The elevation increase from the parking lot to alder flats is only 200 meters but the view at Alder Flats and the crisp water is fantastic. Can't believe it got so lowly rated. Admittedly, the first 2 kms are dull, but after that it gets fun.
I agree with Cherry Pirate, the first couple kms are lack luster, but it worked for me not being a morning person and starting the hike early morning, haha! After that the trails were gorgeous, I especially liked the wooden bridges just before Alder Flats and the views up the side of the mountain, breathtaking with a bit of fog! After you hit the split off to East Canyon Trail, I did not enjoy hiking up the creek bed, I definitely suggest good ankle support. Panorama Ridge had spectacular views, as the name suggests, and a nice place to set up camp before the last leg if you want to lighten your load. Overall a definite workout with some adventurous climbing spots and a great sense of accomplishment when you're at the top looking out over Maple Ridge. A bonus for me at the very top, my fiance proposed! I can't wait for next summer to hike it again.
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“See how nature, trees, flowers, grass grows in silence. See the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” -- Mother Teresa