Lighthouse Park, 16 May 2020

Opinion
Always a delight, especially after a couple of months of mostly urban walks. Today was a good day to return to Lighthouse Park, despite the rain, as the forest flowers were blooming nicely. If you want peace and quiet, go early on a dull, rainy day but even then expect more people to show up after about 10 am.

Fact
The park is open again, after being closed for a time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting an early start on a dull, rainy day meant we had no trouble parking up and exploring without encountering too many people.

The trails were a bit muddy here and there but mostly dry. Be aware that the rocks and roots will be slippery in the rain. I think a few of the unofficial side-trails have become more obvious in recent years (due to increased foot traffic) as we had to stop and check where we were going on at least two occasions. Our route took us down the Valley trail, then over to Eagle Point on the Arbutus trail before returning the same way and picking up Valley again. After a quick stop at West Beach we followed the Shore Pine trail to the junction with the Juniper Point trail, returning to the car on the Juniper Loop.

The forest flowers were blooming, and may be peaking about now. We saw western lily-of-the-valley, starflower (lots!), redwood sorrel, coralroot, Nootka rose, fringe cup, large-leaved avens, foamflower, Columbia lilies, Saskatoon berry, a few salmonberry flowers, trailing blackberry, salal, arbutus, trumpet honeysuckle, death camas, streambank spring beauty, an unknown saxifrage in bud, the seed pods of fawn lilies, the leaves of skunk cabbage, fresh sword and deer ferns. Douglas firs were sprouting fresh green cones.

Birds we recognized included Pacific wrens, a pair of bald eagles, crows, ravens, spotted towhees, flickers, robins, chickadees, Anna’s and rufous hummingbirds. Add to that at least another 3 or 4 calls that we recognize but haven’t yet been able to identify.

Distance: 4 km
Elevation gain: 150 m
Duration: 2 hours

Lighthouse Park, 16 May 2020

Story

8 thoughts on “Lighthouse Park, 16 May 2020

  1. This park is only about a 15 minute cycle from my house and while the parking was closed I really enjoyed the ride and a perimeter walk around the empty park. It’s a lovely spot!

    1. I bet it was wonderfully quiet when it was closed! Yes, it’s a real gem and our go-to park for a little bit of wild.

  2. I was just talking to some hiking friends and we are considering a trip to the South Chilcotins. You have raved about this area in past blog posts. Do you happen to know anything about the 6-7 day route from Lorna Lake (fly in) down to Tyax Lodge? My friend has the Trail Ventures book and map that you mentioned in your post and I have yet to research in detail—I should probably do this before asking but always nice to get insight from someone who has been there. Cheers, Caroline

    1. Funnily enough we’ve been planning some Chilcotins itineraries over the past few days. I don’t have any experience of that route but it was one of the ones we were considering. In the end we discounted it (for now) as it has a major creek crossing of the outlet from the lake. Since we’re planning to go at the end of June, the water will probably be high so we didn’t fancy that. I do know that this route is one that Arc’teryx (I think) is (was?) organizing as a supported trail run this summer which is what attracted my attention, and it does look amazing. Sorry I can’t help any more than that!

  3. Thanks for that tip about the creek. I will have to look into this. Right now we’re aiming for mid-July. It’s nice to start planning things again, isn’t it! I’ll look forward to reading about your newest Chilcotin adventures.

    1. Oh it certainly is! The hard part of planning for the Chilcotins is just making a decision on where to go! We’re heading in next week and we have two options plotted out and have yet to decide which one to do. I’ll be sure to provide an update about snow/bugs etc :-)

  4. Exciting! Yes, I’ll be really happy to get a report from you. We have booked a flight into Lorna Lake on July 19 and also have a few route options under considerations that bring us back to Tyax base. We’ll be doing 7 days. The more I study the map and book, the more I realize that this is a place we’ll have to go to multiple times. Have a great trip Andy!

    1. Cool! Look forward to hearing about that too! Yes, it definitely is – in planning this trip, I think we’ve come up with at least 3 more we’d like to do.

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