Baden-Powell Trail (Cypress Bowl to Eagle Ridge)

Statistics

Entire Route

Total Distance: 12.0 km (one-way)
Estimated Time: Unknown
Average Grade: Unknown
Structure: Linear - One Way
Elevation Gain: Unknown
Start Elevation: Unknown
Max Elevation: 1215 m

to Black Mountain from Cypress Bowl

Total Distance: 7.5 km (return)
Estimated Time: 3 hours
Average Grade: 8.0%
Structure: Linear - Return
Elevation Gain: 300 m
Start Elevation: 920 m
Max Elevation: 1220 m

to Black Mountain from Horseshoe Bay

Total Distance: 16.0 km (return)
Estimated Time: 7 hours
Average Grade: 14.9%
Structure: Linear - Return
Elevation Gain: 1192 m
Start Elevation: 25 m
Max Elevation: 1217 m

Directions

To reach the western trailhead for the Baden-Powell Trail, take Highway #99/#1 to Horseshoe Bay and take Exit 2 (Eagleridge) on the east side of highway #99 coming from Vancouver. (If you come from the north take Exit 2 (Eagleridge)and turn left at the top, and go straight ahead when you come to the roundabout or traffic circle.) This is a narrow road alongside of the ferry terminal entrance lanes. Drive slowly past the stop sign, and on the right you will see the gravel for the parking lot. There is parking for six cars at the base of the Black Mountain Trail, The original location of the trailhead at Eagleridge Drive is no longer accessible due the re-routing of the Sea-to-Sky highway in 2008.

The 250 and 257 busses can be used to access the lower trailhead. From the 250, get off at the bus stop at traffic circle on Marine Drive near the bridge. From the 257, get off at the bus stop on the bridge itself. Walk east across the bridge, then go south (right) along the highway a short distance to the trailhead. For bus schedules and information, visit the Translink website.

The upper sections of the trail can also be reached from the main Cypress Provincial Park parking lot. From the city of Vancouver, cross either the Lions Gate Bridge or the Ironworker's Memorial (Second Narrows) Bridge. Follow Highway #1/#99 west to exit #8, signed as "Cypress". Follow Cypress Bowl Road north as it winds it's way up the mountain to the ski hill area. Park in the main parking lot at the end of the road, near the park information sign. The area can also be reached from Nelson Canyon by following the Whyte Lake Trail to its junction with the Baden-Powell Trail.

Details

From Cypress Bowl to Black Mountain:

From the parking lot continue past the newly built lodge, signs will indicate the Baden Powell Trail and the trail to Yew Lake. Take the left fork which switches back sharply uphill, the trail follows the outskirts of the ski hill boundary. This section of trail was newly completed in 2008, and replaces the older trail which used to primarily follow up the ski hill and maintenance roads.

As you near the top of the ski hill, there is a fork which allows you access onto the ski slopes, you can follow the final slope to the top of the Black Mountain chairlift and access the Baden Powell from here. At the first fork in the trail, the right will take you directly to Black Mountain, the left will also take you to the summit, but circumnavigates the peak to ascend from the opposite side. This lower trail can also be used as a "summit bypass" if hiking from Eagle Bluffs to Cypress Bowl and you are in a hurry.

Alternatively, as a generally more scenic route, you can continue on the newly built trail until you reach Cabin Lake. This lake is swimable in July and August (and possibly at other times of the year if you don't mind the cold). The bluff just to the right of where the trail meets the lake is excellent for diving from. There is a very rough, and at times steep trail that circumnavigates around Cabin Lake. Take a left at Cabin Lake and continue on to the summit of Black Mountain. This is a more scenic, as well as quicker route to the top of Black Mountain.

To make a loop hike, continue on past Black Mountain towards Eagle Bluffs, and take a left at the first signed junction. This trail will take you back to the top of the ski lift. Follow the ski slope down to the left and regain the trail.

Finally if you continue descending beyond Black Mountain you will reach Eagle Bluffs. This is a large, wide-open series of rocky ledges with the best view of the lower mainland on Black Mountain.

From Horseshoe Bay to Black Mountain:

Either follow the Black Mountain Trail up from Horseshoe Bay, or take the Nelson Canyon Trail (Trans Canada Trail) and take the Whyte Lake Trail west to intersect Baden-Powell at Whyte Lake.

From here, follow the Baden-Powell Trail as it climbs steeply through the Nelson Creek drainage and up an extensive boulder field to Eagle Bluffs. Be sure to stay right at the Donut Bluffs Trail junction (this trail climbs steeply up to intersect the Baden Powell Trail east of Eagle Bluffs and is somewhat more difficult to follow, though less exposed), and follow the orange squares that mark the Baden Powell.

The top part of the Baden-Powell trail below Eagle Bluffs is very steep. It is not for everybody!

From Eagle Bluffs climb up into the woods and follow the markers up through a series of tarns and meadows and into the Cabin Lake area. The trail will eventually lead you to the Cypress parking lot.

** About Donut Bluff Trail **

"103 Hikes" suggests a loop trip, up via Donut Bluffs, down via Eagle Bluffs. Donut Bluff Trail is steep; but it's not much steeper than any other trails in this area, e.g. Sunset, Lions Bay - Unnecessary, etc. However, it is more difficult and challenging, especially when going down, because at places it lacks of footsteps and handholds on the steep and loose trailbed. I think that's why "103 Hikes" says "don't go down from this trail." Besides, This trail crosses both west and east branches of Nelson Creek and at the both crossings it's more difficult to follow because of the fallen logs, faint trailbed and insufficient trail marks. At the Donut Bluffs, it has better view to Horseshoe Bay and Mannion Bay and Snug Cove on Bowen Island. For those interested in hiking this trail, some key waypoints are provided bellow.

Jct BP/Whyte Lake (upper): N49 22.790 W123 15.504

Jct BP/Donut Bluff Trail (lower): N49 23.036 W123 14.725

Donut Bluffs: N49 23.279 W123 13.909

Jct BP/Donut Bluff Trail (upper): N49 23.206 W123 13.737

Photographs

GPS Waypoints

Midpoint Trailhead at Cypress Bowl N49.39537 W123.20245 10U 485310 5471428