“It is a great art to saunter.” Henry David Thoreau
On my most recent trip to Vancouver, I managed to fit in a couple of short hikes including Cabin Lake on Black Mountain. Although I wouldn’t necessarily call this hike ‘a saunter’ – due to the steep ascent via switchbacks – it was relatively easy compared to hikes I’ve done on previous trips.
We parked at the Cypress Bowl downhill skiing area and then headed passed the chairlifts to the trailhead. My friends Jamie and Nathan had their dog Ellie along for the walk and we took our time, getting to the lake in about 45 minutes.
It was so nice venturing into the alpine forest on a hot summer’s day, and then arriving at this pristine lake. Ellie took a bit of a dip, and I was sorely tempted. I always get so hot when I’m hiking uphill. Instead, we ate some food and lingered here for about an hour, enjoying the view. At one stage, a light mist swept across the lake, only to disperse moments later. Then it repeated several minutes later. It was rather strange – as if a storm was thinking about blowing over, but then changed its mind.
The hiking trails do continue beyond Cabin Lake for those who want more of a workout, including the summit of Black Mountain (not far from Cabin Lake) and Eagle Bluffs (a further 45-minute walk). From Eagle Bluffs there are views of Eagle Harbour, the city of Vancouver, and, on clear days, Vancouver Island and Mt Baker in the US.
The trail on Black Mountain is actually part of the Baden-Powell Trail, which is 48km long extending from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Deep Cove in North Vancouver. I joked with Jamie and Nathan that I could walk home to Horseshoe Bay if they didn’t want to give me a lift. But, luckily, they didn’t take me seriously. On the return drive, we stopped at a lookout on Cypress Bowl Road for a panoramic view of Vancouver.