Mount Steele Hike, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia
Time Taken: 1 day, but 2 days with overnight camping is preferable
When to Hike: Year-round (with the right equipment if going in Winter!)
The Tetrahedron Provincial Park on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast is home to some of the tallest and most beautiful peaks in the Province. At over 6,000 hectares, its certainly one of the best places in BC for snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and exploring! Several winterized cabins have been set up along the route for weary travellers to rest overnight and keep warm in the Winter, so make use of them, keep them tidy and restocked for the next adventurer!
Starting Point: From Vancouver, catch the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast (it’s a 45-minute crossing). Drive past Sechelt and continue another 30 minutes northeast towards Tuwanek. 300 meters after a bridge crossing the Grey Creek you will see a logging road to the right. Drive another 30-45 minutes along the logging road (suitable for 2-wheel drive, but you should go 4-wheel drive, and maybe chains, in the Winter). You’ll come to a parking lot in the forest, and the trail starts there.
The Hike: If you don’t wish to hike the whole way to the summit of Mount Steele, you can visit some of the lower cabins and lakes for a simple day hike through the varied terrain. The Mount Steele cabin is only 7km from the upper parking lot (the upper one will be closed in the Winter, due to snow conditions), and sits about 100m vertically below the summit. The trail up to the cabin is a pretty gentle walk until you reach Edwards Lake, where the trail continues through the alpine meadow offering incredible views of the mountains to the North and West. This is a beautiful spot for photos, as the crystal blue water reflects the mountains beautifully.
After the Lake, the trail starts to climb more abruptly and becomes more difficult to follow, especially in the Winter, so it’s important to take a map and know your route. When you reach the top of the ridge, Mount Steele will come into view, as will the cabin, perched on its north face with views over the Squamish mountain ranges. There are a few different routes you can take to reach the summit from the cabin, depending on your experience and preference, but for the inexperienced hiker, the safest route would be to keep following the ridge for about 1 kilometer. On a good day with good weather you can make the hike to the summit and back in one day, but if you want to be more relaxed, spend more time enjoying the views and really experience Mount Steele, we definitely recommend spending the night in one of the cabins. It’s so worth it, and the sunrise is so beautiful – on a clear day you can see Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and have the chance for truly spectacular photos!
Enjoy the hike, remember your camera for the breathtaking views and enjoy beautiful BC at its finest!!