Andrea Bosboom

Gorgeous hike, spend as much time as you can exploring

We hiked this loop mid August, and enjoyed the truly spectacular views and ever changing surroundings. You walk in via one valley, cross over via a lake, and then back out another valley with totally different scenery. One of the nicest hikes I've done. I would come back for this one and do it again anytime. Totally recommend. Some practical advice: - Edith Cavell road is restricted, but when you book your campgrounds, a permit to enter the road is included. So don't let this stop you. - We booked the only campgrounds that were available: Clitheroe on day one, and Maccarib on the second, thus forcing the direction of a start at Astoria. Hiking the path, we thought that the other way around would probably give the best views, so do that if you can. - Campgrounds were all booked solid but there were a lot of no-shows. So the second night we actually stayed at Portal, which we did not book but was more convenient for us. 40% no show at Clitheroe, 75% no show at Portal. Go figure. - There were A LOT of mosquitos, some people used face-nets which was smart. Especially down by the lake, and the Clitheroe campsite were bad. No problem at Portal and Astoria. - The best sightings of wildlife, and supposedly the best views are at Surprise point, which was booked solid so we did not get a chance to go. People stayed up there a night or two and did small day hikes, which seems like a good option. Would do that if I did the hike again. - The trail is not a complete loop, so you need to find a way to work out transport between the start and the end. We parked our car at Astoria trailhead and hitchhiked back when we got to the end of the trail, which was easy and worked quite well. If you do this, try to get to the trail end before noon, to improve your chances of a ride. We met various people who took a taxi between the start and end point, which costs 100 dollars (!). Most people arranged their lift / taxi / ride so that their car was already at the end point of the trail, thus taking out any risk of not getting to your car on the way back. An other option, involving some trust, would be to give your car keys with people you meet on the trail, to who ever gets to the end of the trail first. They can then leave your car with your car keys hidden away at your end of the trail. There was some talk of this as well. You meet a lot of nice people while hiking this hike :-) - If you are done with the trail, a really worth while short stop is the Angel Glacier at Mount Edith Cavell. Will take you 25 minutes extra including the sightseeing. - Which campgrounds to stay at, really depends on your itinerary etc. From our experience, I would say the following: Astoria was tucked away in the forrest, not the best views. Use only as an easy exit point when hitchhiking back to Portal the next day. Switch-back was located on top of a mountain, seemed like some really nice views. We heard they had a lot of mosquitos. We stayed at Clitheroe, which did not have nice views nor convenient facilities and a lot of mosquitos, would not recommend this one. Maccarib seemed nice, right by the river, good views. Portal also had excellent views and was easy to use as an exit point when hitch hiking back out to Astoria the next day. Surprise Point was the one that everybody we met was very enthusiastic about. It would add another day to your hike but could be really worth it. Enjoy the hike!

Good option to extend High Note trail

Hiked around August 1st. We started this hike at the beginning of High Note trail, reachable by the Village Gondola and then the connection chairlift. It made the loop a bit longer, but avoided backtracking the next day. Beautiful flowers and stunning scenery on this first part, would recommend this route in. The added portion to Flute Summit and then Russet Lake hike is easy to find, trail well marked. Some snow still on the way, but easy to cross. No special gear needed. The last ascent was tough on us, the trail climbs and descends a lot and we had not hiked for a couple of weeks... The campground was somehow packed when we got there, which is said to be unusual. There must have been over 20 tents plus a fully loaded cabin. There is one outhouse (with TP!), but otherwise the campsite is a bit rough; fully exposed to elements, lots of wind, not much shelter. Views are breathtaking, lake on one side and glacier on the other. Hiked back via the second part of High Note trail the next day, and then took the gondola over to Blackcomb mountain, which was a nice way to finish the day. Then the chairlift down from Blackcomb, again another way down than the one we came. We parked our car in parking lot 6 which was free, also overnight, and an short but steep extra 5 minutes hike, right between the Village Gondola and the Blackcomb Chairlift. Would recommend this hike, especially the wildflowers in July / August made it spectacular.