May 01, 2005

Ford Mountain, by David

This was our first trip to Chilliwack. Since we had never been there and the description in the guide seemed so nice, we didn't really mind the two-hour drive to reach the Cascades. It really is impressive how everything is flat until you reach Chilliwack and then blam! you're surrounded by mountains.

Ford Moutain is fairly easy to find and the drive isn't bad either. Once in Chilliwack, follow the signs towards Chilliwack Lack Provincial Park. At the bridge, take a turn left on Chilliwack Lake road, and follow Chilliwack river. After about 28km, you'll notice a sign for Ford Mountain Forest Service road, it is the first left once you pass the prison. What a location for a prison! The road that follows Chilliwack river is mostly flat, but there's mountains on both sides which make for a great drive. Drive up the logging road, if you have a good 4x4 you should make it until you reach a gate, you can either park there or take the left turn and drive up for a bit until you reach the trail head and save a 15 minute walk on the road.

The trail starts steep but constant, with a few switchbacks through the trees. The environment is very different from the wet west coast: the soil was dry and mostly plant-less, and the trees weren't as massive. After a little while you start seeing the snowy mountain peaks through the trees. We hiked through the bushes a few times to get a better look, but the more you gain altitude, the less dense the forest gets and the better Kodak opportunities get.

After about half an hour the trail becomes more flat, and the view becomes spectacular. We stopped several time for pictures and just to sit there and stare at the mountains.

david and magalie on Ford
Magalie, David and the North Cascades

Some short sections still had a bit of snow, but the weather was so great that shorts and a t-shirt were still appropriate attire. We hiked for another half hour until we reached the top where a observation station used to stand. All that is left now are its cement foundations, but at that spot, you really feel like you are at the heart of the Cascades since you are surrounded by mountains and amazing views. We followed the trail a bit further as it kept going on, but it didn't look like it was going any higher, and it might actually take you back down the mountain on the other side. We found a nice spot to eat our lunch while enjoying the view, and then slowly proceeded to hike back down to our truck.

david at the top
Standing on the cement foundations at the top of Ford Mountain

We only saw one group of hikers, who were exiting the trail as we were beginning. There are so many mountains surrounding Chilliwack, the list of hikes to chose from is not limited. If you happen to be in that region, or if you don't mind the drive from Vancouver, do check out Ford Mountain. We had an awesome trip so we will most likely return this summer to explore another corner of the North Cascades, so expect another review from that region soon...


Blogger peter koenig said...

Thanks for tips to find the main trail, I'm assuming that you missed the caves also located there somewhere. There is a Camping area further down the road which were I wish to go. Constant reports of Saskquatch in the area draws me.

August 20, 2012 1:20 p.m.  

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