bluffs. To reach the start of this trail, walk towards the nearest set of chair lifts and watch for a trail that leads into the trees on the left side. The trail will pass near Yew Lake so this can be used as a reference point on the map.
A short distance along the trail, go left at a junction, then a quick right, then another left as you make your way past the clearly marked trail signs towards the route to Black Mountain. The trail begins to climb as you ascend quickly through a series of switchbacks. Take some time for an occasional rest by looking back at the views as you quickly gain elevation through this steep section of trail.
Just after a steep hill that hugs the edge of a ski run, you reach a small lake on your left. Go right at the junction that lies just a few moments beyond the lake as the hiking trail gradually weaves through a section with a much more gradual incline before reaching yet another sign. Go right again and a short distance away lies Cabin Lake.
Just before Cabin Lake is a short 250 meter side trail that leads up to the Yew Lake viewpoint. There are great views of the Lions and Brunswick Mountain from this high point and, if you cross to an adjacent ridge, views in the opposite direction of Bowen Island and the southern tip of the Sunshine Coast.
Back on the main trail at Cabin Lake continue to the end of the boardwalk and back onto the trail for a short 10 minute hike to Black Mountain. Climbing up on the short rocky outcrop of Black Mountain gives you another angle of the Lions. This is a good place to stop for a snack but watch out for the ravens hanging around that try to steal your lunch when you are not looking.
Return to the trail and continue as it begins to descend downhill through the forest before reaching Owen Lake. Just past Owen Lake, the trail arrives at another junction at which point going right takes you to Eagle Bluffs and left returns back to the Cypress Mountain downhill ski area. Go right and follow the trail to Eagle Bluffs as it passes through several muddy sections and several small lakes including Cougar Lake. After another 20 minutes, the trail begins to descend quickly as you carefully step down a steep rocky section and into a thicker forested area.
As you start to wonder how much further down the trail goes and while having thoughts of returning back uphill via this same route, a clearing emerges up ahead as you approach the spectacular view. The view from Eagle Bluffs is breathtaking on a sunny day as the marina at Eagle Harbour can be seen below and the city of Vancouver off to the left. On exceptionally clear days one can see as far as Vancouver Island to the west and even the snowy slopes of Mount Baker to the south.
After enjoying the view, return to Cypress Mountain by walking back up the same route that you took earlier. After a 40 minute uphill hike and passing back through the muddy sections, you arrive at a junction with a sign to the Cypress downhill area. Take the trail on the right this time as it offers a different return route. Pass by yet another small lake and go right at the junction a short distance later. As you approach the downhill ski area, the top of the chairlift becomes visible as too does a great view of the two peaks of the Lions from a distance.
From the chairlift, return to the parking area by going right and walking down the wide ski slope. On a clear day, the city of Vancouver can be seen as the ski run curves back towards the parking area. Another 15 minutes downhill and you have returned to where you started your day.
How to get to Eagle Bluffs
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 45 minutes
Eagle Bluffs can be accessed two ways but is most commonly accessed by starting from the Cypress Mountain Ski downhill ski area. To get to Cypress Mountain, drive to Highway #1 and head westbound to Exit #8 to Cypress Provincial Park. Merge right and continue along the Cypress Parkway as it heads up to the top of the mountain. As the ski hills become visible, stay left and continue to the end of the parking lot.
PLEASE BRING A HEADLAMP. Although there are plenty of daylight hours to do this hike, a headlamp is always a good idea, especially now. Also bring lots of warm clothing/layers.
The wet weather plan is this: If the forecast is for light to moderate rain, we get wet, if the forecast calls for heavy rain I will cancel. We will miss the views if the weather isn't great but it will still be good to get out at this time of year! If we are lucky enough to get a sunny day, what a bonus :)
Sorry, no children or dogs on the hike.
REMINDER! What to Bring:
Water-proof &/or wind-resistant Jacket
Layered Clothing (*Expect lower temperatures at higher elevations)
Hat / Sunglasses
Water (*2-3 Litres)
Food (*Lunch, fruit, trailmix etc)
Change of clothing (*for after the hike)
In consideration of the environment, the limited parking available, and the high cost of fuel, it is recommended that we carpool whenever possible. While the group does not endorse any formal policy, it is typically suggested that passengers offer the driver $5.00 per half hour of driving (includes mileage and vehicle wear & tear). However, private arrangements between passenger(s) and driver may be made ahead of time. Please note in your RSVP whether you can offer a ride or need a ride, and where you will be coming from. Passengers, please ensure you show up on time and bring an extra bag for wet/muddy footwear and clothing.
Please do not leave carpooling arrangements until the last minute. The organizer is not responsible for arranging carpooling opportunities on your behalf - that is strictly the responsibility of every individual member. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Please note that we are not a professional organization nor a group composed of trained professional guides. Ecospirit is run entirely on the efforts of volunteers and the active participation of members. The success of each event depends on the cooperation & efforts of every member who participates. Although we always make an effort to look out for one another, to the best of our ability, each of us is nevertheless responsible for our own safety and well-being during every event. By RSVPing "yes" for this event, you acknowledge and accept these terms.