Flora Lake & Flora Peak via the loop (including Lindeman Lake & Greendrop Lake) is a challenging, but spectacular hike in S⨱ótsaqel or Chilliwack Lake Park in BC, Canada. This trail might leave your legs exhausted for a few days, but it is worth it. The summit gives you views of layers and layers of the Cascade mountain range.
I should probably admit, we did not plan to do this hike. We woke up at a leisurely pace and made bacon sandwiches, so didn’t even get to the trailhead until 10:30am. It was just *such* a gorgeous day, that after we hiked to Lindeman Lake & Greendrop Lake we decided to continue on to Flora Lake. Then, we heard from hikers coming the other direction that Flora peak was only a short (if steep) detour, so we did that too. This was an unexpectedly amazing adventure, when we’d only planned an easy day out.
Flora Lake & Peak the basics
Distance: 23 km-ish (Strava recorded over 27km for us.)
Elevation gain: 1470m
High Point: 1953m
Time: Clockwise it took us over 10 hours (8 hours moving)
What to bring: The 10 essentials, and bring bear spray
Facilities: There are loos at the trailhead plus campgrounds (with loos, bear caches and tent platforms) at both lakes.
Dogs: Dogs are allowed (on leash)
How hard is it? Challenging. The trail requires some route-finding and is slow going through the boulder fields. It is a also a lot of elevation gain. Having said that, it’s not technical.
Extra Notes: This trail is normally covered by snow up to July. I recommend waiting until late summer to attempt it. It is much tougher (and more dangerous) in icy or snowy conditions.
Flora Lake & Peak map
Below is the counter-clockwise route. See our recording hiking clockwise here.
Flora Lake – Getting Started
The trailhead is at the far end of Chilliwack Lake Road, just before Chilliwack Lake Campground. It’s around 2 hours from Vancouver. The road is paved so any car can make it here. However I have heard multiple stories of cars being broken into (or catalytic converters being stolen.) We were camping, so we opted to play it safe; We left our car at Chilliwack Lake and hiked the extra 1.5km to the trailhead.
There are two main ways to Flora Lake & Flora Peak; The loop via Lindeman and Greendrop Lakes, or straight up Flora Peak, then down to the lake. The second way is shorter, but has a whooping 1700m elevation gain! My description below is the loop.
Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes
If you do this hike clockwise, you can to warm up with a delightful trail first to Lindeman Lake, then on to Greendrop Lake. I wrote a whole post about that part of the hike, so click through for the full details.
Continue on from Greendrop Lake
Once you’ve spent time relaxing at Greendrop Lake, you need to go back on yourself to reach the turning to Flora Lake. Follow the (almost flat) trail back for around 700m, then turn left.
This is your last look back towards Lindeman Lake. Get your legs ready for a workout!
Trail to Flora Lake
This trail is more rugged (and steep) than the first half of the hike. It alternates between a narrow, steep path through the forest and along boulder fields.
Boulder fields can really slow you down. It requires some route finding (although there are orange blazes like the photo below to help you stay on track.) It’s fun, as you need to hop between rocks.
This is the view back to Greendrop lake. The lake is *just* visible below (center). Hiking up through those boulders can be tough, especially uphill.
Still, it is worth it once you get your first glimpse of Flora Lake.
Flora Lake is another gorgeous teal-coloured alpine beauty. It is much harder to reach than Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes, so you won’t see many other hikers.
Flora Lake Campground Facilities
Just like the other two lakes, there is a bear cache and loo at Flora Lake. The toilet is located up a steep bank, overlooking the lake, but partially hidden in the trees.
There are also tent pads, one of which is in an incredible spot, right by the lake. BUT it is broken (it didn’t look possible to camp there.) In fact all the tent pads were in terrible shape when we visited. Hopefully they’ll be fixed in future years.
I’ve seen other blog posts that mentioned Flora Lake isn’t really worth the extra effort and hard work to reach it. I honestly think it is worth it if you are doing the full loop. It was so nice to relax by the lake before we tackled the ascent of Flora Peak.
Having said that, if you are just doing an out-and-back hike via Flora Peak, it would be a total of 1700m to visit this lake. That is a very hefty day hiking!
This next section is the part that will get you puffing. To reach the shoulder below Flora Peak, you need to climb 570m in less than 1.5km. This part is STEEP and exhausting. I was not sure if I’d be able to continue to the summit as my legs were so tired at this point!
Somehow, once we made it out of the trees and started to see some views, my energy returned. Plus, it’s only an extra 180m elevation to the top.
The trail is so steep, that although you’re hiking straight up from Flora Lake, you can’t look backwards and see the lake! The first time we saw Flora Lake from above, was right almost at the top. You can see Flora Lake hiking in the shadow of Flora Peak in my photo below. Cool eh?
The very last section is quite dusty and slippery. But every few steps when you turn around, the views get better and better as more layers of the Cascade Mountains reveal themselves.
Flora Peak Summit
Once you make it to the top, there are 360° of incredible views!
This is the view looking west.
And this is south, towards Chilliwack Lake and beyond to Washington in America. You can just see a wildfire getting started over in the USA.
We had a good long break taking in the views and enjoying the golden afternoon sunshine. It’s a phenomenal trail.
To finish the loop, you need to hike down the super-steep section to the saddle above Flora Lake. Then turn right. The trail back down to the car park is just over 5km from the turning. There are plenty of roots and rocks, but as there are no more boulder fields, it’s much easier.
We may have left it a little late to head down from Flora Peak. This meant the late afternoon light looked beautiful as it shone through the bushes lighting up the mountainside.
The trail curves around the middle of the mountain. It gives you a chance to see Chilliwack Lake from multiple angles. This was one of my favourite parts of the walk. Even when your legs are tired, this path is a pleasure.
The last few kilometers were through the trees (and for us, in the dark) so I didn’t take photos. Instead, I’ll finish with a few panoramas showing the picturesque views along the way.
The hike to Flora Lake and Flora Peak was easily my favourite hike in and around S⨱ótsaqel or Chilliwack Lake Park. It was a exhausting but I honestly loved every second of it. If you are an avid hiker and staying at Chilliwack Lake Campground – I highly recommend this one!
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