Elk Mountain (aka The Chilliwack Grouse Grind) is a steep hike that is the first half of the Elk-Thurston trail. Unfortunately it is the hard half. The good news it the scenery near the top is well worth it.
From a photographic point of view the drive in has some lovely houses in farm fields. The hike will take about 2 hours to get to the top. The first hour and a half is in traditional west coast forest and is unremarkable from most other forests in the area photographically presenting the normal challenges of large dynamic range and often very busy backgrounds.
The last 30 minutes of the hike takes place above the tree line and presents spectacular views of the lower mainland. As well as the views to photograph there are also many unique alpine flowers to photograph which bloom in July and August. You are also rewarded with some great tasting wild strawberries in July. However the trail is fairly steep at this point and you need to be careful of your camera if it is hanging around your neck. I would advice putting it away in your back pack on the way down in case you fall to prevent it from being damaged.
Once you get to the top of the mountain you will see many mountain peaks from the cascade mountains including Baker, Sleese and Spencer Peak.
The difficulty of the hike means you should come with good hiking shoes and bring water and food along. This hike presents great photographic opportunities near the top, especially in July and August when the flowers are blooming. If you are looking for photographing some scenic views, panoramas or alpine flowers Elk Mountain is a great place to do it.
- Alpine Flowers
- Great Views and Scenery for Panoramas
- Beautiful Mountains
- Steep Trail (Be careful about your gear)
- Not much to photograph along the way.
Details on how to get to Elk Mountain trail can be found at clubtread.com