Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Elk River Trail...

at Landslide Lake

Mt Colonel Foster and Landslide Lake

on sunday and monday, A and i headed into the woods for an overnight hike. the elk river trail in strathcona provincial park is a meandering 11km journey through towering trees up to landslide lake, which sits quietly under the imposing towers of mount colonel foster, the 4th tallest peak on vancouver island. landslide lake gets its name from the slide that occurred in 1946, following a large earthquake on the island and subsequent rockfall on the north tower of colonel foster (read about it here), leaving a large scar that was washed free of trees and other vegetation. the last time i was up to the lake was about eight years ago, and it is still as lovely as i remembered.

i took A LOT of photos (what, me?) so i'll be sharing more throughout the next little while, but i thought i'd first share some of the bigger scenery of the river valley and lake. it is a beautiful peaceful area, although also one of the more popular trails in that end of the park, and as last weekend was a long one, there were lots of other hikers to be seen. we camped at the second campsite along the trail, about 9km in, which is where the majority of folks camp. i was a bit disappointed to see people camping up at the lake, despite signs everywhere asking people not to, and also how many had large fires at the main campsite although they also aren't permitted. and with bc parks proudly proclaiming its 100 year anniversary, and strathcona being the park that started it all, on a busy trail on a busy long weekend, there was not a park warden to be found. it seems unfortunate that we are celebrating 100 years of parks and at the same time our government (and apparently, some of the population) has very little concern for the conservation of these beautiful places. (i won't get off into a tangent about how skeleton warden staff aren't even the tip of this iceberg.)

Elk River Valley

early morning

but i'll get off my pedestal and get back to beautiful nature photos. it was a bit overcast on our first day and sunny on the next, and beneath the tall trees the world was humid, wet, and creeks flowed freely across the trail in many spots. the snow melt is in full swing right now, a bit late with our cool summer so far, and heavy with our deep winter snowpack. at certain spots along the trail you could not only hear the rush of the river, but feel the thunder of it under your feet. the rush of the river beside our campsite made me dream of a wild wind storm shaking through the trees.

we didn't see any large wildlife, but there were mushrooms and wildflowers and ghostly white slugs to keep my camera clicking. i'll be back tomorrow with more photos. have you done any hiking recently?

Elk River Valley


kate said...

Well that's me convinced of our next hike. Thanks for sharing!

We went exploring north on Saturday, to Stella Lake and Rock Bay and McCreighton Lake. Wonderful area.

I had a conversation with our campsite person about the lack of park care/presence on the trails, etc. She is quite concerned with it. Just think, 12 years ago there were naturalists still doing presentations at the auditorium (which no longer exists) at Ralph River. Now I've never seen a park warden while hiking in Strathcona, not in the 8 years we've been out there every summer.

Unknown said...

whoa.. those pics took my breath away.. I could just smell that crisp, fresh air.. I can't wait to see your pics tomorrow.. I am rather partial to fungi :)..
I love your work.. I would like to do a blog post on your artwork and blog..if that is cool with you?
I am wrestling with what to buy first from your store.. do you have any more of the grey humpback whales coming?
Cheers , Helen

Tara said...

Beautiful scenery, k. We haven't been camping on a holiday weekend in about 10 years and that was only the one time. We were amazed with the number of . . . "yahoos" that were out and about that weekend and have since scheduled around those weekends. It looks like you had a great hike anyways. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the photos.

Cloudberry said...

Beautiful scenery! Looks like agreat hike/camping. We haven't been camping for years, but we plan to do some this fall with the kids. Just hoping the weather will stay fine :)

Paul. said...

Wow. I hiked up to Mt. Col. Foster in 1987... has thAT glacier ever melted!