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Hike: St. Mark’s Summit, BC

View from St. Mark's Summit

After getting in some practice on some of the easier hikes around Vancouver, I was pretty excited to try something a bit more spectacular. And so, we headed west from Vancouver to Cypress Mountain to tackle the trail to St. Mark’s Summit.

Classed as an intermediate hike with a round-trip distance of 11 km and an average time of 5 hours, the hike takes you along Howe Sound Crest Trail, through the forest and up numerous steep and rocky trails for a total elevation gain of 450 meters.

The trail is impressive and beautiful; you’ll travel along the ridgeline, and get up high enough to see snow in the summer as well as alpine vegetation. Make sure to stop at Bowen Lookout on the way up for a fine view and a break before hitting the main part of the trail.

I was really glad to have worn my boots, as the higher elevations especially had areas that were mucky, slippery, and sticky. I can’t say I wasn’t challenged by the way up, which traverses switchbacks and steep sections, and the way down was no picnic either – navigating over roots can be just as treacherous in reverse – but the views at the top, overlooking Howe Sound and various islands, were incredible. I was really happy we started earlier in the day, before the weather started to heat up, because it was a strenuous one to be sure. And of course, I was equally grateful for the snack we brought, which we shared with the chipmunks hanging around at the lookout point.

Hiking to St. Mark's Summit

Howe Sound Crest Trail switchback

Snow off the Howe Sound Crest trail

View from Bowen Lookout

Trees along the Howe Sound Crest Trail

View from St. Mark's Summit

Hanging out at St. Mark's Summit

Joel at St. Mark's Summit

View from St. Mark's Summit

Chipmunk photobomb

Chipmunk eating a berry

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