For Mother’s Day this year I didn’t make a meal all day or even clean the kitchen. I didn’t dress a kid or even do a load of laundry. It was glorious. Mother’s Day wasn’t all about the things that I didn’t do though, a huge thing that made Mother’s Day so special this year was what we did do. My sweet husband let me decide what family activity we did. So of course I chose to go for a hike. It was either going for a hike or going to the beach. My heart is at peace when I am at the ocean or in the mountains. My favourite kind of hikes are under an hour and a half, one way, and are a little more challenging than a walk in the park. I love when my hands have to hit the rocks in order to hike up.
My most favourite hike is Lindeman Lake. Located just before Chilliwack Lake Provincial campground near the end of a windy long road you will find a parking lot off to the left hand side nestled into the greenery. If the lot gets full, like it normally does on a nice sunny day, there is street parking allowed just outside the the parking lot alongside the road. There is a pit bathroom at the beginning of the trail and that will be the last time you see that kind of luxury for the rest of the trail. So take advantage and plug your nose.
The trail is well marked and if you can’t figure out which way to go just look for the orange markers and stay on the well beaten path. The trail starts out calm and flat but don’t get used to it. The path is quickly met by a pile of rocks that my 4 year old absolutely loved finding his own way over and through. With my 3 year old securely strapped to my back in our Ergo my husband was able to focus on assisting and guiding our “little hiker” up the hill without having to worry about his crazy sister running off the cliff. The trail is labeled as Easy by the hikers guide in BC but because of how challenging it can be hiking uphill over rocks and fallen trees I would say it is not a beginners hike. No strollers or weaklings should attempt and expect to easily make it to the top. We definitely all broke a sweat. But my 4 year old did hike to the top. I don’t say that to make you feel bad I just wanted to give you an idea of what kind of level it is. I have heard many say they don’t think it should be labeled easy. But this being said it is definitely not hard.
The reward at the end of the hike is a beautiful view of Lindeman lake. You can sit by the krystal clear lake and soak in the beauty of the mountains surrounding you as you catch your breath and dream of the elevator that one day they might build so you don’t have to hike down. The water is a blueish green and makes for a wonderful visual reward. We always pack a lunch and eat it at the top. There is a hike-in only campsite for those brave enough and strong enough to carry all their camping equipment to the top. We have never done that but maybe one day when we don’t have to reserve our backs for our toddlers. Maybe we can make our children carry our hiking equipment when they are older. It only seems fair.
The hike down for me is always my favourite part. I feel exhilarated as I retrace my steps, but this time with such ease as Gravity is on my side. I love offering words of encouragement to my fellow hikers as they make their way up the trail and I strut along as if the direction I am going is a hikers participation medal. “Yes, I did it. And with a baby on my back.”
This hike is my favourite. For so many reasons but mostly because it can be done with just a few hours to spare and the lake at the top is private and secluded that you feel as if you earned the right to know what it looks like. Posing for the picture beside the lake is as amazing as hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. (There is a post for another day) You can not just drive to the top and get a touristy picture. You have to earn your spot beside that lake. Not all can.
Things to pack:
- Water bottle for each person hiking. No sharing on this hike. Everyone needs their own.
- Good hiking shoes. The rocks and terrain can be slippery
- Layered clothes. Hiking gets hot but the top of the hike can be very windy and a hike that starts out sunny can quickly turn to rain in a matter of minutes
- Energy food for the top and bottom. We packed nuts and granola bars plus some sandwiches and apples.
- Small first aid kit.
- My husband always packs extra clothes for the end of his hike, including socks. He hates sitting in the car in his sweaty clothes.
- Camera… Of course
- Check your gas tank before you get off the highway and enter Chilliwack. You want make sure you have enough to get you back home. Better to stop before the hike for gas than after when you are tired and probably not thinking straight.
- Tell someone you are going for a hike and what time you expect to return. There is no cell reception during the hike so safety first. Do not forget to text that person when you have made it down the mountain.
- Charge your camera and cellphone before or during your drive
- Pack extra clothes and food in the car for after the hike.
- Take your time and don’t push yourself too hard. Just enough so you can make it to the top. Just because my 4 year old did it in just under an hour, doesn’t mean you have to. It is basically what keeps me going but it doesn’t have to be your motivator.
- Have fun. Hiking is about enjoying nature and your hiking buddies. Take your time to notice the beautify around you and the very fact that you are hiking in your own back yard. We are truly the most blessed humans ever.
Who cares that property value is ridicules and no one can afford a house anymore, these mountains are what makes everything worth it.
Get out there and have an adventure and if you have little people than please bring them with you. Being outside in nature is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children. (sappy ending)