Mount Elphinstone Summit Trail

This hike has been on my list for four years, but I just never found the time to do it. Located off the Sunshine Coast highway at the top of the Langdale bypass, it’s an uphill trek that gives you views of all of Gibsons and even glimpses of the Vancouver skyline.

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Even though some parts of the trail are unclear, it’s easy to follow because it’s marked with yellow tabs all the way to the top.

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The summit trail is attached to the nearby Sprockids Bike Park, and the entire thing is actually set up for biking as well as hiking. Be sure to keep an eye out for crazy downhill bikers.

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The path can be narrow with vision obstruction, so it’s especially important to listen for cyclists in these sections.

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The uninitiated might just see forest and more identical forest, but if you look for them there’s lots of interesting focal points along the trail. Whether it’s this rusty piece of equipment.

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Or this fallen tree with its bark curling up.

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Or the slightly eerie area containing the burned remains of douglas fir, the last remnants of the fire that burned through here in the late 1800’s.

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While there were some steep drop offs along the trail, it wasn’t cliff-y so I felt safe having Suki wear her regular harness and leash. If your dog has a tendency to try and dive down ravines you might want something extra secure though.

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While it doesn’t have the giant stairs like The Chief did, it’s quite steep so be prepared for that. I was not in nearly as good of shape as I thought I was and it bit me in the butt. I’ll admit that.

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You’ll think you’re near the top when the trees thin out and open up, but you’re actually just at the viewpoint right before the toughest slog. Hang in there though, it’s so worth it!

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You catch your first glimpse of Vancouver here. If you look closely you can see the skyscrapers.

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Late Summer to early Fall is the perfect time to do this hike. The weather is starting to cool down, but the heavy rains haven’t quite started yet. Plus the mountain is lit up with gorgeous fall colours.

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Right before the end there’s a nice rock scramble.

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And then the summit with Gibsons way down below.

DSCF4088It’s pretty cold at the top, so definitely pack a jacket. J made fun of me for bringing leg warmers, but while he froze I was nice and comfortable.

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We packed sandwiches and cookies, and I highly recommend it. Enjoying lunch in nature is very underrated.

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From here you can walk another five minutes back to the helicopter pad for an entirely different view.

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I’m fairly certain this is the tetrahedron range, but I could be mistaken.

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As usual, Suki completely out-hiked me.

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If you happen to find yourself spending time on the Sunshine Coast, definitely add Mount Elphinstone to your list of places to see.

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