3/18/06 08:30 AM CLOUDY WITH SUNNY BREAKS WIND S.W. 3Âº C
The day is overcast with the sun attempting to show its face. As we entered the trailhead the sweet song of a chickadee invited us to enter her home and enjoy our stay. We expected to run into snow at the 600 meter elevation.
Our intention is to traverse Sumas Mountain from West to East. The trailhead is on Sumas Mountain. Rd. at what is known as Big Rock, a huge boulder deposited by the last ice age and to exit at the South East end trailhead in Barrowtown. A distance of aproximatly 14 kilometers. The trail begins as an easy ascent and gradually becomes steeper. It continues in this vain till we reach Chadsey Lake at 656 meters. Named after four pioneer brothers who farmed in the Sumas Prairie district in the latter part of the last century
The forest has a thick cover of ferns blanketing the ground, 15 species of ferns are found here such as bracken and licorice. Deciduousand coniferous trees are mixed together, balsam, spruce, and cedar along with cottonwood, vine maple, birch, wild cherry and birch.
Huckleberry are just beginning to bud along with Nootka rose, red osier dogwood and Oregon grape.
There are a few forks but the trail is well marked and creeks abound. Unfortunately there is (was) active logging in this area and we cross over a logging road and logged off area to reconnect to the trail and leave the logging behind us. The canopy is thick but the trees are much spread out, it is dark but not gloomy, many mosses and liverworts add to the beautiful shades of green which predominate. There are 88 species of moss and liverwort found here.
We hear an eagle and raven; it is unusually quiet compared to summer. This will be the last bit of uphill and when we reach the lake it will be downhill from here to Barrowtown. There is a bit more snow here and after crossing Chadsey creek the snow is about 6 centimeters. When we reach the lake we find it iced over with aproximatly 12 centimeters of snow.
Our hike has been done at a leisurely pace as we have been logging GPS points, compass headings and photos. It took us four hours to reach the lake and we sit down for lunch and brew up a cup of tea to enjoy with our lunch. As we sit to enjoy the winter scene and eagle glides silently high above the lake. The sun comes out in full force and it is quite warm and pleasant.
After lunch we head out in a North Easterly direction, we pass through more forest and start to drop elevation from the West side of the mountain which starts to curve to the East. This is overgrown with scrub alder and maple. An assortment of shrubs and wildflowers are found here in the summer. Eventually it turns into an old logging road which is left over from logging many years ago. The view here is of the Fraser River and Strawberry Island to the North with Nicomen Island in the background. Six centimeters of snow lies on the road and a wildlife story is written here. Coyote tracks are predominant with some snowshoe hare sign. We see the splayed out footprints of raccoon and the occasional deer track. The road descends North Easterly at an easy gradient for about two kilometers before heading South another kilometer and then back into some old growth.
Massive Douglas fir trees can be found along the trail here and a pair of them has blackened bark from an old fire. Occasional views of Vedder Canal, Sumas River, the farmed flats of Sumas prairie and
Chilliwack to the East are glimpsed through the trees. At One Time Sumas Lake once filled the Sumas prairie.
This is easy hiking that meanders Southerly for aproximatly three kilometers along the shoulder of the mountain crossing little creeks. The trail dips up and down and in and out in this portion. Winter wrens sing their lovely melody, but the steady hum of the freeway takes away from this idyllic setting. Let us not forget that access too many of these trails was made possible by industries such as logging and it is sometimes the price we must pay to enjoy the wilderness. Eventually you begin a switchback descent which returns you to the trailhead parking lot at Barrowtown.
From the West
Take Exit 95 (Whatcom Rd.) North and follow North Parallel Rd. East to Sumas Mnt. Rd. and then go North for 9.6 kilometers.Just pass the Big Rock look for the trailhead on the right.
From the East
Take Exit 104 North (No. 3 Rd.)Then go right on North Parallel Rd. Take a left on Quadling Rd. and cross over Sumas River Canal and park to your right. The trailhead is at the foot of the cliff.
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Posted By: LucasL
- Wed Mar 08 23:31:29 UTC 2017
UpsideWas a perfect snowshoe these days to Chadsey lake, broke trail from halfway, good thing i brought my snowshoes. CommentCannot Start at Quailing Road any more. Big signs saying "Danger, Trail closed due to construction" "No trespassing no hiking etc" Went there this morning was surprised to see a Quarry where the hike would normally start. So I went around the mountain to the other side, started at upper sumas mtn road.
Posted By: phrenzik
- Mon Apr 29 16:58:58 UTC 2013
Upside-Lots of diversity in scenery -Good workout (almost entirely uphill to Chadsey Lake) -Well marked -GPS download and directions to trailhead were flawless -Chadsey Lake was worth the hike Downside-Fallen Trees make it difficult to travel in certain spots -Intersecting trails can be confusing (make sure you're paying attention! -Active logging @ 2km-3km -Several warnings for "EXTREME DANGER" between 2km-3km (I assume due to the active logging) CommentAll in all a good hike. At the trailhead there was a sign saying the trail was closed @ 2km due to dangerous conditions. At the 2km mark, there was a trail closed sign with "EXTREME DANGER" on it. We decided to go up a bit further and keep our eyes open for danger before we hit a logging road with machinery on it. As it was a Sunday, there was no logging going on, but I imagine it is active during the week. I'd recommend trying to do this one on weekends as loggers probably won't be working. Once you hit the logging road at around 2-3km, the trail continues by following the road to the right for approximately 100 meters.
I only made it up to Chadsey Lake as I didn't start until 3pm. Arrived at the lake around 515pm, had a snack and turned back.
Posted By: theoneandonlychevy
- Sat May 12 05:16:44 UTC 2012
UpsideVery well marked with tape, tree markers, and the odd sign. A variety of scenery and even hiking to the lake is well worth the trip. You get views to the north and south DownsideMake sure you pay attention to the color of the markers you are following!! The west entrance hike markers are orange. On our return, somewhere around the lake, we began hiking on a red & white marked trail and ended up wasting a bit of time with that. Be sure to stay on the orange trail CommentThese comments are in regard to the west trail only (we didnt' do the east trail as it looked not as well used or marked).
There are still signs indicating that blasting is going on but we went ahead with no difficulties. We were able to reach the top without a problem. Took the West trailhead approach and had no difficulties finding the trail that lead to the peak.
For those who may have difficulty finding the trail beyond this point, continue along the lake until you see an arrow indicating to go left...this arrow is pointing toward continuing onto the East Trail. Instead of going left here you want to turn right. This trail continues on alongside Chadsey Lake which is kind of muddy but then it quickly continues steadily uphill from this point. You will continue on until you reach an orange Tower. At this point there will be a sign indicating that the viewpoint is approx 10 mins further. Happy travelling :)
Posted By: toothpastechica
- Wed May 11 20:31:13 UTC 2011
Upsideyou find a lake at the top...and get some good excersize Downsideno views, lots and lots of bugs, once you get to the lake you cant go any farther (trust me we tried, turned around after getting stuck in some very thorny bushes) and theres lots evidence of machinery around Commentwouldnt do again.
Posted By: jearsy
- Sat Jun 05 18:02:28 UTC 2010
UpsideIt is not that far away from Vancouver for driving time and the views are pretty good of the Fraser Valley. Also, the geocaches along the trial are in great shape and the trial head on the western approach is well marked out with flagging tape. DownsideThe trial can be very narrow and steep at times with a lot of loose gravel and rocks CommentWhen we did it a couple of weeks ago I couldn't figure out how to get to the eat trial head and after an hour of searching, even with the gps, we gave up and did the western approach. You can hike all the way up to the Lake but the trial is almost gone now past that point to the peak because of some mining in the area.
Posted By: Nicky C
- Tue Jul 21 19:04:58 UTC 2009
UpsideBeautiful lake for swimming in - warm - bring your swimsuit! DownsideLOTS of mosquitoes. CommentWhen we went - July 18, 2009 - we started on the west side and the trail around the south shore of the lake to the east was closed due to blasting, so we only got as far as the lake. There is another trail around the north side of the lake to the summit, but my group didn't want to try it, so not sure if that is closed as well, so just be warned - you may only get as far as the lake.
Posted By: Pharmer
- Fri Jul 07 21:22:12 UTC 2006
UpsideVery pleasant hike, lots of different ferns and birds. Nice creeks and miniwaterfalls and a really interesting burnt tree closer to Chadsey Lake. DownsideDidn't have a chance to make it to the summit as had some novice hikers with us and my partner was following the dog who started going down the East trail. Was also a little muddy from earlier rains so make sure you have some good waterproof footwear. CommentStay to the right when heading to the summit or end up on the East trail. Next time we are going to try West to East