Sumas Mountain is a fun, not-too hard area to hike between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. The mountain is right next to Highway 1; So if you ever drive through the Fraser Valley, it’s likely you have zoomed past it. This is a great hike on those days when you don’t know what the weather will do. We were expecting the rain to pour on the day we visited, but we figured most of the trail is through the forest, so it should still be fun in the rain.
Please note, this is the hike for the Canadian Sumas Mountain. There is another Sumas Mountain in America, so don’t get confused and head to that trailhead by mistake!
Sumas Mountain Trail Map
Sumas Mountain Trail – the basics
Distance: 13.5 km
Elevation gain: 715m
High Point: 905m
Time: 6 hours (including a couple of good breaks)
What to bring:
The 10 Essentials
Erm, there aren’t really any facilities. There is no car park or toilet. Just park by the side of the road at the trailhead.
Dogs are welcome if you keep them on a lead.
How hard is it?
Moderate. The path is easy to follow, but a bit tiring with all that elevation gain. If you have less time, you could turn around at Chadsey Lake for an easy 4.6 km hike.
Hiking with besties
This hike was with my best blogging hiking friends, Lisa and Shannon as well as Lisa’s friend Amanda (who hiked the PCT last year!) These ladies are all pretty epic, so I was the most rubbish walker in the group. Still, it is soooo fun spending time with blogging/hiking friends that really understand my love of being in the wilderness.
Sumas Mountain when it’s wet
The fantastic thing about hiking with ladies that are used to the Pacific North West weather is that as we all had the day off, we were planning to hike no matter how soggy it was. We expected it to pour all morning. Somehow, we got lucky and there was hardly any rain at all. Still, the Sumas Mountain trail was incredibly lush and green. My photos may look a little sad now it’s June and we’re used to summer weather again, but it was SOOOO NICE to be out in the mountains in mid-April.
Head for Chadsey Lake
The Sumas Mountain trail has a few professional looking signs at the start, but there are also some more erm rustic signs along the way. Anyway, however dodgy the signs look, follow the way to Chadsey Lake. The trail goes through lush Jurassic Park-like forest until you get to a logging road. Then turn left into a mini forest area next to a huge area of clear-cut ex-forest.
Sumas Mountain Trail flowers
There were so many pretty flowers on the trail. Shannon called the tall white flowers shooting stars (although. Andy had let me know these are vanilla leaf, also known as deer’s foot) The pink/purple ones are bleeding hearts (mum says they are really called dicentra.) The last pretty white flower was a trillium, although it was starting to fade, so parts of the petals were transparent.
There is one teeny waterfall when you cross a creek on the way up to Chadsey Lake.
We spotted a tree star carved into one of the logs. I love it when the super-stars who maintain trails decorate tree stumps like this! We also found a giant white banana slug. I decided to call him Gary the ghost slug. He is creepy and awesome.
Chadsey Lake looks like a perfect place to relax and go for a swim. It was way too cold when we visited, so we sat at the edge of the lake and admired the reflections.
Leave No Trace failure
You’re not supposed to camp in Sumas Mountain Regional Park, but it looks like someone did; They left a saw, a fire-pit and even a new-looking frying pan!
The Sumas Mountain Workout
Once you’ve relaxed at Chadsey Lake for a while, the real workout begins. The path up to the top of Sumas Mountain is quite narrow, but it gives fantastic views of the trees. Just keep an eye out for the orange markers to ensure you don’t get lost.
We were treated to eerie misty views through the forest. I bet it would look just as pretty with sun streaming through the trees.
Sumas Mountain Lookout
There is a pretty nice view from the Sumas Mountain Lookout. Apparently on sunny days you can see the mountains surrounding the Fraser Valley, as well as Mount Baker. It was pretty poor visibility when we visited, but we still had nice views down to Chiliwack. The view is partially obstructed by trees, but it is still a great place to stop for lunch.
Once we were fully rested, we followed the same path back down to the trailhead. The sun came out a little so the forest looked even more lush and pretty with this light.
There is one other trail to this peak, that goes via the Abbey Grind. However if you follow that path, you’ll miss out on Chadsey Lake. If you are looking for other slightly harder (but fantastic) hikes in this areas, have a look at Cheam Peak or Elk Mountain / Mount Thurston.
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