Chilliwack lakes call out for summer hikers

June 16, 2018


Lindeman Lake sparkles below the peaks of the North Cascades in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park.

Here’s the perfect summer outing, a perennial favourite among destinations detailed in our best-selling guide “52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver”

Access: Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park lies 150 kilometres southeast of Vancouver. Travel east along Highway 1 to the Chilliwack Lake–Cultus Lake exit (number 104), then head southeast on No. 3 Road through the community of Yarrow. Go east along Vedder Mountain Road. Just over the Vedder Bridge, turn south (right) onto Chilliwack Lake Road at a well-marked intersection. Drive 42 kilometres to the park. It’s an easy two-hour drive from Vancouver. Lindeman Lake is 3.4 kilometres return; Greendrop Lake is 10.4 kilometres return. Details are at

There’s no better time to visit the south Fraser Valley than right now.

Lush fields surround roadside stands stocked with freshly-picked produce.

Just as prized are picnicking and angling sites sprinkled along the Chilliwack River Valley, as well as shaded trails on the slopes above the river’s headwaters in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park.

While river access comes easily at numerous roadside pullouts, you’ll need to expend more energy to reap the benefits offered by hiking routes such as the popular Lindeman–Greendrop Lakes Trail.

One of the rewards will be an enhanced appetite for those juicy niblets; another prize will be the entrancing sight of sunlight sparkling on the surface of the two lakes towered over by craggy North Cascades peaks.

Beside the trail’s outset, lively Post Creek froths its way down the mountainside from high above, carrying a gentle breeze that helps keep biting insects at bay.

Columns of old-growth Douglas fir line the way.

In less than an hour, you’ll find yourself beside Lindeman, possibly the most beautiful subalpine lake on offer in the Lower Mainland.

Clear green at the shoreline, its chilly waters deepen from a lighter blue to indigo when viewed from the trail.

If you plan to journey on to Greendrop, save a swim here for the return journey.

Picking your way around Lindeman’s north side requires some tricky boulder hopping.

Not only will shoes with good ankle support spare you the misfortune of twisting or wedging a foot in the scree, they’ll also afford you the benefit of improving your balancing skills.

Thankfully, staircases and boardwalks assist hikers around the steepest section of the trail by this lake.

From there, the well-marked trail to Greendrop passes knee-high wild gooseberry bushes and delicate mountain orchids as it wends through a narrow forested valley interspersed with open sections of scree.

With the exception of the occasional whirring hummingbird, the air is thick with a rich stillness rarely experienced in everyday life.

Orange metal markers affixed to tree trunks helpfully guide the way.

While Lindeman Lake has a lock on looks, Greendrop’s special feature is the spectacular size of the western red cedar grove that surmounts its waterfront.

Although a trail marker beside Greendrop’s wilderness campsite indicates that the Centennial Trail leads east from there into the Skagit Valley, attempts to find the faded route will prove futile for all but the hardiest of bushwhackers.

Chew on that as you dig into some fresh corn.

Original Article
Text CR Jack Christie
Photo CR Louise Christie