Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hike to Flower Ridge



 Have you been to Flower Ridge in Strathcona Provincial Park?  Well...you've got no excuses now...

I have written about Flower Ridge before- after my first trip up to this magical trail in the Park.  That day, Kim and I did a great ultra training run on the Ridge, covering 32kms of gorgeous alpine singletrack and falling in love with the route in the process.

Head over to The Outbound Collective to read the entire trip report and create your own 'bucket list' of adventures!

Hike to Flower Ridge

With a name like Flower Ridge, who wouldn't want to add this hike to their bucket list?
The Flower Ridge trailhead is located approximately 26kms down the Buttle Lake Parkway, towards Westmin Mine, in Strathcona Provincial Park. A classic Island alpine approach, you will be more than warmed up after the first few minutes. It is straight up through calf searing vertical terrain, but the views will distract you from the burn. Steep out of the gates, the trail gains 1200m in 5kms to reach the ridge. On the way up, the trail is sheltered in an ancient, peaceful forest, with giant trees and a green shag carpet.



After 2-4 hours of hiking, you will reach the north ridge and be rewarded with a 180 degree view of the mountains across Buttle Lake. The Lake provides a great reference to show you just how high you have come in a very short time. You may choose to enjoy lunch on the north ridge, if this is your turn around spot, or trek onward if you are up for a longer adventure.



A short climb after the view point the trail leads to a small alpine lake with a few flat tent sites. This is a great spot to set up camp if you want to avoid carrying your gear one step further, although there are additional spots higher on the ridge. Always use pre-cleared areas to set up your tent and keep your impact as light as possible in fragile sub and alpine eco-systems.



Just beyond the lake, the trail reaches the first meadow and reveals it's namesake. If you get the timing right, you will be a guest to one of the best alpine spring flower show's on Vancouver Island. Endless carpets of hot pink alpine heather lay down for miles on the ridge. Cue 'The Sound of Music', and dance your way up a winding ribbon of endless single track as far as the eye can see. Every meadow that you reach provides an even better show and the photography opportunities can't be beat.
Read the entire trip report... 
 

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