St.Marks Summit- Howe Sound Crest Trail

With the stretch of sun this week, combined with the all the rain we’ve had, I couldn’t wait to get out and hit the trails. I made some last-minute calls to get some company, no takers, so Remi (my chihuahua) and I, it was.

This week I had St.Marks Summit- Howe Sound Crest Trail on the radar and with time as a bit of a factor, its length was the perfect return trip outing. Most readings and websites suggest 5 hrs, which could be true at a very easy pace, but I was banking on a lot less than that.

Vancouver Trails

St. Marks Summit Trail

At 11:15 we set off from the Cypress Parking lot, Remi was not pleased at all about the temps up there and rightfully so, it was quite cool and crisp. Nonetheless I knew we’d both warm up.

Vancouver Trails

The first portion of the trail is on a hard packed gravel path and quite easy, but quickly turns into a legitimate trial.¬†¬†There was some ice and snow on the trail and caution had to be taken. (I slipped a few times especially on the decent). The trail is really well-marked and for anyone going solo, that’s admittedly reassuring.

It wasn’t long before we reached Strachan Meadows, had a quick look at the map for reference and carried on. Remi was cold, but for such a little dog he’s a big time trooper.On the ascent, I only had to help him a couple times with a few of the gnarly steep sections. Other than that he was good to go.

The trail is quite gradual in grade and pretty casual for the most part. St. Marks Summit is listed as intermediate and I would agree with that. There are some rooty and rocky sections that do require sure footing and attention, but for the average person quite doable.

After a small section of descending, followed by 20 minutes of the steepest portion of the trail, we reached the Summit at 13:25.

The views are stunning and the rewards far surpassed the efforts to attain them.Summit of St. Marks Trail

 

Pressed for time (had to pick the kids up from school) I set off at 13:40 for the descent, besides Remi hated stopping. Even to pause for a quick pic, he’d whine. To say the least Chihuahua’s hate the cold. I too quickly realized that the descent wasn’t going to be as easy for him as the uphill and with time restraints and feeling sorry for his little legs, into my jacket he went. (4lbs dogs can do that)

With Remi in bundled inside, I could now pick up the pace and run portions of the trail. As mentioned there is ice and snow on the trail, so special attention to footing was a must. St. Marks Summit Trail does make for great run and quick fitness fix.

At 14:50 and 3 hrs and 35min. later, I was back to my car and made the quick getaway to pick the kids up. Remi was exhausted and I felt great. A fantastic way to spend the day!

Howe Sound Crest Trail St. Marks Summit Trail

Vancouver trails St. Marks Crest Trail

 

2 Comments

  • Cos says:

    great photos, was cold this week in VAN luckily it’s going to warm up soon. I was telling your wife you should do YouTube videos as well. I’m back in Van on Thursday I’ll give you a few tips. Ya we should go out I’m not experienced as you but I can keep up no problem. Talk soon, keep up the good worK bro.

    CIAO!

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