Hanes Valley Trail via Lynn Headwaters Trail, March 12, 2015

Hanes Valley Trail

Well, let’s just say that we (Arran and I) did an extra 8 km we didn’t expect. Suspected lost phone, doubled back and found it!
Back on track and not dismayed by the  delay we set off. Again.
Hanes Valley is the objective and feeling quite fortunate (at the expense of our ski season) to be able to even attempt it this early in the season. Of course, our earlier attempt in late October was thwarted by an impassible, raging Lynn Creek due to the heavy rains at that time.
Parking for Hanes Valley and many others is at Lynn Valley Road in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
There is a “sign in” to which you can register yourself before your hike and call when you have completed it. It is recommended especially if going into the backcountry.
Lynn Loop trail is the first portion followed by Cedar Mills trail and so far if you’ve never done this hike you’d be wondering why is this considered a hike for only experienced hikers?
Continue on for another 3 km (roughly 7 km from the start) and you will reach the junction for Norvan Falls and Coliseum Mtn. Staying left will proceed to Hanes Valley.
Eventually you’ll get to a metal bridge and crossing it marks the start of legitimate backcountry. We take note of the “Do Not Enter” sign posted immediately after the bridge and it’s a reminder that you must be able and prepared to go beyond this point. Hanes Valley TrailHanes Valley Trail

After another hour and ten minutes of steady hiking,  we get to Upper Lynn Creek, where earlier in October 2014, we had to turn back. This time it was still quite rapid, but not nearly as high and dangerous. The crossing is basically a log jam and rocks and at this time of the year using the logs (very carefully) was the order to cross. (I can’t stress enough the  importance proper footing and attention when crossing the creek. Important too, is an exit strategy in case of a slip or fall).Hanes Valley Trail

Once across, for me anyway this was uncharted territory, which is always exciting. The trail is a lot less used from here on and it’s very important to keep an eye on the marked trees to follow the route.Hanes Valley Trail

After another hour and ten minutes we finally reached the base of the boulder field. The valley is gorgeous, with it’s natural colours and contrasting greys from the rock and on this day, even more alluring with the rolling fog.

Hanes Valley Trail
Speaking of the fog, from one moment to the next it would be bluebird skies and you’d look up minutes later only to be socked in. Another stark reminder that weather in the region can change very quickly and those who are ill equipped and inexperienced could find themselves in trouble fast.

Hanes Valley Trail

The boulder field is challenging and any missteps could result in injury quite easily. I personally love the challenge and quite enjoy the scree. Stopping half way for lunch, we “take in” the valley. We were off the rocks within an hour and ten minutes.

Hanes Valley Trail

At Crown Pass we turn our direction due south and start the last leg of the hike.Too my surprise, maybe shouldn’t have been, there was still quite a bit of snow on the north faces. We welcomed it, but again for those unprepared another obstacle. The trail is steep and quite qnarly for the next hour and really offers little relief after the boulder field. This hike really saves the “best” for last. When I say best I mean hard and if you ran out of gas, you get sloppy. Sloppy = Injury. Not the best combo. Be sure of your abilities or at the very least give yourself plenty of time to complete the route.

We end up at the top of Grouse Mountain, go for a coffee and in lieu of the extra km’s at the beginning (my fault) we Tram it down. (Total km’s 25 in 6 and a bit hours)
A Big day, a great day and I’m finally able to check off Hanes Valley Trail. It’s so worth the work and a return is without question.


Hanes Valley via Lynn Headwaters Trail Stats:

Difficulty: Difficult
Distance: 17 KM
Time: 8+ Hrs (we did it in 5+ hrs but at a fairly good pace)
Type: Point to Point
Season: Summer Hike (Use caution outside of summer due to unexpected weather and creek crossings)
Dogs Allowed: No

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