Black Mountain Hike to Eagle Bluffs

Black Mountain Hike to Eagle Bluffs

Black Mountain hike to Eagle BluffsThe Black Mountain hike to Eagle Bluffs is a really good walk for the springtime or early summer. When we visited there was still quite a lot of snow up on the trail, but it was possible to walk with walking boots, rather than snowshoes. We saw some rocker-style hikers in fishnets and doc martin boots, who were slightly struggling! Anyway we did this hike on a lazy day, after a loooong sleep-in. The views from the top of Black Mountain are lovely, and then if you keep going down the other side of the mountain, you’ll get to see even more epic views from Eagle Bluffs.

I made a new blogging friend, Clazz, from An Orcadian Abroad. She recently moved to Vancouver and has been visiting basically every tourist site in the city. Clazz was up for an easy walk with us, so we got her involved! If you haven’t seen her blog before, look at her post about Squamish, as it’ll make you want to visit!

Black Mountain Hike to Eagle Bluffs Map

Black Mountain Hike – the basics:

Distance: 9.5 km 
Elevation Gain:
 310m
Highest Point: 1224m
Time:
 4 hours (the 105 Hikes book said 5, but it was less than 4 for us)
What to bring: Walking boots. If there is snow, micro spikes really help. Plenty of water. In summer bring a swimsuit to swim in Cabin lake. The 10 essentials.
Facilities: There are loos at the start/end of the hike in the lodge
How hard is it:
You’ll work up a sweat in a couple of places, but it is an easy walk.

We did this walk in mid-June, so there was no snow down in the car park. But it didn’t take long to see some snow on the walk up the mountain. We saw a few other groups of walkers. One group was all dressed up as if they were attending a rock concert (the aforementioned person in fishnets and doc martins!) They were really struggling to walk downhill on the ice, so I reeeally don’t recommend attempting that!

Swim in Cabin Lake

Now, I have climbed up this part of the Black Mountain hike before. Last time I came up with a large group after work. We swam in Cabin Lake at the top of the mountain. We were bitten by mozzies, but it was warm, pleasant water to swim in. This time the water didn’t look quite so inviting!

Black Mountain South Peak

After chilling at the lake, we kept going to the top of Black Mountain. There are a few trees, but you can see over the, to the surrounding North Shore prettiness.

There is a really good view of the Twin Sisters (the Lions).
While we had a break at the summit there were quite a few Eagles circling around. I guess that is why the next part of the hike is named after them!?

Down to Eagle Bluffs

The next part of the Black Mountain hike goes down-hill past quite a few iced-over lakes. The path was still very covered in snow, so we had to take it quite slowly. However this meant it was a perfect, pleasant day for a walk. The sun was hot, but when you have a slight breeze over snow, it creates a perfect hiking temperature!

This section of the walk probably gets quite muddy after the rain. So in some ways, it might even be easier when the ground is still frozen!

I really loved seeing all the tree and cloud reflections in the lakes.

The hike between Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs was less than 3 km, but as it is downhill the whole way, we were starting to worry about climbing all the way back up on our return journey. Just as we started to consider turning back, we saw an opening in the trees ahead of us…

Eagle Bluffs

And this is the amazing view from Eagle Bluffs. You can see Pacific Spirit Park at UBC sticking out on the left and pretty Bowen Island to the right. It was such a clear day that we also had excellent views over to the Mountains on Vancouver island.

We stopped for a very late lunch (it was after 4pm -oops!)

This really is a lovely place to relax and see the views. There were quite a few chipmunks who are cheeky little cuties who will come and beg for food. You really shouldn’t feed them. There were also a few eagles catching the breeze and flying around above us. Just, whenever took out my big zoomy camera lens, they buggered off.

Back up the hill

The walk back up to Black Mountain is uphill the whole way. But in the end, it really wasn’t too strenuous. I still found time to see new things on the trail. How amazing are these bright yellow fungi!? We also found a sign-post tree that had fallen over the winter. Hopefully someone will save the signpost so future walkers will still find their way!

Micro spike testing time:

For the first half of our walk Marc and I just struggled along with walking boots but we recently bought micro spikes, so we keen both wanted to try them. These stretch to fit over your walking boots, and are covered in metal spikes to make it easier to walk on ice. The difference was amazing! Seriously! Once I was wearing the micro spikes, I could walk almost normally, even downhill in the snow! It was a revelation! Clazz didn’t have any, so she was sliding about a bit more. You can do this walk without them BUT they made it sooo much easier.

The return journey takes a different loop the other side of Black Mountain. There were quite a few big piles of snow, and some more icy-lakes.

But in the end, we emerged at the top of the ski-slope on Black Mountain! This is where we learned to ski at night earlier in the year. We’d never been up this side of the mountain in the daylight, so it was really amazing to see the views!

It was icy, but there was still so much snow, it might have been worth carrying skis up to the top to get a last ski-practice in before summer!

Sliding down slopes

Photos sort of flatten out how steep this was, but I promise it felt really steep! This is the first blue run Marc and I ever tried on skis. I knew it felt steep with planks strapped onto my feet, but it was still a little scary wandering down with miro spikes!

The only really sad thing was so many people had left rubbish up here! I carried down as much as I could, but I was disgusted to see so many plastic bottles, sweet wrappers and discarded ski-passes. People can be such dicks.

I am still in awe that we can get to somewhere so amazing, within half an hour of the city! The Black Mountain hike to Eagle Bluffs is a treasure surrounded by stunning scenery. As it is only a few hours, you can easily do this walk after work, or as an early morning warm up before another adventure.

We made one more stop on the way down the mountain to look back at Van City. It’s a pretty lovely view isn’t it!?

Eagle Bluffs and Black Mountain Black Mountain hike to Eagle Bluffs

 

68 thoughts on “Black Mountain Hike to Eagle Bluffs

  1. Microspikes really are a revelation aren’t they? This looks amazing—the view from Eagle Bluffs is incredible (wonderful photo). I love the reflections photo too. And with eagles flying overhead. There used the be a pair of golden eagles at Haweswater, near here—only nesting pair in England. Sadly, they’ve died now, but I did get to see them both a few years back. Like you, I didn’t manage a photo though.

    1. We did managed to get close to some nesting Eagles out in the delta here, so I got some photos then (there are soooo many bald Eagles near Vancouver!!)

      It’s just once they are up in the sky, I have no chance!!

      That is so sad that England doesn’t have any. 🙁

    1. Oooh I wonder!? I am pretty sure they’d be caked up, but they might stop you slipping a little. The thing with mud is, it is even more slippy than snow, so I am not sure if it’d make enough of a difference to be worth the cleaning of the spikes later(!)

    1. Thanks lovely!

      It’s pretty crazy isn’t it!? Sometimes I have stop, take a deep breath and appreciate how lucky we are to live somewhere so lovely.

  2. That was a lovely read (apart from the rubbish that you had to collect) and I loved your reflection photo, just beautiful

    1. Yeah it’s a shame about the rubbish. I have a feeling it was mostly left by skiiers, but that is still no excuse!!

      Thank you though. I am sooo chuffed that you enjoyed it. 😀

    1. Thanks for coming with us!! 😀

      I am still a bit impressed by the girl hiking in fishnets. I bet her feet were sore the next day though!!

  3. I feel like I need those micro-spikes for the walk to my car in the work parking lot here in the prairies! I’m going to see if my boss will buy them for everyone! 😉 But really, beautiful photos and a definite inspiration for people visiting BC!

    1. Oooh it would probably be really helpful to stop you slipping in the snow! I hope your boss likes the idea too!

    1. Lol thanks Marissa!

      I was feeling pretty lazy for this hike (we started reeeeally late and it only took a few hours) so yay that it looks epic despite minimal effort! 😉

  4. I did this hike a year ago in the summer, but it looks so pretty with the snow! I’m so not a hiker and I’m not gonna lie, I struggled with the uphill quite a bit, but when I got to the top it was so worth it! I also got to see a chipmunk which was the icing on the cake for me.

    1. I blooming love seeing chipmunks! They are soooo cute! I think it is because I never saw one until I was an adult.

      There is a steep section on the hike up, but it doesn’t last long, and it was sooo worth it for the view. 😀

  5. Meeting other blogger friends is the best! You are making me miss home so bad, I was raised in Vancouver and left when I was 17,,I often think of moving back…I love it! I live in Seattle, so at least I can get up there quickly!

    Never heard of this place, beautiful!! I have so much to explore up there…

    Valerie

    1. Oooh you are so lucky to have grown up here! But I think it’s pretty normal to know fewer of the places where you grew up. I am the same with the villages around Cambridge. I only really got good at exploring after I left home!

      Give me a shout if you come back for a visit, we can always explore together! I can’t wait to explore Seattle too!!

  6. Hiking lovers will crazy to read your article, Black Mountain is one of the most favorite places for adventure lovers. I love traveling but still have not tried for hiking. But I will try hiking at This amazing place 🙂

    1. Thanks Mary!

      Don’t worry, you don’t need much to give hiking a go, the main thing is to have some sturdy shoes, and then, just walk!

  7. Absolutely gorgeous photos and an amazing hiking location! I’ve never heard of it before so it’s definitely something i’d look into more for if I’m ever close 🙂 First just to book a flight from Europe hehe!

    1. Lol don’t worry, I’d never heard of any of the amazing hikes when we arrived from Europe. If you ever do head out this way, I can totally help you find the prettiest places to explore!

  8. Mountains, views and snow… What else could one ask for. I have never hiked in snow, so its interesting to read about your experience. The scenery looks so absolutely fabulous. I would love to do this one day 😀

    1. It can be hard work hiking in snow if there is any kind of incline (as it is so slippy!) You can still manage, but it takes longer than a normal walk.

      Unless you have miro spikes – those things made such a difference for us!

  9. This is everything I expect Canada to be! absolutely stunning! I would love to do hikes like this but I definitely need to build up my confidence hiking in the snow…I’ve not had the best experiences haa. And so coolthat you met Clazz, I love her blog too 😀

    1. Don’t worry, I’ve only been here for a year, so hiking in the snow is new for me too. It’s pretty nice on a hot day when you have the cool breeze over the snow!

      Clazz is such a sweetie. I’m so glad we got to meet up!

  10. I haven’t done an outdoor trip like this in a long time. You just reminded me to do something like this again. I feel like sometimes I need a break from all the city living and traveling. What beautiful photos!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! This is the perfect time of year for this kind of mini adventure! I hope you managed to have a giggle and escape the city!

  11. I only recently started hiking – and even though there are some nice and stunning hikes in New York state, they’re nothing like this. I’ve been dying to get out to the western half of Canada for a while now though, so I’ll add this to the list of way-too-beautiful hikes over there.

    1. Thanks Jasmine! If you do head this way, please feel free to give me a shout! I have sooo many ideas for good hike options!

  12. Microspikes are the best!!! And did you know you can eat those yellow fungi? I personally haven’t but I have hiking buddies who do! Such beautiful views from the top, Josy. Another Vancouver hike to add to my list!

      1. I think it is called Witch’s Butter. I have seen someone eat it right in the woods BUT some information says it needs to be boiled. I’d do some research first!

    1. Thanks Hayley! We’d seen people stop at that lookout sooo many times…but this was the first time I was behind the wheel, so I could actually stop and see the view! (I always feel too cheeky to ask if someone is giving me a lift into the wilderness!)

    1. Ha! So you wouldn’t be like the lady in DMs and fishnets!! 😉

      Hikes are alwaaaays so much easier with the right shoes!

    1. Oooh do you know what time of year you’ll be here! Give me a shout if you need other ideas for walks. There are so many good places to hike here!!

  13. What a stunning hike! I definitely would be tempted to bring my skies up for a late season practice sesh.. Really need to get to Canada one of these days! I reckon I wouldn’t leave, though.

    1. Thanks Caroline!!

      We’ve only been here for a year so far, but I am already thinking our original plan of staying for three years might be too short! It’s a lovely part of the world. <3

    1. I bet you could manage it!! The distance is in km, so it’s less than 6 miles. 😀

      Plus it was so pretty that you sort of forget that you’re moving your legs!!

  14. This hike is gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to hike near Vancouver, but I can’t really decide between going in the summer for swimming in the lake or in the winter with all the snow 😍

    1. It’s a tough one!

      I did love swimming in the lake, but there were quite a lot of bitey insects, so I think I actually had more fun in the snow! Having said that, I’ll probably go back for a swim this year too!

    1. I think there was just so much snow this winter, that it didn’t have a chance to all melt yet! It is lovely on sunny days in the snow though!!

  15. It’s a beautiful walk! Wow. Is there snow and ice on the trail year round, or does it eventually melt in the summer? Since you went in mid-June, when is “summer”?

    1. It might be gone by now! I save the highest trails for late July/August as then the snow will all be gone.

      I think some of the glaciers and ice-fields are there year round near Whistler, but most of the snow is gone by June here. This winter was just extra snowy, so there is a little snow clinging on later than normal…

    1. It sounds like you need crampons for more hard-core hikes. The microspikes were perfect for this kind of easy walk in the snow! 🙂

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