Sumas Mountain

Eastern Trail Head Of The Centennial Trail On Sumas Mountain

There are five ways to get to the trail heads and four ways to access the trail. I will do each part at a time over a period of time.
First part is from Barrowtown Pump Station on the Centennial Trail to Chadsey Lake, or as locals call it, Lost Lake.

This is called the East Access Trail and to get to this trailhead, exit off the freeway onto No.3 road and go north toward the mountain instead of going south toward Vedder and Cultus Lake, then turn right and follow North Parallel Road, going east.
This sign is there where you would turn right.

Eventually you come to a small bridge and turn left after it to cross over the pump station dam on Quadling Road.

After you cross over the Dam the road goes right and left.

Just ahead to the right used to be the beginning of the trail but now the rock quarry has changed that to cliff so until an alternate route can be developed this trail is off limits.

After about 20 minutes on the trail there is a series of small streams, one looks big enough to have water in it all year round.
Just after the streams we saw two deer, I guess they were getting some water before we got there.
The trail goes east and starts to circle toward the Fraser River above the Vedder Canal.
It went between these two massive trees.

You soon begin to see the Fraser River between the trees.

Around an hour to an hour and a half the trail joins a old logging road.
The road bends at this spot and it looks like the trail takes the left bend.
We took that route thinking the trail went left climbing up the mountain to the lake but this was wrong, this goes a short ways and ends.
Take the right bend that starts to drop down. I have done this trail twice recently and the second time I did, the trail has been clearly marked in the right direction now.
Trail end at the road and beginning of the old logging road.

After about 15 minutes the trail starts again.

Ten minutes or so and it changes into another old logging road.
This logging road has a few left forks, the trail is now clearly marked and keeps to the right at these forks.

Along this part of the trail the Fraser River is visible also.

After another 20 minutes or so depending how fast you hike the road forks again. The correct way to go from here is left.
If you come to this rock outcropping then you are on the right track.

Soon you come to this marker where the road ends and the final part of the trail to the lake starts.

Right after it is a small stream on the left that looks like it has water all year round.
It was a refreshing stop for a drink and to wash the sweat off the face. Also from here the trail climbs so it's a good spot for a short break.
Twenty minutes later and you cross over a small bridge and arrive at Chadsey or Lost Lake.

There is a small island on the far side of the lake. Two guys were skinny dipping to the right of it, and I think one mooned me when I took the picture.
I decided to go for a swim in the lake also and it is one of the most wonderful lakes I have ever swam in.
Nice clear water and refreshingly warm. I thought I would go numb from the cold of the lake like most mountain lakes but this lake is not like that at all.
I could have swam in it all day. It was just fantastic. I was amazed.

This is the Eastern half of the Centennial Trail that goes over Sumas Mountain, and at my hiking speed it took about two to two and a half hours to complete in one direction, from trailhead to Chadsey Lake.
As I said before I took this part of the trail twice. The first time we wasted over an hour taking wrong directions and exploring.
The second time someone has gone in and clearly marked the trail and even groomed the over growth on sections of it.
Both times I went I swam in the lake for about an hour. Just can't get over how nice that lake is to swim in.
I would say that at steady hiking this leg of the trail can be done in about four to five hours easily round trip.


(Trip When The Trail Head Was Just Starting To Be Mined)

It was reported last year that the TH had been blown away by the gravel crunchers and there was now a big scar left. I checked it out awhile back and it looked like there was a new route just left of the old TH on the edge of the blasting scar.

Started up the very vague so called new route and thought perhaps that was the only part of the trail that had disappeared.
There was a sign up saying that the trail was closed due to construction but there was no sign of activity since I had checked it out over 2 months before so I decided to take the trail and see how it was farther up since there would not have been much activity on it since they blew that part of the mountain away.

Once I got on the main trail it did a switch back and came back to the scar.
The trail had gone through this part before but now there was a very steep dangerous cliff drop.

It looked like there was a rough attempt to go above and around along the edge of the face of the scar so followed previous tracks up.
It appeared fairly safe with good foot holds and vegetation to grab onto but soon found out this was not the case.
The steep hillside had been brushed out before they blasted and around the edge of the blasted area was debris.
Nothing was rooted, the dirt was very loose and even the rocks were ready to slide away when grabbing or stepping on them.
By the time I figured on going back I was about half way and going back was going to be just as difficult as going ahead.

I weigh a lot but I sure stepped lightly and dug my hands into the loose dirt before I made my next move.
Finally reached the top of the scar and had to have a rest. I was sweating bullets and not from just the steepness of the climb.
It took us about 20 minutes to climb maybe 50 meters if that.

Do not try to attempt this because when I did it they had just started and now it is totally blown away and extremely dangerous to attempt going around the new blasted cliff face.

Just above the right side of the quarry scar.
A long ways, almost straight down to my left.

Vedder Mountain across the valley.

Slesse Range with McGuire's Ridge.

McGuire and Church.

Chuch and Liumchen.

Pano

Some final pictures before heading along the trail.

From here on, the trail was fairly good but since it has not been used much it is hard to follow in places especially with all the leafs still on the ground.

Some old moss covered split log bridges crossing a creek that is dry in the summer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qc1a95qYEM

There has been a lot of washouts this year so I was not surprised that this creek was washed out.
It is the only creek along this part of the trail that has water flowing in it year round.
In the summer it is very tiny but it must have really swollen up to wash out such a deep gully.

Karl's video of me as I cross.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1neDzZiYcf4

I video Karl as he crosses.
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=86MHTRHgd1E

Continuing along the trail we come to the large trees.

Soon we came to the Vedder River delta.

Almost to the old road part of the trail.

Looking across the Fraser River to the Mission/Hatzic side.

Video at Chadsey Lake.
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=tJWaAK34EE0

Starting back down the trail.
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqcr1BP1OcU

This may be the only other access point to the Centennial Trail from this side of Sumas Mountain.


Western Trail Head Of The Centennial Trail On Sumas Mountain

This part of the report is of the West End Access of the Centennial Trail.
There are several ways to get to the trailhead, but I will explain the route most do not take first and fill in the other routes in the other parts of the report.
If you can find your way down to the Matsqui Trail Regional Park that follows the Fraser River dyke by the Mission Bridge there is a road that follows the dyke east of the Bridge called Page Road.
To get to it coming from Mission go over the Mission Bridge take the first right exit off the Abbotsford side of the bridge toward Riverside Street and turn left following the sign for Matsqui Trail.

As you go under the Bridge stay right and follow that part of the road.

Soon you come to a junction. Do not go straight over the train tracks here and turn right instead onto Page Road.
Page Road will turn right again, go over these railway tracks instead.
Soon there will be a split in the road, do not go left on Sim Road and keep going straight on Page Road.

Eventually Page Road turns to Beharrell Road for a very short distance and makes kind of a, "S".
Be sure to turn left back onto Page Road where the car is coming from and do not go straight over these tracks.
After you turn left the tracks should be on the right side of the road.

If you are going in the right direction you should pass these Eagles and their nest.

Eventually you will see where Page Road ends and Sumas Mountain Road starts winding it's way up Sumas Mountain.
In this picture below you can see the yellow gate to the entrance of this city rock quarry at the far end of this hay field and this is where the beginning of the Lower Sumas Ridge Trail starts from this side.

There is more on the Lower Sumas Ridge Trail later in this report but since I mentioned it here and if you want to take it then turn left off Page Road and park in this part of the Masqui Trail parking lot and then walk back across Page Road again and go by the quarry gate and up the old road trail shown in the pictures below.

But if you want to get to the west starting point of the Centennial Trail on Sumas Mountain then keep going up the gravel road.
It goes by a huge rock quarry on the left and becomes Sumas Mountain Road.
Follow it up until you see what the resident band Chief calls Siwash Rock.
Latest views of the rock.
From below if you pass this rock you have gone by the trail head:

From above the trail head is just past this rock:

This rock has given them grief over the years because it prevented them from widening road to put a parking area in for the trailhead because the road used to go above it.
The road goes below it now and the road has been widened to allow parking for the trailhead.
Siwash Rock from lower approach and upper approach along Sumas Mountain Road.
This is a update and now as shown in the latest pictures above Alder growth is hiding the rock especially in the Summer so you have to watch for the trail head which is on the left side of a long corner of the road from this approach.

And this is the Centennial trailhead on the west side of the mountain.

But if you still miss the trail head the road will soon turn to pavement and you will see this sign below which also gives access to Sumas Mountain trails from Batt Road as described further down in this report.

At the trail head you may see this guy, he barks but doesn't bite and thinks he has to keep track of hikers who enter the trail.
He also has claimed ownership of this section of road so be careful you don't run over him because sometimes he decides to take a nap in the middle of the road.
Update, unfortunately this dog has passed away from old age and is no longer the gate keeper for the trail head.

Not far into the trail and there is this foot bridge.

Then you cross a larger bridge right down on the bottom of the ravine so you loose elevation on the first part of the trail.
Trail was eroding away so they changed it's route and built a new bridge instead of crossing over the old log bridge.
If you find the tree growing out of a stump on the west side of the ravine creek bank then you will most likely find the old trail.

The trail climbs steadily up from the bottom of the ravine.

Next it reaches a logging slash and road.
The markers and ribbon no longer show from the road and it takes a bit of searching to find the trail where it leaves the road.
The fourth picture to the right shows how much it has grown up since I took the original pictures.

Some pictures taken from the logging slash.

After the creek crosses the road it basically follows another ravine and at the top of the ravine there is this other foot bridge.

After the bridge the trail levels out some what and is easy and fast traveling from there.
Here it is going along the steep side hill and then reaches a creek where there is a bit of scrambling to get out of.
The spot where you climb out has changed now and there are ropes to help climb up and down.

From there in no time you are at the lake.

Pictures taken on the way back out and that completes this part of the trail discription.


Accessing The Park And Trails Coming From Clayburn

Accessing the Sumas Mountain Inter-Regional Park from the Abbotsford Mission Highway.
This route is coming from Clayburn and to get there turn East onto Clayburn Road off the Abbotford/Mission Highway at this light.
There is a fresh vegitable market on the north east corner of this insection.

Just after passing through Clayburn turn left after going over the bridge.

The road is now called Straiton Road.

Stay left and do not go the steep hill.
This is where Clayburn Road ends and Old Clayburn Road goes up the hill but you can still get to the trail by turning left off it at McKee Drive if you miss the Straiton Road turn off.

If you turned the correct way onto Straiton Road you will see this sign on the immediate right.

I have never walked this trail but I hear it goes to the new subdivision of Auguston.

Straiton Road is very windy and soon it reaches the top of a hill and on the left is Heritage Valley.
This is a place for Banquets and Weddings and other engagements and is worth a stop and look see.
They don't mind if you look around as long as there is nothing going on at the time.

Awhile later you will come to the four way stop sign.
This is where Dawson Road starts going straight ahead, turn left and go up the hill on Sumas Mountain Road.

Continue on to Batt Road and turn right on it but this time instead of turning right on Taggart Road go straight on Bakstad Road.

Soon this road becomes Brown Road but instead of turning right up Brown Road go straight ahead and park beside this gate.

This is a start of a new housing development and one of the owners did not realize that part of their agreement is to leave a corridor open to access the Centinnial Trail, so disregard the ,STAY OUT, and go through the gate and up the road.
This is also where all the vandalizers and thieves have been dumping junk. So this TH is a eye sore at first.
The road goes straight up the hill and turns right. At this spot there is a trail going left down the side of the gully.
This is part of the Centennial Trail before it was detoured to go over the road by the logging slash.
This partially overgrown part of trail meets the new route about five minutes down the gully. Turn right where it joins to go to Chadsey Lake.
This route saves about a kilometer and a half to 2 kilometers off the west trailhead from Sumas Mountain Road and was one of the shortest ways to the lake at that time.

Or if you stay right at the fork taking the logging road instead of going left onto the trail it meets another logging road.
This is the same road that the trail crosses, so you can turn left here and meet the West Centennial Trail from it.
Going right on the logging road comes to this gate where it meets the Taggart Road, turn left here to save about a kilometer to a kilometer and a half from that route.

The above has all changed now and the development has progressed a lot as shown in the pictures below.

Some pictures from the very last cul-de-sac.

If you go north east through the very last cul-de-sac and head to the tree line you will see a bit of a fence on your left.
It will guide you to this small uphill trail. Take it up a short ways and it splits left and right.
If you go right it takes you to the old gate I mentioned previously above and to Taggart Road.
If you go left on that bit of a trail you will meet up with the West Centennial Trail.

You are allowed to go through the gate and subdivision.
This is a short cut to the Western Centennial/Chadsey Lake TH and saves about a kilometer and a half to two kilometers of hiking one way.

Pictures on the way back in the almost dark.


This Is The Main Route To Access Sumas Mountain Inter-Regional Park If You Don't Want To Hike To Far

This part of this report is of the route most often taken.
Exit from the Freeway at Watcom Road going toward Castle Fun Park but instead of going left to Castle Fun Park turn right on North Parallel Road passing Tim Horton's and heading east beside the Freeway.
Soon you will see a road coming from the left called Sumas Mountain Road.
This is the same road that the TH for the west part of the Centennial Trail starts on and it runs from this side by the freeway and ends by the Fraser River dyke, or goes South to North over the Mountain.
Follow it through the Indian Reserve and just up the hill after the Stop sign the road splits and you must turn right and then left staying on the main road and going up the long hill.
If you stayed left you will be on the Lower Sumas Mountain Road. So turn right staying on Sumas Mountain Road at this sign.

After this sign you will see a road going right, stay left and go up the long hill.
This is another route to get to Heritage Valley and you will see that sign from time to time along the way.
Eventually you will pass by this road with Terasen Gas and Sumas Shale signs by it.
This is McKee Road and is another access route to Sumas Mountain Road coming up from Old Clayburn Road, on the east side of Abbotsford and passes through the new home development project called Auguston.
Do not turn left on this road, keep going straight.

Soon the road straightens out and starts to drop down a series of hills and you come to a fourway stop.
This is where you stop following the Heritage Valley signs. Go straight through the fourway stop and up the hill.
The locals call this part of the road, Upper Sumas Mountain Road, but the sign says Sumas Mountain Road.

The road gets very steep and windy. Soon you reach the top and start to go back down the north side of the mountain and then you will see Batt Road.

If you go straight the road turns to gravel and you will see Siwash Rock and come to the west TH of the Centennial Trail a few kilometers further but if you turn right on Batt Road you can access Sumas Mountain Inter-Regional Park from it.
Follow Batt Road and turn right onto Taggart Road.

Shortly you will come to the first gate.
This gate used to be locked all the time but now is usually open because they have a gate farther up the road and just beyond this gate is a new parking lot.

In the new parking lot is a sign with a map.
It shows logging roads, Mountain Bike Trails and Hiking Trails.
Note where some of the map entries are wrong and where I marked a correct trail and incorrect trail on the map.

Up the road farther is the old gate on the left.
Following that road will meet the Western Centennial Trail about three kilometers or so.

Continuing on Taggart Road you will eventually come to another new parking lot.
These bikers are in the same place before this spot became a parking lot.

Some where around this parking lot was Huckleberry View Point but I did not notice it now.

Within a kilometer or so of the upper parking lot is the second gate.
From the first gate on Taggart Road to this gate the distance is about 4.1 kilometers.

Another one and a half kilometers up the road and you come to the old parking lot for Chadsey Lake or as locals like to call it, Lost Lake.
The lake is 1.8 kilometers down the trail from here.
This is the oldest trail in the park. It was here before the Centennial Trail.

As you start into this Chadsey Lake trail there is this sign.

The trail going down to the lake.

The picture on the left below is showing where the lake trail from Taggart Road comes down to the lake.
The picture on the right below is showing where the Western Centennial Trails comes in beside this log which is in the fore front in the left picture.

Pictures of the lake.

Along the trail that goes around Chadsey Lake.

Looking at the small island in the lake.

Strange type of mushroom. Unidentified by me yet.

Looking back to approximately where the trail comes down to the lake.

This is where the trail splits to go completely around the lake or go left to go up to the Sumas Mountain Lookout.

On the trail climbing toward the Lookout.

Eventually it edges up to a replanted logging slash and some views can be seen,

Picture set looking across the Fraser River north and north west.

Pano looking North, northwest and west and of the river.

Fungi gone wild.

I came to this sign and went straight up the hill and came to the communications towers.

Then followed the road down and seen these signs so went to the Lookout.

Random pictures from the Lookout looking mostly east, northeast and southeast.

Yours truly.

Going back and pictures from the upper parking lot


Winter Photo Fun


Straiton Creek
Straiton Creek access is close to the same area it is to access the Lower Sumas Ridge Trail from the South off Straiton Road.


Lower Sumas Ridge Trail
Getting to this trail head is already described above earlier in this report if coming from Mission but if coming from Abbotsford on Route 11/Abbotford/Mission Highway turn right onto Harris Road and continue to Beharrell Road and turn left.
Then turn right again onto Fore Road and then take the next left onto Beharrell Road again and once it goes over the train tracks turn right onto Page Road or stay straight on Fore Road and it turns left where it ends becoming Little Street and that goes to Page Road also so turn right on Page Road there if going that way.

If you miss or go past Harris Road then at the next right exit turn onto Fore Road and stay on it to Beharrell Road and turn left on it to Page Road as discribed above or go straight to Little Street also described above.

Eventually you will see where Page Road ends and Sumas Mountain Road starts winding it's way up Sumas Mountain.
In this picture below you can see the yellow gate to the entrance of this city rock quarry at the far end of this hay field and this is where the beginning of the Lower Sumas Ridge Trail starts from this side.

Turn left off Page Road and park in this part of the Masqui Trail parking lot and then walk back across Page Road again and go by the quarry gate and up the old road trail shown in the pictures below.
Decided to tackle this trail from the north and at the start it was questionable as to which was the correct trail or which was false.

Fortunately this guide that we had for a short time pointed us in the right direction.

The trail started to climb quite steeply and seemed to match the steepness of the Dewney Grind which in turn is supposed to be a simular match to the Grouse Grind, at any rate they are all quite steep and so is this trail at this end of it.

It basically climbed fairly straight up to just over 450 meters before it leveled off.
It is around that elevation where the first view is and unfortunately pretty well the only view.

There were lots of places that would have been great view points years ago but now with the new growth of trees grown up those great view spots are gone.

From there we started to drop and it was tough at times to stay on the trail.
There is still alot of last Fall's dead leaves every where on the ground covering the trail making it hard to find.

But if you waste alot of time from being turned around there is this well built shelter in case one needs to spend the night there.

Eventually well dropping down we came to an old logging road and followed that down into a valley.
Once down in the valley the logging road split as posted by this sign.

We figured the Nature Trail was part of the old original trail so took it.
It crossed the creek and we thought we were nearing the end of our destination even though the trail seemed to be going in the wrong direction it could still be possible it could switch and start going in the right direction but instead it came to someone's property and they were very unsocialable and told us to go back to where we came from.

That we did and if anyone takes this trail do not turn left at the logging road fork where it goes to and crosses the creek.
That takes you to the private property. They do not have signs up either saying no trespassing.
We continued right at the fork and this time came to a sign that said private property but the ribbon went to the right off the road and became a trail again.
A short ways along the trail and it came back to the road after passing that private property.
Now back on a road again as it continued on and became a well groomed trail and this time rope was tied following the left side of the trail and it had no trespassing signs hanging along the rope.

That soon ended and the well groomed trail climbed up a small hill.
From here I took pictures back toward the hill we came from.

This trail seemed to be to well groomed to be just a hiking trail and seemed more like a horse trail and sure enough we saw a horse.


As the trail dropped down from the hill it met another very rocky road which was much newer and which seemed more like a old mining road.
It seemed like the road was making a circle right back to the property we were kicked out of but then it swung right and as it dropped to the bottom of the valley another large bridge crossed over the creek and the road climbed up the other side.

When we climbed up the other side the road came to a gate and on the other side of the gate was a public road which Greyowl and I were able to recognize as Willet Road and back toward Heritage Village and that ended the first traverse of this trail.

On a second attempt we took this trail from the south:
The week before we had came out to the wrong road and short by about 2 kilometers so today we decided to try and find the correct trail route from the south.
We suspected that we missed a turn off when we were near the top of the last small hill before the road dropped down and circled back toward the private property before the large bridge crossing to Willet Road.

So this time we parked on Straiton Road and the only access going north was 4X4 roads so we headed up one of them and they seemed to all join into one.
It was a typical 4x4 road and not pleasent hiking up it. There was lots of signs of quad and motorbike traffic also.
Eventually we could see a trail going right off the road and it turned out to be a mountain bike trail.
Turned out there are many newly cut and made mountain bike trails in there.

We finally found the horse trail near the top of the small hill but we had found it by taking mountain bike trails so that was no good and could not hike along them.
We then discovered we should have stayed on the 4X4 road and it too comes out to the horse trail near the top of the small hill.
This we flagged as the southern end of the Lower Sumas Ridge Trail and that completed the GPS track of the trail from north to south of the complete trail.
On the GPS the track is about 4.4 miles one way.

This is actually a very old trail also and may be the first route that the Centennial Trail took.
It should have connected to the other trail on Sumas Mountain Road but then once it gains the ridge it should head east to the other trail head.
This would be a good project and this lower ridge is part of the Sumas Inter-Regional Park system also.
There should be a route to the other trail winding between the properties between it and the Sumas Mountain road.