Teapot Hill – Hikes near Chilliwack

Teapot Hill – Hikes near Chilliwack

One of the best family walks near Chilliwack and Vancouver - Teapot HillIf 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 โ€“ 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.
Facilities:
There is a loo at the trailhead and at each campsite.
Dogs:
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.ย 

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…

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…and cups…

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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!

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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.

As always, if you like the look of this, please click on the pins to save them.

Teapot Hill is a quirky, family friendly hike near Vancouver and Chilliwack, Canada Teapot Hill a fab teapot-filled walk near Chilliwack and Vancouver - Canada One of the best family walks near Chilliwack and Vancouver - Teapot Hill

72 thoughts on “Teapot Hill – Hikes near Chilliwack

  1. Hehehe I love this!! I know what you mean about the downsides though… I don’t think people should be going off the trail to hide teapots. Everything should be accessible from the trail and then if any are broken they’ll get shifted quickly. How fun and quirky though! I think it’s brilliant. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. I did this trail when I was in Vancouver about three years ago. Just like you, I found it quirky but wrestled with the fact that unnatural things were being left behind.
    It was a nice quick hike that could be squeezed in the few hours between my friend finishing work and sunset.

    1. Ah I love that you have been there too Kez! ๐Ÿ˜€
      You’re right, it is a pretty quick trail so it would be perfect for a post-work walk.

  3. I’m kinda like you, I’m conflicted. I think it could be fun and a neat idea to get kids interested in hiking or going for walks but also needs to be said that this isn’t the usual thing to do (leave random stuff in the forest). As long as people are smart and stay on the trail this is still a great hike to enjoy. Good call about a bag for garbage though, or broken teapots.

    1. Thanks Emma. I was a bit worried to write this and sound like a total kill-joy. So I am sort of glad to hear I am not the only one with conflicting feelings about it.

  4. hehe, I feel like I’d really like this hike (it’d be so cool to bring my cattt, haha <3 ). I'm looking into reusable trash bags right now that I'd like to start using for picking up trash on my hikes! The teapots are really cute, but agreed that I'd be worried about broken shards + not being the best of examples.

  5. It seems to me that it’s a good way to get kids interested in the outdoors, but with the downsides mentioned. Kids have been painting stones and leaving them in the woods near us, but there is some concern that they may encourage other kids to pick them up without knowing if they are clean.

    1. Yeah I feel the same way about the painted stones. I like seeing them around the city, but I son’t think they should be left in the wilderness. Especially as people often use plastic-based paints that will break down into smaller flakes and probably be ingested by critters.

  6. My first thought about the Teapot Trail was: oh how cute! But indeed as you point out as well, it could do a lot of damage to the local flora and fauna and could even give children the wrong example. So, despite being a fun idea, perhaps this would be better idea for a small park of garden but not a forest. They do make for fun pictures though ๐Ÿ˜‰ By the way, I had never heard of Banana or Leopard slugs before and although I’m generally grossed out by slugs, the Leopard slug looks beautiful!

    1. They are really cool slugs aren’t they! I grew up in the UK, so I’d only seen black slugs before I moved here – I love the patterns on the slimy little fellas.

      I totally agree. My first thought seeing all those teapots was ” they are so cuuuute”…

  7. This is so beautiful and quirky, Josy! The Seven Sisters area looks gorgeous. Also, I totally understand your mixed feelings about the excess of teapots. Your pictures of them make it look so endearing, but I did wonder right from the start how many hikers would bring one with them to leave behind. The shards of porcelain is also a legitimate worry. This sort of reminds me of the trend of putting padlocks on chain-link bridges. Hopefully most impressionable young kids would realize that this is not the norm for other hikes, but it definitely seems counter to “leave no trace.”

    1. Yes, I guess it is a bit like those padlocks! Loads of teapots were removed earlier this year, but so many people had added new ones recently that you’d never guess some had been taken away. It’s also like that gum wall in Seattle (you’re from Seattle right?) They cleaned up the wall a while ago, but I’ve seen photos that it is already re-covered in gum.

      p.s. Yay. I am glad you like this giant trees too. They really were impresive.

  8. Clever and cute idea, but I wondered about the broken items too. There are probably even those “wicked” folks who go out there and deliberately smash them. There are always “those” people.

    More amazing photos.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  9. I am constantly amazed by the trails that you hike. Some trails have masks and others have teapots. I wonder what is next?
    By the way, I could have sworn the signs reads “Teapot Kill”, at least it looks like it from the angle that you photographed it from.

    1. Lol now you say that, I can totally see that it looks like Teapot Kill! That could be a scary movie like the blaire witch project…but when teapots are running for their lives and hiking in the forest!

  10. The teapots is a cool concept and probably even cooler to see, however I didn’t like the fact that it’s hurting nature. The trail however looks beautiful.

    1. I am sure the first people that hid teapots on the trail could not have imagined how popular it has become. It is just a shame it encourages people to trample off the paths…

  11. haha what a fun trail! Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland!
    It’s a cool way to encourage visitors to hike but I’d rather prefer the quieter woods too. Cultus Lake looks beautiful! And those ghost flowers – quite aptly named!

    1. Oooh yes! It is a bit Alice in wonderland-y! You know, our wedding was like this with a whole range of mis-matched teapots and teacups. I do love this kind of thing really.

      Those ghost flowers are pretty eerie aren’t they!?

  12. This looks like a fairyland hike on one hand. You have represented the LNT other side well too. Iโ€™m always conflicted about these kinds of trailsโ€”- like trails with fairy houses built. I love the whimsical part of it but it usually evolves into excess. It does get people outside though.
    I loved the old growth Doug Fir pics!

    1. Yeees, It’s the same with fairy houses. I love seeing them too. Although, I guess trails with fairy houses are less likely to have quite so many people hiking off the main trail.

  13. This is amazing!!! Whoever came up with this is a genius! It reminds me of the time I was skiing and there was a trail full of mythical animals that you had to find. I really love things like these, they’re so awesome

  14. This place looks so cool! I have never seen a place like this before, so I’m definitely saving it for the future. It would be great to walk around there and see all those tea cups.

  15. Wow! Super interesting. I wonder if they could start like a leave one/take one sort of thing. On top of picking up broken pottery?

    1. Yeah, I guess that could help. Although that might encourage more people to hike off the main trail when they choose which one to remove.

      There were a few local news articles asking people not to bring more teapots, but it doesn’t seemed to have changed much. I guess people just like whimsical cute things. I know I do, so I do understand why it is so popular.

    1. Don’t worry, I don’t think it is famous further away than Vancouver. I’m glad you like the look of the quirkiness though.

  16. This is so quirky and fun! And it looks absolutely gorgeous – I immediately figured out how many hours it would take to drive from Sacramento. Uh…are those banana or leopard or whatever they’re called slugs as big as they look in the photo??!

    1. Yes! Those slugs are really big! Well, not giant…but they are at least double the size of the ‘normal’ slugs I am used to seeing in the UK!

  17. That sure is a whole lot of teapots and cups, Josy! You are right about LNT and I also think it is okay to have a few places designated like that. It gives an opportunity for conversation with the littles. Glad to see you are enjoying what is left of summer!

    1. Thanks Shannon! Lol I am sooo far behind with my posts, this was from way back in July! We actually did a bit less in August, but it has still been a fab summer.

      I hope you are having fun on the trails on your side of the border too!

      1. I don’t know, I’m pretty behind myself. The laptop stopped working! I took a lot of August off because there were just too many people, hope to get back out there now with cooler weather! I hope they open that border before too long so we can get out together!

        1. That makes a lot of sense – plus there are far fewer bugs now we are into spider season!! ๐Ÿ™‚

          i have a feeling it’ll be a while before the borders are back to normal, but we’ll be ready when they are!

  18. This looks like a dream hike! Those old trees are fantastic, and I would love to see them in person, and the leopard slug too! I’d even be excited to see the teapot trail. Sounds like the park management is handling the situation well – getting rid of broken and unsafe pottery while still making it a fun place for people to explore nature. I imagine there’s a tipping point, and they’ll know it when they hit it. Kind of reminds me of the Paris Locks of Love Bridge – when they had to finally take all the locks off the bridge because it was no longer safe. Anyway, I’m putting this hike down on my must-do list, in hopes that I’ll make it out there someday soon.

    1. I think you are right it is quite a lot like those locks on bridges. It seems perfectly fine to start with, but it *can* get out of hand. It is really charming though, so I hope they maintain at least some of the teapots.

  19. Absolutely in love with the tea pots dotting the trees and the wild books & corners. They look so cute and rustic at the same time. I would love to go on this hike and admire the Douglas pines on the Seven Sisters trail, which too looks delightful! Am gonna pin this post ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It is such a good book isn’t it!? I have had fun of every single one we have tried. The hike Stephen describes is definitely better that the shorter all trails version of the walk.

  20. It is very cute but I completely agree with you about leave no trace. Glad that people are cleaning up the dangerous bits. Lovely views and orchids wow!

  21. I must say, Chilliwack is an awesome name! And Iโ€™ve always wished my cat would walk a on a leash, so I wouldโ€™ve loved to see the one on the trail! Those ghost flowers are also incredible. Iโ€™ve never heard of them, but I would venture there for those alone!

    I feel similarly to you regarding this trail. At first, I was SUPER excited at the idea of hiking to see teapots. Then, I had the same thought you did โ€“ it goes against everything Iโ€™ve ever been taught about leave no trace. I am glad it gets people outside and people clean it up as needed, though. I like the idea of having it be an exception to the rule and a way to start the leave no trace conversation. Because (selfishly) I really don’t want it to go away!

    1. Thanks for such a sweet comment. I think that was my take-away by the end of the hike too. It’s good that this can at least start conversations about leave no trace.

      p.s. My cat does walk on a leash…but he is not as cool as the hiking cat…he never wants to go further than 100m from our front door!

  22. Interesting! My first thought was – is this an Alice in Wonderland themed hike? It sounds fun! I agree with some of the above commenters – if people could just keep it on the main trail and remove anything broken as soon as it happens. Very cool, will have to check it out one day if I’m in that area!

    1. No way!? Moona, I think you would have loved our wedding too. We collected loads of crazy teapots and hundreds of tea cups, then served cocktails in them…

  23. Oh my gosh! How quirky and unique! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this! I’m so glad you went into how it got it’s name because I was definitely curious. I totally agree with you on being torn. Definitely something different, but there are concerns for sure. Bummer that you saw so many broken ones :/

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