April 23, 2005

Sigurd Creek to Crooked Falls, by Magalie

* Hike # 27 from 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia, by Jack Bryceland and Mary & David Macaree.

The Sigurd Creek hike is located in the Squamish valley, which is about 105 km from Vancouver. This hike is divided into two sections, and we decided that we would do the first section which takes you to Crooked Falls. Roundtrip, this 6 km hikes takes about 3 hours and has an elevation gain of 425 meters.

We started this hike a little late as we always do. The directions to the trailhead in the book were somewhat good although they lacked in accuracy and failed to explain that the trailhead of this hike is in no way indicated. Because of this, we spent about an hour driving around trying to find the trailhead. On the upside, we did get to see spectacular views of the Squamish River and of the Ashulu Creek and Canyon. The road there is rough though, and we were happy to have a 4x4. We finally found the road leading to the trailhead after turning around, and right after I started to feel that it just wasn't fun anymore. We got to the trailhead at around 5h15 pm, which isn't smart.

ashlu canyon
David at Ashulu Creek & Canyon.

The hike starts flat and there is a really nice viewpoint to the left on a large rock of the Squamish River, valley and mountains around. This view is quite worth the stop! It is also the only good place to eat lunch if this is in your plans.

aww!
David and I at the viewpoint.

Then, the trail takes a turn right and it's all uphill from there. The entire hike up is in the forest, and there are no rewarding views around, although the forest is real nice. This being my first hike this year, and not being such in good shape, I didn't find this hike to be at all easy. The footing is tricky because of loose rocks and lots of fallen leafs and needles make the trail slippery. On top of everything, I was not wearing proper hiking shoes and I regretted it big time. Because of this, I felt like turning around a couple times. I would have easily given up had I been willing to step on my pride.

We got to the end of the trail after 2 hours. The way up took longer than suggested because I was really slow. A hiker in shape could easily shave 30 minutes off that. The end rewards you with Crooked Falls, which was raging due to spring run off. This is really a big waterfall! While it is beautiful, big and magnificent, I found myself to be disappointed. The viewpoint is so close to the falls which carves in the mountain that you cannot really see the fall's up or down, but just rushing water. There is a little bit of view of the valley and not much else. As well, because you are so close, to view it means to get wet. There is no other way around it as there are no other viewpoints, no great picnic spot, no nothing. If you back up to try to see more of the falls, you enter the forest and branches and trees block the view. Also adding todisappointmentment, as soon as we arrived to the fall we had to rush back in order to try to make it back before dark.

crooked falls
Enjoying the view and getting wet at Crooked Falls.

The hike down took 1.5 hours. It was even harder for me than going up because the trail is pretty steep. With the slippery ground, my bad shoes and daylight leaving us real fast, it was not enjoyable. David had to really help me with the footing, which was really nice of him to do. I no longer felt safe in the forest due to it getting pretty dark out there. Finally, we arrived at the car at 9:45 pm, which was just stupid of us. (Although, please note that the authors suggest that you do this hike in the evening to catch the sunset from the second view point at the top. I bet the view is great, but the hike back in the dark is not a great idea.)

Overall, the falls were nice, but not nice enough to justify the hike. I would not bother to do this hike, which is so secluded that I don't even understand how it made it into the guidebook. Perhaps I disliked this hike because I was out of shape, had the wrong shoes on and was caught in the dark. But still. I wouldn't be sad if I didn't see Crooked Falls again.

For anyone who plans to do this hike: the road you are looking for is a tiny road right to the left just as you pass the bridge. You do need a 4x4 if you don't plan to hike up the road to the trailhead. This area is remote and we did see some hikers being picked up by helicopter up the road (a planned pick up, not a rescue mission!). Don't try this hike at night/evening, as it gets pretty dark. And bring lost of repellent!

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