Today seemed like a good day to check out the views from the ten viewpoints and I was right :-) It was really nice to spend some time in the forest as it starts to haul its way out of winter. I saw a few skunk cabbage buds next to the road on the way in, and the red huckleberry and salmonberry bushes are just pushing out the tiniest of pink and green shoots. Woodpeckers are out and about and I had a few moments of quality time with a sapsucker.
The trail is in good shape with almost no mud. There is a lot of blowdown near the first viewpoint but thanks to the dedication of one person with an axe (helped by someone with a saw), the trail has no obstacles. I met the guy doing the work and thanked him – he’s put in a huge amount of work. Remarkably, there are also a few patches of snow here too but they’re small and there is only one place where it’s possible to step in some muddy snow on the trail.
I did the loop anti-clockwise (i.e. in reverse), warming up along Buntzen Lake before counting down from 10 to 1 along the ridge. I did the same thing last year when there was a detour in place near the north end of the lake. This time it really struck me how there is no signage for the Diez Vistas trail once you cross the suspension bridge. I guess it would have been obvious if I’d had a map with me ;-) but once I’d walked under the power lines and reached the road by the water intake, I actually had no idea if I was on the right trail. So I really recommend taking a map, unless you know the area well :-)
On my descent from the first viewpoint, I took in the trail that promises a view to the east (the Eastview Trail I think?) and followed that as it linked back up with the main trail (at the top of the knee-knackering switchbacks). Easy to follow but be warned – it’s steep in places with a couple of sheer dropoffs.
All in all a fine day out, and the view from the Vista #1 really is superb.
Distance: 15 km
Elevation gain: 425 m
Photos on Flickr