With waterfalls and big trees, this trail is a hidden gem for intermediate hikers
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Friday, May 28, 2021
Good Morning!
I thought it was just a phase, but it’s been more than a month now and I feel there is no turning back. My toddler is obsessed with cows. Every time we get ready to go for a walk, she asks: cow? In the car: cow? At bedtime: cow? (We have 2 books with cows in them, so at least I’m not stuck reading the same one over and over.) I’m glad she has a passion, and I want to do my best to encourage it. So, if you know where we can find some Chilliwack cows by the side of the road, send me a message. My toddler will thank you—likely by pointing and saying “Cow!” —Grace Kennedy, reporter
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Author Stephen Hui says Eaton Lake, outside of Hope, is the Fraser Valley's most under-appreciated hike. 📸 Stephen Hui
Eaton Lake a hidden gem for hikers

The Fraser Valley is a hiker’s paradise. But in a region where no hike is the same and plenty are heavily trafficked, it can be tough figuring out where to go next. Luckily, BC writer Stephen Hui has a new book that seeks to answer just that question. Destination Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia is a guide to 55 great trips near Vancouver, including a dozen in and around the Fraser Valley area.

We asked him a simple question: what is the most under-appreciated hike in our region? He wavered a bit, noting that he liked the quietness of the Taggart Peak climb on Sumas Mountain, beyond the Abby Grind. But he concluded that Eaton Lake, down Silver Skagit Road outside of Hope, was probably the spot for locals to put on their to-hike list.

The road is gravel but navigable with a 2-wheel-drive car. The hike is 8.5km long and takes about 5.5 hours total, there and back. There is camping at the top, at Eaton Lake itself.

Hui: “It’s a wonderful trail and it’s been around for decades, but it’s still under the radar. Most hikers haven’t heard of it… You’re starting at the Eaton Lake recreation site, just this small dinky campground with a deteriorating outhouse (Hui last visited 2 years ago) and it’s a steep trail.”

“It’s just an all-around great hike, but it is steep, so you’re going to sweat a lot, you’re going to get tired... I’ve rated it as a moderate hike. What’s great about it is you go by three waterfalls, and there’s one that’s particularly nice, a horse-tail waterfall on Eaton Creek. You’re kind of heading up Eaton Creek to Eaton Lake, so it’s a waterfall hike, but it’s also a big-tree hike because there are big ancient trees along the way.

“It’s a really great forest hike with waterfalls, and then you get up to the lake. The lake is a big lake in a mountain bowl with mountains overlooking it and rock slides and it’s just a fantastic place to go for a swim. And people camp there. I remember when I was up there last time, there were a father and daughter up there camping and they had just caught a rainbow trout and were cooking it, and it was such a moment for the daughter. She was so proud to have caught her first rainbow trout and to be cooking and eating it.”

Eaton is well-known to some, but remains off the radar for many. Reviews from last year suggest that even during one of the busiest outdoor summers on record, traffic was still modest on the route.  Hui notes in his book that the Wilderness Committee have called for the protection of the upper Silverhope watershed, within which Eaton Lake and the trail sits. Hui’s book can be purchased from local booksellers or online.

— By Tyler Olsen

The Floor Is Yours: What is your favourite Fraser Valley hike?
The hike up to Eaton Lake features a number of waterfalls, of which this is one. 📸 Stephen Hui
Need to Know
🚨 A fatal shooting in Chilliwack is being investigated by police [Chilliwack Progress]

🚓 Homicide detectives are investigating after police found a body near Yale [Hope Standard]

🏠 Free naloxone training aimed at the family and friends of substance users is coming to Chilliwack
[Chilliwack Progress]

⛺ A family hoping to camp along Harrison Lake last weekend say they received death threats from a group of partiers at the site [CBC]
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The Agenda
Schools in the Fraser Valley will be receiving $8.7 million for upgrades, carbon reducing projects, and bus purchases for 2021-22. Langley School District and the Chilliwack School District will each receive $2.25 million and $2.24 million respectively, as both districts will purchase 3 new buses and undergo a number of capital projects, including HVAC upgrades. The Abbotsford School District will receive $1.88 million for exterior wall systems at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary and LED lights at Rick Hansen Secondary. The Fraser Cascade School District will receive $1.19 million for roof, electrical, and plumbing upgrades at some elementary schools. Mission School District will receive $1.14 million for roofing upgrades, LED lights, and 1 new bus.

A number of residents in Agassiz have come together to protest speeding on Ashton Road, between Lougheed Highway and Pioneer Avenue in the District of Kent. The petition, which was shared with Kent council, says the road is often used as a bypass route when people want to avoid the busy 4-way stop leading to Harrison. The petition says many motorists are impatient with local residents adhering to speed limits, and it creates an unsafe environment. Some residents have filed an official complaint with the RCMP. The petition calls for the installation of speed bumps on the road.
COVID latest
BC is decreasing the length of time between vaccine doses. Previously, the province had said the second dose would happen as long as 16 weeks after the first shot. Now, increased vaccine supply means the province has moved that up to 8 weeks. People 70 and older, and extremely clinically vulnerable people, are now being contacted for their second dose. The goal is to make sure everyone can have the same vaccine for both, but some people who had Moderna will be offered Pfizer because of supply concerns. The province is hoping everyone will be able to have their second dose by the end of the summer. [BCCDC COVID data]

Fraser Health
  • New cases: 189 / 192 average (down 32% from last week)
  • No active outbreaks at hospitals / 2 active outbreaks in long-term care
  • School exposures: Abbotsford: 17 / Chilliwack: 3 / Langley: 12 / Mission: 5 / Fraser Cascade: 0
  • Workplace closures (May 26): 1
  • New cases: 378 / 330 average (down 26% from last week)
  • 286 hospitalizations (down 14% from last week)
  • 7 new deaths / 1,690 total
Your Favourite Patios

June is nearly here, which means it's time to wrap up our patio section! To everyone who wrote in with your suggestions: thank you! We hope this list has given you all some new places to enjoy a meal. Here are the final reader picks:
Krause Berry Farms, Langley / Townhall, Abbotsford / Lakeside Beach Club, Cultus Lake
Around Town
💕 The First Nations Health Authority is responding to the toxic drug crisis by launching a 4-month harm reduction campaign. Personal videos from Indigenous people across BC are aiming to share a key message: Increase the support. Reduce the harm.
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