Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Hike
This was the first hike where I picked the trail we would hike. I was looking for something over the North Vancouver way, but a little less crazy than the Lynn Peaks trail that I did the previous week. I settled on the Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls trail because it sounded interesting, I like waterfalls, a good length of 20km, and the elevation gain was relatively low at 150m. This week I was once again hiking with Derek & Nikki.
The Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls trail is along east side of Mount Fromme, which is to the west of Lynn Creek. It starts at a new car park, and it looks like most of the trails in this area are mountain biking trails. We saw a few groups of mountain bikers at the beginning.
There was rain forecast for this day, so Derek, Nikki and I all met up in MEC the night before and bought wet weather hiking gear. Derek & Nikki also bought hiking packs and hydration systems similar to mine, so we were all well kitted out for this walk.
Turns out this trail is a lot more “backcountry” than our previous hikes. Although the elevation gain was not massive, the trail itself was a little rough, with lots of fallen trees and other debris to climb over or under, and some tricky creek crossings. One of these even had quite a steep descent that was aided by some thoughtfully placed ropes. Also, it wasn’t always easy to find the trail – there were a couple of times we took wrong turns. We never saw any other people along the trail – unlike all the previous hikes that have had a lot of people and their dogs.
One of the points of interest on this trail is the Big Cedar Tree that the trail is named after. This is one of the only trees in the area not to be logged and is believed to be about 600 years old. From here, we followed some trail markers down a steep incline. This was a tough bit of trail with a fair bit of climbing involved, and to make it even more challenging, Nikki smacked her hip into something and was in a bit of pain. After struggling a bit more we decided to turn back.
We ate our protein bars snacks back at Big Cedar Tree, and that’s where Derek re-checked the trail description to find the text “continue heading northward as the trail climbs uphill from the Big Cedar Tree”. D’oh! We’d been going downhill to the east! No idea where those trail markers were leading us but it wasn’t where we should have gone.
Since the proper way didn’t look too bad we decided to proceed, as Nikki was feeling a little less damaged after our break. This part of the trail was pretty similar to the how most of the trail had been, with logs to navigate and a few creek crossings. When we got to a point where we could hear the falls and it looked like there was going to be a little more steep climbing, Nikki ran out of steam. Due to my falls obsession I decided to cautiously continue on a little in the hope the falls weren’t too far. Nikki & Derek headed back to a clearing we had passed that was a good resting place.
There was a bit of rough climbing and descent to the falls area – not as crazy as the wrong turn path we had taken – but still a little taxing. We could have all handled it alright if we hadn’t wasted so much energy on the wrong turn earlier. The falls were very beautiful, worth the extra scrambling for me, so I hope we can all do that trail again at some point.
It seemed to take ages to make our back along the trail, and we still managed a wrong turn or two. We also ran into some serious rain in the last stretch back to the carpark. Once we had returned to civilization (i.e. phone reception area), we learned that there had been a massive storm over Vancouver, with a lot of storm damage, felled power lines and power outages for about 40,000 people! It was quite a shock to us to learn that such havoc had been taking place. Mount Fromme was obviously completely sheltering us!
Total time for the hike was about 6.5 hours. This was definitely the longest and roughest hike we’ve done!