Narrowing down the BEST hiking spots in the Fraser Valley is a hard thing to do, considering there are literally hundreds of options! With that being said, there are a few “must-dos,” for locals and visitors alike, when hiking in the Fraser Valley. We’ll start with introductory trails and follow with more advanced ones – something for every hiker! There are 4 stellar options that come to mind: Teapot, Elk, Cheam, and Needle Peak!
Take a trip to Teapot!
Teapot is a lovely – and reasonable – hike near Cultus lake. The path takes around 1.5 to 2 hours round trip, spanning 5 km with an approximate 250 m elevation gain. It’s a great way to get a dose of forest hiking with a great view of Cultus Lake at the top. While Teapot would be considered an easier hike than some, there are a few steeper sections, especially near the top. Entrance Bay is super close to Teapot, so plan for a 1.5 hour hike followed by a lake-side picnic – you won’t be disappointed.
Journey up Elk Mountain!
Elk Mountain has some spectacular views from the top. There’s a beautiful photo-op of the Fraser Valley about halfway up, and from the top, you can see all of Chilliwack along with a gorgeous view of Cultus Lake. The mountain is also great for a winter hike, but we recommend using crampons for some sections near the top!
Elk is considered an intermediate hike that takes about 3-4 hours, with an elevation gain of around 800m. Near the top, there are some exposed sections that are a bit loose, so wear good footwear and be cautious in the summer, and consider crampons or end the hike at the first lookout in the winter. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a small lunch. Once you get to the top, take a minute to recharge and enjoy the panoramic views before taking the trek back down.
Let Cheam take your breath away!
Cheam – easily the best view in the Fraser Valley. On a clear enough day, from the top of Cheam looking west, you can see the Vancouver Island mountain range. It’s simply spectacular. Trust us.
Cheam is an intermediate hike of about 9.5 km with 700 m of elevation gain. The only drawback with this amazing hike is that there is a significant drive on a rough road to get there. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is a must to drive to the trail head. The hike itself, for the most part, is a fairly moderate incline, but there are a few steeper sections towards the top.
Most of the trail is typically kept in excellent shape, so this can be a great hike for the family with a truly rewarding view at the top. One word of caution: there is a very sheer cliff face on the west side of Cheam. Below that drop-off is an area called Angels Bowl, and for good reason. Stunning views, but a very large drop-off.
Another thing to consider after doing Cheam during the day is heading back on a full moon. We’ve hiked Cheam on the harvest moon in October and, on a clear night, the view is indescribable.
Next up: Needle Peak!
Needle Peak is a real snowshoe favourite, but also makes for a great summer hike. It’s considered an intermediate to advanced hike of about 13 km and 900 m of elevation gain. It’s a reasonably steep hike from the start, but the scenery on the way and the exposed nature at the summit makes it all worthwhile. You can actually summit the peak itself, but some light climbing gear is recommended.
Needle Peak is a bit of a drive, with the trail head starting at the gravel shed on the Coquihalla, but is a great way to experience some remote nature without having to camp.
Happy Hiking from all of us at IF!
We can’t wait to get back out there and find more incredible hikes to share. Tag us in your outdoor adventure photos on Instagram with #innovativefitness!
Follow IF on Instagram.