Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hiking Trails - Radium Lake Trail

[1-Trail sign to Mt. Webb and Radium Lake - click to enlarge]

This trail is located 150 miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia in the Upper Chilliwack Valley at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park encompassing 9,258 hectares.

The Hudson Bay Company cut the first recorded trail up the Chilliwack River in 1855, improving the Indian Trail which joined the nine Indian villages between Vedder Crossing and Chilliwack Lake.

The Radium Lake trailhead (16 km return) is accessible from the Chilliwack Lake campground which will take about 4 hours with an elevation gain of 910 m.

Park users should always be aware of bears and other wildlife.

[2-This bridge was closed but the hikers persevered by going on]

Second bridge is a wire cable suspension bridge – this bridge has now been removed.

After the bridge the trail becomes steeper.

[3-Gray Jay - click to enlarge]

The Gray Jay (Perisoreus Canadensis) is larger than a big chickadee. It is 11.5 inches long ranging in mountain forests and woodlands close to campsites. A bowl shaped nest of twigs lined with feathers and hair is built up to 30 feet in a tree. It lays 3 to 5 green-gray spotted eggs, which the female incubates for 17 to 18 days. The young leave the nest two weeks later with juvenile birds a darker gray all over, with a whitish mustachial streak.*

In another 2.5 km the creek is crossed again.

On the other side is an old cabin site.

Further on in a half a kilometre the creek appears again.

[4-Radium Lake - click to enlarge]

[5-Looking at the col - click to enlarge]

At the north end of the lake is an old service cabin.

Be warned there are loads of mosquitoes present.

[6-Radium Lake - click to enlarge]

You can also continue past Radium Lake for a 45 minute hike on a good trail up to the col between Mt. Webb on your left and Mt. MacDonald on your right.

[7-Two hikers scrambling up a gulley to the Macdonald-Webb Col - click to enlarge]

[8-Mt. Webb - click to enlarge]

Mt. Webb is 2164 m in height.

Sources: Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park
Map of trail to Radium Lake and Mt. Webb
*A Field Guide to the Birds of North America by Michael Vanner, p.166

Photo Credits: [1][2][4][5][6][7][8]-Iwona Kellie CC=flickr, [3]-m d d CC=nc-sa-flickr.


Teresa said...

Another gorgeous post, Barbara. Why is it called Radium Lake? The green looks more like algae than nuclear glow.

Joshua said...

man, now i was to hike :)

thanks B, means a lot, and thanks

Gary's third pottery blog said...

goodness, lookit that lake, that valley and THAT BRIDGE!

Anonymous said...

Ooooo...I have trouble with swing bridges at the best of times.You wouldn't have to tell me twice to avoid the one you've featured.The scenery is magnificent Barbara and majestic.I think with many picturesque places, mosquitoes are often a problem. When we were thinking of buying in the country a long time ago,we were often tempted with riverside properties but the Ross River virus was a big issue at the time, a chronic fatigue-like virus borne by mosquitoes in large areas of the state.

Nan Higginson said...

Breathtaking photos. What a wonderful place to get lost in - virtually lost, not actually, of course.

The choice to travel some less trammelled paths is an eternal option. It's good to be reminded of how those moments refill the soul.

Thanks for the beautiful sights.

Write On!

RuneE said...

It looked like a nice area, but the name was some ominous...

Clare2e said...

Gorgeous photos- love the Jay!

Off topic: Just caught up with your BTAP story. Quite a contrast from these sunny, bucolic scenes! I like the here-then-gone quality. A terrible kind of quicksand that swallows people whole. Makes it scarier that it's so brief and open-ended.

You're going to have to get those book-length ones out so we can enjoy them!

Charles Gramlich said...

that last pic looks like a shark fin. Is the gray jay similar to the blue jay I wonder.

Barbara Martin said...

Teresa, my research did not reveal why Radium Lake was named this. In late summer the lake resembles more a marsh or pond.

Josh, the warmer weather will soon be upon us and then you can get out and walk to your heart's desire. Hiking tends to lighten one's outlook on the trials of life.

Gary, isn't that some bridge though.

Barbara Martin said...

Pam, I'm the same with swinging bridges, but they have them so they stay up over winter into the next spring. Otherwise bridges made of wood tend to be washed out during the spring melts.

Nan, getting lost is never a good thing. By posting these virtual hikes I can transcend myself, if only momentarily, into any past hike to recapture the sense of well being in my soul.

Barbara Martin said...

RuneE, no radiation here, well not that I know of. Radium Hot Springs in B.C. has radium in the water, but is used as a medicinal property.

Clare, there are always dangers in any wilderness area. The photos reflect beauty and a wildness that beckons to urban dwellers. A hiker can put a foot wrong on scree and go sliding down to the bottom, possibly injured in a variety of ways, or over edges with long fatal drops.

The BTAP story is only a taste of the horror, though there are sunny periods too.

David Cranmer said...

I would love to be on a bridge (after it's repaired) like that. Looks like an adventure!

Paula & Skip said...

What a hike and what a BRIDGE.

Shelley Munro said...

This looks like another great trek, although that bridge did give me pause. I dislike swing bridges at the best of times!

Reya Mellicker said...

All that green is so beautiful. And the mountains! Wow. I live in such a geologically flat landscape. Sometimes I really yearn for mountains. They have appeared in every one of my paintings lately.

Hmmm ... maybe I need to plan an escape to the Appalachians. Thanks for the inspiration!

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, in the bird book I have the gray jay is listed as a separate species. I updated the post to reflect it's location and nesting habits.

David, if I had added the photos where the hikers went climbing, the bridge would look quite safe!

Paula and Skip, welcome and thanks for stopping by. I agree it's some bridge.

Barbara Martin said...

Shelley, bridges in the mountains can be quite daunting. Even more so if you have a horse with you. They pick up instantly on your hesitation, probably thinking if you're afraid, I'm not going.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, the Appalachians would be perfect to see in the spring. I've been to Ashville, NC a couple of times. Once during tornado season which was an experience.

Linda McLaughlin said...

What a lovely spot, though I could do without the mosquitoes. The pesky little things love me. I must be sweet. ;)

Barbara Martin said...

Linda, mosquitoes don't like potassium in blood, so eat lots of bananas.

Cloudia said...

I feel renewed!
aloha, Barbara

J. L. Krueger said...

Another fantastic adventure. There is just so much to see in the world...and not enough time to see it all.

Eleanor said...

I live in such a different place but I have such an affinity with all your lovely postings about these trails in the woods and mountains. Just a little edgy about the bears and the hanging bridges! I think the remoteness attracts me. What a place for thinking one's own thoughts!

BernardL said...

Neat picture being photographed on a bridge with a bridge unsafe sign in the foreground. :)

Anonymous said...

God, that is so beautiful.

laughingwolf said...

i've drive by radium hotsprings many times, but never tried the water :(

pattinase (abbott) said...

When I think of you, it's in settings like this.

Margaret Cloud said...

I have never seen a Gray Jay, very pretty, that looks like a pretty big creek.that looks like quit a trail., I would be afraid of running into a bear. Thanks for sharing this post.

Barbara Martin said...

Cloudia, excellent!

J.L., through virtual tours you just might be able to see the world.

Eleanor, in all the times I have been to the Rocky Mountains in Canada there have been few bear sightings. As a child with my parents there were more black bears near Banff and Jasper, but as human-bear encounters grew the park wardens shuttled the interlopers off into the wilderness. Bears think twice about going where there are humans now, perhaps with the assertive treatment from the wardens. This reinforces their fear of humans, and during any hike into the wilderness it is recommended by ParksCanada to make a lot of noise to assist the bears in moving away.

There are places to hike where there are no hanging or cable bridges, with fallen trees to traverse instead.

Barbara Martin said...

Bernard, it adds adventure.

Jason, glad you like it. Mountain scenery is very refreshing.

Tony, the water is rejuvenating and relaxes sore muscles.

Barbara Martin said...

Patti, I tend not to want to post about the uglier side of life or on negative topics.

Margaret, visit the other hiking trails posted and this will seem like a 'little' creek.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Barbara,
As usual I love my visits here to virtuallt tramp in this beautiful country. What an amazing place to have an old cabin! I would love to live amongst such nature, though no doubt would be a hard but rewarding life. We have lots of swing bridges as well in our back country, interestingly after a tragic accident back in the 90's in which 12 people were killed when a poorly built observation deck fell 80 metres all these structures have been improved or removed.
Thanks for this Barbara, I am in the mist of a busy period and simply resting my eyes upon such beauty brings a smile to my face.

Barbara Martin said...

Robb, any virtual tour into the Rockies or wilderness area gives me relief from the daily stresses.

Donnetta said...

Aren't these just beautiful pictures? I have to live vicariously since I'm not a big outdoor person. I sure do appreciate the beauty however. Hubby is into hiking and ANYTHING outdoorsy. So I watch from afar! Just lovely. D

Barbara Martin said...

Donnetta, thank you. Sometimes looking in on a strenuous activity is the better way of enjoying it. Then you're not the one all hot and sweaty.