If you’re looking for a family friendly hike near Vancouver or Chilliwack, and you fancy something a little bit quirky, Teapot Hill is perfect. Part of this trail is littered with teapots and tea related crockery. You’ll find teapots sitting on stumps, tea cups hanging from high branches in the forest and even saucers laid out for the local wildlife. There are a few options for the trail, but they all traverse through a pretty, mossy forest which would be fun even on rainy days. Plus, after you have finished walking, you can have a picnic and spend some time by the lovely Cultus Lake.
Teapot Hill Trail Map
Most people seemed to just follow the 5km out and back trail up Teapot Hill. If you have a little more time and energy, I loved the walk described in the 105 Hikes book. The map below is the route we followed.
Teapot Hill Trail – the Basics
Distance: 11km (5km for just teapot hill)
Elevation gain: 530m (250m just for teapot hill)
Highest Point: 360m
Time: 3.5 – 4 hours (1.5 – 2 hours for teapot hill)
What to bring:
The 10 Essentials
A bag for litter as this trail is busy, you may find rubbish.
There is a loo at the trailhead and at each campsite.
Dogs friendly (on leashes.) We even met an adventurous cat (on a leash) on this trail.
How hard is it?
If you only do the trail to teapot hill it is super easy. If you do the longer trail via the Seven Sisters, it is still a fun, easy-ish walk. It’s just a little longer with a bit more elevation.
Cultus Lake – Getting Started
We followed the route in the 105 hikes book, so started at the parking area at Entrance Bay. We had a peek at Cultas lake, before crossing the road into the Entrance Bay Campground. The hikes starts on the Seven Sisters trail, just inside the campsite. If you like, you can skip this first part of the walk. Click here for the map to the mini Teapot Hill Walk.
Be really careful when you cross the road into the Entrance Bay Campground. This road is inside the Cultas Lake Provincial Park, but people seem to treat it more like a highway, driving as fast as they can to reach the campsites/lake.
Seven Sisters Trail
Once you’re on the Seven Sister’s trail, the path heads into the beautiful, mossy forest. The trail starts climbing straight away, and then undulates. You’ll find yourself heading up or down hill plenty of times on this hike!
The Seven Sisters
Part way along the trail there is an extra mini loop where you can visit the Seven Sisters. This area used to be covered in massive old growth Douglas Fir trees that can live for 500, or even a thousand years. This grove of ‘sisters’ are the remnants of those trees. There are 3 massive trees still standing, as well as four large stumps where the other sisters have fallen.
It’s always a pleasure to see giant trees up close. You need some put in some extra effort to hike up the additional stairs, but it’s worth it.
Teapot Hill trail
Once you’ve walked past the Clear Creek Campground, there is a flat section of trail where you can zoom through the forest. After you’ve crossed teapot Creek, turn right. You’ll have nearly made it to the teapot-filled section of the walk.
Once the trail joins up with the main path to teapot hill, you may start to notice the odd cup, teapot or teapot lid hiding in the trees.
Teapot Hill loop
Once you’ve made it past this sign to teapot hill, the amount of crockery really starts to increase! You should stay on the trail, but even without tramping into the forest, you’ll be able to see soooo many cute teapots.
Why are there so many teapots?
This area was named Teapot Hill back in the 1940s when a logger found a single teapot in this forest. However in recent years lots of people have hiked in with their own teapots, and hidden them along this hike. It is pretty fun to play spot the teapots, so this encouraged more people to bring their own tea-related crockery and add to the fun.
Leave no Trace and Teapot Hill
The huge number of teapots really goes against what we are meant to teach children about leaving only footprints and taking only photos. This Spring (2020), lots of teapots were removed from the hill. The Provincial Park staff are worried that all the broken teapots may hurt wildlife. And more importantly; People tramping off the main trail to hide teapots may spoil the delicate ecosystem or tramp on the rare orchids that grow here. if you see broken shards, consider taking them home, like this hiker did.
I am a bit conflicted by this trail. It was fun to watch out for all the crockery, and this part of the walk was incredibly busy. It’s great that adding a bit of whimsy to the woodland encourages so many people to explore. However we saw a lot of broken teapots. I also worry that if a child’s first experience of the wilderness is about leaving non-natural items there, it’s not the best introduction to the whole leave no trace philosophy.
In any case, teapots on the trail really brings in the crowds! We only saw a few hikers on the first half of this walk. However the teapot hill area was teaming with visitors! There must have been more than 50 people wandering along here searching for teapots!
We found soooo many! If teddy bears are ever going to have a picnic, this is probably the ideal place to try! If you look hard enough, you can even find whole tea sets.
Teapot on the trail
I took hundreds of photos, so I don’t really have space to show them all. But here are a selection of teapots we spotted…
Teapot Hill Viewpoint
There is a bit of elevation gain for this walk. But that means once you have made it to the top of the hill, there is a bit of a viewpoint through the trees.
Most people seemed to stop at the first viewpoint, but if you keep going a little longer there is a second viewpoint. As well as a bunch of extra crockery!
Horse Trail Loop
Once you have finished searching for teapots, you can head back along the Horse Trail loop, then as soon as the trail crosses Teapot Creek, return the way you came.
If I am honest, although I had fun spotting teapots, this quieter part of the trail was even more enjoyable. The forest in Cultus Lake Provincial Park is incredibly pretty, and it was super quiet as soon as you turn away from the teapot trail.
I loved seeing these beautiful Ghost Flowers along the trail in a few spots. Apparently there are also lots of rare orchids here if you keep your eyes peeled. The trail was also fantastic for spotting banana slugs! Although, when I showed this one on Instagram, I was told it’s actually a Leopard slug. They are awesome slimy little dudes either way!
Even if you decide to to the longer version of this walk, you should finish within 4 hours. So this is a great hike if you just have half a day. Once you have made it back to Cultus Lake, there are plenty of picnic benches, and it seemed like it would be a fantastic lake to swim in if you visit on a warm day.
I read about the teapot-filled this walk in the fabulous 105 Hikes book. If you like the sound of it, you can buy it here. What do you think? Do you love the idea of spotting teapots in a forest, or do you think they should all be removed? I guess, if you take children here, it might be a good way to start a conversation about leave no trace. As long as they know this is an exception, and normally wild areas should remain free of man-made litter.
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