We got up very early at like about 4:30 a.m. to travel to the Squamish and Whistler area on Saturday March 27, 2010 for our first back road trip, again for the mission of finding wildlife. We were fortunate to see and hear lots of birds, and we also saw a couple of deer, but we didn’t see too much else at this point in time.
The first point of travel was to Garibaldi Provincial Park area. Please note that at the present time, that you must enter Garibaldi Park area via to the Diamond Trailhead through the Quest University Road. The Lower Mamquam Road has a washout on it, and travel is unadvisable in this, area, and as well, you will notice a road closed sign put up by the Squamish District. If you do however try to go through, you will go through at your own risk. We went up to the Diamondhead Trail Head and were greeted with the presence of snow falling as we headed higher and higher into the mountains towards this area. Please note that they do keep this road plowed during the winter to allow those who want to backcountry ski to get up to this area safely. As a note of what I saw on the travel boards at the foot of the trail head was information regarding avalanches, bear safety etc. Please heed to all of these warning accordingly. Please also note that this is a self sufficient park, meaning that you need to have necessary safety gear etc. Also, please try and practice no trace hiking and camping, so that others can enjoy the same sites that you may enjoy. On our way down from the trailhead, we were fortunate to see some stunning sites of the coastal mountains, and of the Sunshine Coast etc., so we took some pictures.
We then decide to try our luck with the Cat Lake recreational area, that we were not able to access last winter due to too much snow in the area. We were able to get to the parking lot this time for the Cat Lake recreational area, and we were able to do a hike from the parking lot down to the lake front. It was a short, but steep hike. Please be advised that in this area, they have a “bears in the area” sign up, so remember to use loud voices and to converse with others. If you should be by yourself when hiking make sure that you hum loudly, or sing a little tune to prevent surprising wildlife. Also, if you bring any dogs or other pets into the area, please make sure that they are on leash, and during the night, make sure that they are in your tent to prevent possible encounters with bears and other wildlife. Better yet, if you can leave them at home.
As we were heading to the Callaghan Valley area, we went to the Cal-Cheek/Daisy Lake Confluence area, and the road around here is VERY bumpy. You can access this road with a 2wd, with clearance, or a higher clearance vehicle. It would be too rough for some of the very low clearance vehicles. This is also the road to the Whistler Bungee area.
We decide that we are going to carry on further towards Whistler and our next plan of attack is the Callaghan Valley area. This is where the Olympics took place, and there was still some security barriers up, so as a result we were not able to get to the area of the events to take a look at that site, but we were able to look at the recreational area, that the cross-country skiers use. The access road to this point is very bumpy, and can be quite rough for low clearance vehicles. We then went a short way down the road that led to the Callaghan Lake Provincial Park, but this is a very bumpy road, and we were also greeted by a gate, so we figure that it was still closed for the winter, and will hopefully reopen shortly. We then also went down the Callaghan Creek Road, and that is a very good 2wd road, but it can be quite bumpy in places. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of “blind corners” i.e. around hills and other areas so please use some extra caution in these areas.
We then went to Whistler and to the back neighborhoods of the Whistler area to Alta Lake, and we took another small hike around the Alta Lake Road. We hiked down the old driveway of the Youth Hostel to the area where the actual Hostel is today. If you do go down the way we did, or even down the stairs, please use extra caution as there are active railway tracks. Also, please keep bear alert in this area too, as there are many areas where they may be lurking.
On the way down from Whistler, we went to look at the Chance Creek Road. This road like the Squamish River area, does lead up to an industrial area, but it is still a fairly good road to explore. Please note that near the top around the industrial area, that there is a potential for a rockslide. Please use caution in this area.
The last road that we did was the Brew Creek Forest Service Road. There are two roads. One leads up to the Whistler Campground, and then the other one leads up to Brew Mountain and Lake area. Please note that this road has some very steep grades to it, as well as areas with some downed branches etc. There are also several of trees that have hash marks in them, and caution should be used on days with heavier winds. Also, if you venture high enough early on in the year, you will run into some pretty deep snow, as we did, when we did go up there.
That sums up this trip!